Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All
OFWGKTA performed this past Tuesday in Lawrence, KS.
This past Tuesday those Wolf Gang hooligans were "breakin' rules again," and this time the mayhem was unleashed on Lawrence, Kansas at a small unsuspecting club known as the Granada.
In true radical fashion my friend Michael and I left school for the day, skipping out on our final classes to attend the show. The show was slated to start at 9:30 with doors opening at 9, so even though we had extra time on our hands, this was a show we could not afford to be a late to, missing one moment of this would be unacceptable.
Michael and I before the show.
Take note of not only our excitement, but my Odd-Future approved t-shirt.
We got to the venue at 8:45 and were greeted with a massive line gathered outside. We should've seen this coming, hugely-popular indie rap group + College town + week day = massive line. The line would've been much more unbearable had we not had the best company possible. Michael and I spent the entirety of the line behind a rawkus group of college kids from what seemed like everywhere, at least for a show in Kansas. One was from Illinois and another had come all the way from California to see the show. Slowly the line slithered its way to the door and along the way we were treated to crowd renditions of well-known Odd Future songs (the lyrics to which are mostly unprintable here) and crudely-scribbled OF-inspired graffiti. Finally, we got to the front door at around 9:00 and the carnage would soon follow.
The line we had to wade through.
Remember this was a club that only held a few-hundred.
The welcoming words of Odd Future on the club's facade.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All probably couldn't fit.
Upon our arrival, we made our way to the merchandise table where we were greeted with the first surprise of the night, Lucas from the extended OF family. Lucas most notable appears in the "She" video by Tyler, the Creator and arguably has the most hilarious line in the entire thing. The remarkable thing here was that no one seemed to recognize the scrawny-blonde lad except for me and Michael, which was fine with us. After I purchased the requisite concert t-shirt, Michael and I headed towards the stage to stake our claim in the coming chaos.
The cat backdrop for the show.
OF loves their creepy cat pics, so why should this show be different?
After what seemed like an eternity, the group's DJ Syd tha Kyd came out on stage and treated the crowd to a great mini-set. Now the show was really ready to begin and the group roared out of the gate, with duo MellowHype blazing through the bracing "64."
"64- BlackenedWhite (live at South by Southwest)
Once rapper Hodgy Beats and producer LeftBrain had all of us whipped into a frenzy, OF-mastermind Tyler, the Creator was ready to demolish everything and he surely did with an inspired and incredibly vicious take of "Transylvania." By the song's end Tyler had nearly everyone in the crowd sharing in his vile visions of "kidnapping and attacking with axes and s**t."
Tyler, the Creator the group's unofficial leader and most popular member.
The twenty-year old was in top form throughout.
After this much menace this quick, the crowd needed a rest and the group's resident stoner Domo Genesis was ready to oblige the crowd with "Rolling Papers." Sporting an indelible hook from Tyler advising the crowd to "cut it short, break it down, couple pounds roll it up," Domo stole the spotlight from his more malicious peers, a trend that would continue throughout the show.
OF weed-rapper Domo Genesis.
Domo was arguably the dark-horse highlight of the show.
Continuing the good-vibes laid on by Domo, OF shy-guy Mike G treated the crowd to "Forest Green" an undervalued lyrically-dense cut from the rapper's forthcoming Gold album.
Mike G, arguably one of the least known members of OF.
Mike had several highlights throughout, including an extended freestyle.
A Whole Other Level
All the good-times came to an end when Tyler again took his place at the front of the stage. Once he assumed his position, they launched into "Tron Cat", arguably the entire group's most vile and controversial song. If one of the marks of a great concert is the act's ability to hold sway over the crowd, this concert was the best I've ever seen. In the "real-world" no-one would dare recite such nightmarish words and if they did I for one would be unnerved. But an Odd Future concert isn't the real world, it's hell on earth and the crowd had no concern for the "offensive."
Tyler during the performance of "Tron Cat."
If you can see the red in his eyes, I assure you that's not from the camera.
The intensity only continued with a vicious a capella freestyle from Mike G ("Everything That's Yours) and the deadly detours of "Splatter" and "igotagun." The crowd was at a fever pitch at this point and even Tyler was feeling the effects, soliciting the crowd for an inhaler announcing, "yo I left my inhaler back at the hotel, does anyone here have a f**k*ng inhaler I can borrow?" As things got even more out of control and Tyler had completed his dozenth stage-dive, he took a time-out from the festivities to catch his breath. When he re-appeared, he further opined for an inhaler, making it imperative this time around. "Yo I really a f**k*ng inhaler, otherwise I'mma die in Kansas tonight," said Tyler with a gargling-rasp fully consuming his voice. Mercifully a crowd-member complied with the request and the show went on.
Tyler pleading with the crowd for an inhaler.
Tyler often performs without one to "liven-up" the show.
