Odd Future by Cecilia Majzoub
Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, well, all of OFWGKTA, have some pretty insane fans. Very dedicated, and insane. My best friend and I arrived hours early at the venue and the line was already a good portion of the way down the side alley.
After hours of waiting we headed inside and decided to head upstairs to the balcony seats. We didn’t really feel like getting killed at an Odd Future show. If you’re confused as to why I say this, please refer to Tyler’s Vine and see the madness that ensues at their shows. It’s not pretty if you’re not down for lunacy. I also wanted to get up there to take photographs of the massive and excited crowd, as well as the stage.
8pm finally struck and out comes Taco Bennett, DJing some songs to get the crowd pumped. Before the two whose show it actually was even came out, the Regency was going off. Everyone was pushing and shoving, it was crazy. We were both super glad we didn’t get into that. Neither of us was in the mood at all!
Around 8:30pm, Tyler and Earl finally came out. I thought it was insane before… good joke. With the combination of lights and the movement of the fans, it seriously looked like a massive storm hitting the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Soon small pits of people started to open, and then they would swallow back up. Then again. And again. And again. It happened all in different places of the Ballroom at different points of the night, over and over again.
Taco and Jasper Dolphin accompanied Tyler and Earl for some songs, and friend Lionel as well for his part in “We Got Bitches” (how charming, right?). They all had a ton of energy, which was super entertaining. They get the crowd hyped before you can even snap your fingers. People get so excited to see them partially for this reason. Some girl threw a bag of salt during one of Tyler’s lines in “Tamale”, and then Tyler continued to open it and pour it over his head. A couple of novelty gold chains were thrown from the crowd onto the stage, and then some kids sunglasses, then a bunch of other random items; anything to get their attention.
Towards the end of the show, Tyler threw his sweat-drenched t-shirt into the crowd. I can’t even imagine what it looks like now. Everyone within 5 feet of that thing lunged for it, many of them actually getting their hands on it. I’m sure it’s torn into about 10 pieces, at the very least. It’s amazing to see the amount of excitement, almost obsession that dedicated Odd Future fans have. It’s almost cult-like. It isn’t a bad thing, just very interesting.
I understand how OFWGKTA can be problematic, which is one reason why I have a hard time with them. I go on and off of liking them and then not liking them all the time, but I don’t think you can deny that each and every last one of them has talent, especially Tyler and Earl. They’re some of the most clever hip-hop artists of the newest generation and they’re only going to continue to grow. I’m excited to see where Odd Future will be in the years to come.
Tame Impala by Hannah Belden
I’ve seen Tame Impala twice now, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Kevin Parker, the lead guitarist and singer ( and songwriter / producer / genius ) of Tame Impala creates these AMAZING tunes. He can sometimes be brutally honest about feelings of isolation and loneliness, but every single song is beautiful and intricate.
Whenever I see them live, I lose myself in the smoky haze and their psychedelic music. The whole audience gets a glimpse into Kevin Parker’s mind, and it is wonderful.
MGMT by Cecilia Majzoub
MGMT is my absolute number one band, ever. Without them, I probably wouldn’t be as into music as I am today, and I probably wouldn’t have even decided to jump the gun and go to art school. Let’s just say I owe MGMT one hell of a lot.
If I get a chance to see them, I’ll try my best to. The closest they came to San Francisco on their college tour was Stanford. Luckily, I had a couple friends who were going and I was able to catch a ride with them. Still super thankful for that, because I would have had to get a train or something not as reliable and then with my luck I would have missed the train and cried for days (kind of but not really. But actually, totally).
We arrived at 9am as the show started at 3pm. There was a group of people there before us, and they’d driven all the way from Idaho! Stanford was the only show that hadn’t sold out and so they decided to make the trip. It’s always one of my favorite things to talk to other fans before and during shows, and it was interesting to talk to people from an entirely different state!
Doors opened at 2pm and we all walked in. Okay, more like hauled major butt by running our fastest but yeah let’s pretend we weren’t incredibly eager. (We actually kind of had to gallop to avoid falling flat on our faces so I’m sure that was really entertaining for everyone to watch.) Anyways, Frost Ampitheater was actually the most perfect setting. We were completely surrounded by trees, the sun was shining and the sky was bluer than blue. Sounds cliché but I’m actually not exaggerating at all. It was honestly more than anyone could ask for.
Kuroma and Delorean opened, which was a really great combo. Kuroma’s lead, Hank Sullivant, previously was in MGMT, pre Will Berman days. It’s nice to know that even at the popularity MGMT is at, they’re still close to their beginning roots. Delorean is a band from Spain. Both bands completely killed it! It’s rare to go to a show and enjoy the openers, but that definitely happened this time. Thankfully, because they were both so entertaining, it made the wait for MGMT completely painless.
When MGMT came on I seriously had to hold back some tears. I’m not even a big crier, but when it comes to them, or any music I love in general, I just tend to lose it. Andrew, Ben, James, Will, and Matt all piled out from backstage and greeted the crowd as Lady Dada’s Nightmare played in the background. The entire amphitheater was buzzing with excitement. The whole front row was really into it, which made the experience even better. I got separated from my friends when racing down the hill towards the barrier, and even though I was bummed I couldn’t experience it with them, I still had good vibes all around me. It was surprisingly just as fun!
They opened with a new song, Alien Days. One of the people backstage was flying a little remote control airplane overhead us which had a camera attached to it. It projected the view onto the screen behind them. Soon it became all glitchy and scratched out by other things; it was all very odd but very MGMT, which is a good thing of course.
It was quite appropriate for me to be seeing MGMT on May 18th. I was officially a college graduate, and I was seeing the band that shaped me; that was probably the most gratifying part about this day.
They played through hits like Electric Feel and Time To Pretend, weaving songs like Siberian Breaks, Flash Delirium, and Of Moons Birds and Monsters in between. It was kind of a perfect set list, as they added Your Life Is A Lie and Mystery Disease (?), two new and unreleased songs, in there as well. Ending with Congratulations and The Youth, it was just an impeccable set.
They jammed the entire way through it. You can certainly tell MGMT just absolutely love playing their instruments; that is my favorite part of their performances. I’d seen them 3 times previous and it’s still my favorite thing about them. They are so incredibly immersed in what they do. All five of them become completely entranced in the intricacies of their music. It honestly feels like they’ve weaved a beautifully complex web, layering pop on psychedelia, on this influence, on that influence, on whatever else. MGMT has created such a special sound of their own that couldn’t have been made by 5 other people. Even if you don’t like their music, I think you’d have to agree with that statement.