OFWGKTA at HMV Forum, London (01/07/13)

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Returning back to reality after Glastonbury festival didn’t quite come as soon as it should have as I head to Kentish Town in London mere hours after travelling back from Worthy Farm. Having seen Tyler, The Creator on The John Peel stage at the festival the night before, my taste buds craved more aggressive hip-hop. We arrived at the venue at about 7:30 meaning the queues were already being let in. I have never seen so many teenagers head to toe in tie-dye tees and flat caps branded with the words ‘golf wang’. Some of these fans appeared no older then 13 demonstrating how the listener demographic for Odd Future has changed drastically over the years. I dread to think what their parents would say if they knew the sort of music their kids were moshing to, or maybe they’re taking on Tyler’s ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude and defy their parents by listening to OF. Alternatively their parents are probably providing the money to supply their children with the ridiculously over-priced Odd Future branded clothing, £30 for a tee-shirt!? That’s taking tour merchandise to a whole new level of expensive.

Instead of a support act outside of the OFWGKTA bubble they decided to have Taco DJing for an hour. It was awesome! The mosh pits had already started before he stepped foot on stage but the crowd turned it up a notch as he played some popular tracks from the hip-hop sphere. This seamlessly led into the actual OF performance as the beautiful sounds of ‘Wolf’ played out. Tyler, The Creator bounded onstage to perform Wolf favourite ‘Jamba’ with the energy of a 7 year old child; this energy ebbing and flowing throughout the set similar to the temperamental attention span of most children.

The Odd Future set had an Earl Sweatshirt sized hole in it since the 19 year old is unfortunately suffering from a bout of pneumonia. However Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Mike G and, of course, Jasper Dolphin made up for it with their fantastic performances. Although nobody can rival the popularity of founder and brains behind OFWGKTA, Tyler, The Creator. I could not take my eyes off him for the whole set, from doing the robot on a speaker to doing a boy-band-esque backing dance for Mike G, I was transfixed. Even when he was calling everyone in the crowd an ‘asshole’ my love grew stronger. This review isn’t a love letter to Tyler, The Creator, simply praise for someone who’s immaturity often means they are misunderstood by the media. Tyler, The Creator is an idol for countless teens across the world and to be fair to him, he isn’t such a bad role model. Renowned for being straight-edge and removing himself from his weed smoking friends gives the kids something to hold on to. Being able to resist peer pressure  and focus on music is something that is admirable for a 22 year old. The other members are perhaps not the best role models as they asked for weed from the crowd and smoked joints on stage.

Tyler The Creator The ForumThe hip-hop collective rattled through hit after hit including ‘We Got Bitches’, ‘Sam (is Dead)’ and Odd Future classic ‘Oldie’ (it made me sad knowing I wouldn’t hear Frank Ocean do his verse but this was made slightly better by the hype around Jasper’s ‘I’m not even a rapper’ verse). However the tracks that stood out the most from the night were the ones that feature on Tyler, The Creator’s three records Bastard, Goblin and Wolf. Not only did Tyler’s most well known record ‘Yonkers’ get an, as expected, amazing reaction. The newer tracks such as IFHY and, my personal favourite, Tamale got an equally electric reception. When the latter was being performed Tyler demanded that no-one in the crowd can ‘enjoy the song until he fucking says you can enjoy the song’. He stopped the track and started again, this time, no-one moved until he dropped his hand. At that point the whole of the HMV Forum was jumping, drinks were being thrown, chaos broke loose, and I loved it!

Despite the over-priced clothing (which is in fact where most of OF’s money comes from) and the insane amount of sweaty teens, the gig was brilliant. I chose not to join the moshing 13 year olds and instead enjoyed it from further back with two guys from LA – they told me some impressive stories about seeing OF at Coachella. Although I was secretly jealous of the guy that got slapped by Mike G as he crowd-surfed, that’s one hell of a story to tell your school friends.

 

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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