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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Odd Future Brings All Its Mayhem to Slim's

Posted By on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 8:54 AM

Odd Future at Slim's last night. - ADAM LAM
  • Adam Lam
  • Odd Future at Slim's last night.
Odd Future

February 22, 2011

@ Slim's

Better than: Spending the evening in your retirement home.

Odd Future is virtually inescapable right now. If you have even a passing interest in music and an Internet connection, chances are you've at least read about them in the last month. The "Yonkers" video. The Fallon performance. The huge number of articles analyzing/criticizing/sanctifying the under-21 hip-hop/skate/art collective from LA. And since this was the group's first time in S.F. since playing one of its very first shows here back in 2009, the crowd at Slim's last night was ready to go crazy.

  • Adam Lam
Tickets for the sold-out show were being scalped for hundreds of dollars. Not wanting to miss a single moment, everyone was eager to show up early: an hour after doors opened, there was still a line to get into the venue.

Soon enough, the main attraction was ready to take the stage, and the crowd was ready to erupt. Talking shit over the PA from backstage, they demanded that the crowd fuck up comedian/radio personality Steve Harvey if he was in the crowd (they hate him). The crowd responded with chants of "fuck Steve Harvey." 

Tyler the Creator - ADAM LAM
  • Adam Lam
  • Tyler the Creator
And when the instrumental to Hodgy Beats and Tyler the Creator's "Sandwiches" dropped, shit got real. Tyler came out in his (now) signature green ski mask and hoodie, and the crowd rapped along with his every lyric. By the time the chorus hit, Tyler and Hodgy were shouting, running, stage diving.

From there, the collective began to trickle out one by one. Left Brain appeared, and he and Hodgy ran through the tracks they've done as MellowHype. Then Domo Genesis came out and ran through the best tracks from his album, Rolling Papers. Then Mike G strolled by and dropped some of his laid-back raps as Taco ran around on stage, serving as his hype man. By the time Jasper came out to talk shit to the crowd, most of the crew had assembled on stage.

MellowHype - ADAM LAM
  • Adam Lam
  • MellowHype
Down in the front of the crowd, it looked like a war was being waged. Kids pushed back and forth as people emerged from the middle, dazed and sweat-drenched. And as they rapped along with seemingly every lyric, chants of "Swag" kept recurring between songs.

Meanwhile, up on stage, Left Brain was saying "fuck school," while Hodgy demanded blowjobs after the show from girls in the crowd. Tyler proclaimed that the "old white dudes" standing around in the back of the crowd fucking suck and that he's (literally) sick, and had just thrown up backstage. Jasper was flipping the crowd off, and Taco was randomly interjecting with chants of "Dipset."

  • Adam Lam
As all of this is happening, Tyler ran through all the tracks that have gained him so much attention over the last six months. Almost back to back, he performed "Bastard," "VCR," "Splatter," "Yonkers," and a moody, atmospheric, new track, "Fish," from his upcoming album Goblin.

Tyler's stage presence is undeniable. He has that natural charisma where he doesn't just get the crowd's attention, he controls it. The same dramatic demeanor that he exudes in videos comes out in his live performance. The entire crew has talent, no doubt. But watching them on stage, you can tell Tyler is Odd Future's heart and soul.

  • Adam Lam
After Tyler, Jasper and Taco performed the LOL-worthy "Tina," the crew paid Tribute to Earl Sweatshirt (who is god knows where) by leading a sing-along to "Earl," as everyone on stage shouted and hung from anything they could climb-up. As the show came to an end, Tyler gave us one more new track called "Bitch Suck Dick" (you get one guess what that's about), Mike G performed some new stuff, and then they told Steve Harvey to fuck off one last time before leaving the stage to the crowd chanting "Wolf Gang."

Many words have been exchanged between Odd Future and its critics about the quality of the group's stage show. Is it the most polished performance in the world? No. Are there lulls in their set? Sure. But considering how young the members of this crew are, and how quickly they've risen to fame, you have to cut them some slack. And maybe a tight show isn't what Odd Future is about.

  • Adam Lam
The magic of Odd Future onstage is watching the members bring their youthful, do-what-they-feel-like attitude to a large audience that identifies with the alternating angst and enthusiasm. Music aside, these guys are doing the same stupid, funny shit we all did as teenagers. They just have a much bigger following than any of us ever did. 

  • Adam Lam

Critic's Notebook

Tale of two crowds: Tyler wasn't exaggerating when he called out the old people in the back. It seemed like the crowd was harshly divided into two groups. Twenty-five and under in the front half of the crowd. Twenty-five and over in the back half.

Sea of lost shoes: Amidst all the stage diving, it seems like Odd Future members were losing shoes left and right. At one point, Hodgy began yelling that he needed his shoe back because he only brought one pair with him.


Fuck the soundman: The soundman at Slim's took a lot of verbal abuse from Odd Future last night, and rightfully so. The mic levels seemed messed up all night, and the over all sound quality was lacking.

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