“I just like to see people dance,” Tyler, the Creator said to the crowd at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Wednesday night (April 11) near the end of his hour-long set. The rapper said this in a way that was simultaneously sincere and matter-of-fact, as if seeing people dance was an indicator of a good time. But the audience wasn’t just dancing throughout the night with Tyler — they were absolutely losing their minds.
In front of an elaborate setup of man-made trees and orange light, Tyler, the Creator emerged on stage to a cheering horde of twentysomethings decked out in GOLF merchandise (the rapper’s own clothing line). As the first few notes of “Where This Flower Blooms,” and that was all that was needed for Tyler to win over the people who gathered in the Shrine that night. Pounding through a set list of over 20 tracks, mostly from his fourth studio album, Flower Boy, the LA based rapper had endlessly amounts of energy; feeding off his crazed audience as they were feeding off of him.
Throughout his tenure, Tyler, the Creator has been able to navigate the extremes of human emotions rather seamlessly. There’s an anger inside of him that releases in tracks like “IFHY” that he’s able to serve up to the audience as they spike it back to him screaming in unison, “I f—— hate you but I love you.” Alongside that anger, though, there is a calmness that also peeks through. On breakout song “Boredom,” Tyler brought out support act Rex Orange County and as the pair sang through the song’s chorus, the audience once again sang along but this time with that hint of indifference and also reflection. It was beautiful how artist and audience mirrored each other — how they needed each other in order to thrive.
At one point during the set, Tyler explained how back in 2012, he was touring Europe for the first time and noticing that people in different countries would react to different elements of each song. One country responded more to the bass, others to the melody. Before breaking into “Tamale,” the rapper continued: “I wanted to make thing that no matter what language you speak…you could move to it…you could know what’s going on.” It’s been 6 years and there is more than enough evidence that Tyler, the Creator has succeeded tenfold.
Tyler, the Creator has been on a journey since he popped up as a member of Odd Future. With Flower Boy, he seems to has grown from a snarky know-it-all to someone who seeks self-improvement and composure but without losing his sense of identity and, of course, his spark. There’s a saying that goes, “Bloom where you’re planted,” and Tyler, the Creator has not only blossomed into his own, he’s created his own garden.
Where This Flower Blooms
Boredom (with Rex Orange County)
Who Dat Boy
I Ain’t Got Time!
See You Again
BOREDOM GOT A NEW BEST FRIEND –??
— April (@aprilsalud) April 12, 2018