It’s not often that a crowd is told to chant ‘nigga’ on cue over and over, but for Odd Future it’s just a part of their provocative act. The group headed down under for Big Day Out, and their much anticipated sideshow gave fans a live taste of the west coast charisma and controversial lyrics that have accelerated fame via internet for the young troublemakers.
At only 20, Tyler, The Creator, frontman and LA personality, captures his audience with his out-of-control dancing and dark humour. The audience was gulping it all up – bouncing when instructed, settling down during the lyric-laden verses and going nuts at the bass-heavy drops. At one point, Tyler even got OF’s funky female DJ, Syd Tha Kid, to restart a song: “No, no, we gotta do the drop properly!”
The rap collective seems slightly deranged, but with their energetic and mischievous hip-hop their stage show is sloppy but seamless. Bouncing around with tremendous energy, the group performs their own sets with passion and anger, leaving the audience in awe at their acapella rapping at full speed- Left Brain looks around -” Y’all couldn’t keep up!” “I’m too intelligent.” With no support act, the crowd was left to wait in suspense while the stage was progressively filled with smoke and hypnotic lighting. In suspense, shouting “wooolllf gang- gollfff wang” a short intro by Syd kicked off the riot of OF’s two-hour set including tracks French!, Transylvania and Sandwitches.
Since their performance at last year’s Vivid Live, OF has gained more fans and some young, angry ones at that- with plenty of kids packing into the tight venue to show off their knowledge of the free-thinking lyrics. There was a mixed audience- with weed-smoking hipsters, hip hop bros and trendy girls all doing their own thing and all dressed similarly in OF merch t-shirts. No one was worried about the absence of mysterious member Earl Sweatshirt by the time Tyler got to his hit track Yonkers with the crowd unleashing all frenzy and anger brought with them to the show.
Ending with Radicals hyped up the crowd to unpredicted levels, even rapper Hodgy Beats was getting aggressive in his dance moves. But when the crowd chants along to the little-less-than-subtle chorus it’s clear that this is all an act. Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All know that their inherently white audience doesn’t actually ‘burn shit’ and ‘kill people’ but it’s entertaining enough to let loose and pretend to be a rebel for the night.
Published on Purple Sneakers.