The group's playful antics continued from here. At one point Tyler received a bag of weed from a fan, even while reminding him that he doesn't smoke. However the fan didn't seem to care and Tyler gleefully auctioned off the bag as a plethora of fans hurled crumpled up bills on the stage. When the deal was done, Tyler joyously announced to the crowd, "I just made my first drug deal." The crowd then rapturously applauded and it was off to the races again.
After a particularly brutal rendition of "French," with Tyler hurling himself into the crowd like a missile, losing his shirt and socks in the process, Tyler found it necessary to hurl insults at an audience member. "Yo to the Seth Rogen-looking motherf***er in the crowd, I gotta ask what do you want us to do? Because I don't know what to do, I just get on stage, yell and say a bunch of curse words. What song do you think we should do next?" The fan being firmly put in his place, had nothing to say and the group continued with Hodgy Beats' "Turnt Down."
Tyler giving a fan the what-for.
Tyler often expresses love for his fans, but has a problem with stupidity.
The group had to get one more round of great antics in, this time walking off stage after Mike G's mic failed during "Loaded." A large chunk of the group dismissively left at this point with only LeftBrain and Syd stoically standing on stage. LeftBrain was seemingly unfazed by all this ridiculousness and humorously commanded Syd to "play that s**t." She then dropped the needle on the "Yonkers" beat, a song well-identified with Tyler. LeftBrain finished less the a half-verse before Tyler took came back to take his rightful place on stage. After mockingly puppeting the crowd's rapping during the first verse, Tyler snarled in on the second verse and the performance became a highlight of the set.
Coming to a Close
The final leg of the set was a perfect distillation of the show so-far and featured more fan-favorites along the lines of "Sandwitches" and "F*** the Police." Tyler also made sure to tell everyone in attendance that they had debuted a new video on their site, which they then promptly performed. Near the end of it all, the rap miscreants were racking their brains, trying to come up with a song to perform. Thankfully, Hodgy was chomping at the bit to perform the underrated "Loco," and the set didn't waver one-bit.
All "good" things must come to the end and this show was no different, but the finish couldn't have been any more rousing. After delivering an inspired speech, Tyler and crew launched into their "unofficial anthem" "Radical" which features the still rebellious and controversial chorus of: "kill people, burn s**t, f**k school." Once they had dispensed their advice of "do whatever makes you happy," the group filed off, leaving behind them a path of destruction.
Hodgy Beats & LeftBrain of Mellowhype
The pair was performing with reckless abandon near the show's end.
Picking Up the Pieces
Litter everywhere, people in absolute stumbling dismay, a missing shoe, and an irritating ringing in my ear were just a few of the things I was rewarded with upon coming out on the other side of the show. Every word I heard became a garbled mess and I could barely hear Odd Future's missing man in action, Earl blaring over the club's loud speakers. M prized concert tee was little more than a wet rag at this point, suffice to say Michael and I were ready to leave.
The crowd after the show.
Anyone that doesn't look exhausted clearly wasn't participating.
As we trudged out of the Granada, Michael and I were still incredulous as to what we had just seen. Making our way down the lonesome sidewalk, we came to a stop at a bus parked next to the building. Wanting to see what was going on, we ventured over to the running tour bus. At first, we thought nothing would develop and resolved to leave at 11:55. With less than a minute left, the doors to the bus flung open and Hodgy Beats as well as LeftBrain emerged. A large group staggered over, begging the pair for autographs. Hodgy obliged for a few minutes before trekking back to the bus. We feared LeftBrain would follow suit, but before he could, Domo Genesis also emerged and the crowd divided. Michael and I seized the opportunity, with Michael rushing to get his shoe signed by LeftBrain. Standing there sans a shoe, Michael sprung forward and got his wish. I followed suit and had my concert shirt signed. At this point, Domo had made his way over and we scored yet again.
Being ecstatic with just these two things, Michael and I thought we could do no better. Yet for some reason, we decided to press our luck and get a shot with LeftBrain, what did we have to lose? So after propositioning the producer, we were all set up to take the pic. Handing the camera off to a random stranger, all was well and then the camera failed to take or to put more bluntly, the man didn't know how to work the camera. For a moment, panic seized us as LeftBrain grew disinterested by our rookie mistake and was almost lost to us forever. Fortunately, another crowd member got his attention and took the picture for us. Wanting no more out of this night, Michael and I were instantly rejuvenated, in complete dismay as to the fortune that had just come our way. This dismay continued for the entirety of the ride back and an hour later, having finally made it back home, we still could not believe what we had just done. We had started out the night "simply" hoping for a good show and ended with two-autographs, a photograph with one of the group's members, and a first-hand account of the one of the most sublimely chaotic things either of us had ever seen.
Michael and I pictured with LeftBrain.
As you can see, both of us were in a state of pure disbelief.
Best Song: "Yonkers"- Tyler the Creator
Best Performer: Domo Genesis
Best Moment: Tyler's first drug deal
Best Fight: "Sumo match" between Jasper and Domo, the group's larger members.