A$AP Rocky + Tyler, the Creator: Concert Review: 9/22
I've been to a lot of concerts in my life. The number pushes thirty. I've seen over a hundred bands and artists perform live, performances ranging from backyard shows to some of the most popular stages in the world. From gangster rap to heavy metal, I've seen and studied every live performance of various genres. And two nights ago, I had the pleasure of witnessing one of the best performances I have ever seen, front row at Madison Square Garden.
Line up: Vince Staples, Danny Brown, Tyler, the Creator, and the whole A$AP mob.
I have seen Tyler, the Creator perform two years ago at Festival Pier in one of my childhood homes, Philadelphia. It was an incredible show and I was so excited to see him perform again. However, I was not prepared for how insane this concert would be. I bought tickets the second they came out, general admission at Madison Square Garden. My two friends and I arrived an hour before doors opened – because we were subscribers of Tyler's app, we had early entry. We crammed up against the stage. As Vince came out and the crowd moved as a wave, I began to think "Hey maybe this is a bad idea. Shit's going to get crazy." But I pushed the idea to the back of my mind and sang my heart out to "Blue Suede." His set was dope, however, he paused in between songs to talk, and no one could understand a word that he was saying. The conversations he had with his DJ seemsed interesting though!
After Vince's short set, Danny Brown came out. Now, if you know Danny Brown you know he is absolutely insane. Fur coat, wild hair, and his heavy mix of electronic and rap – the crowd was as wild as he was. He opened with "Side B (Dope Song)," one of my favorite jams. The crowd was ten times as insane as they were for Vince's set. Danny's performance was flawless though. He was engaging with the audience – anything he threw the crowd, we through right back. An amazing intro to Tyler.
Tyler came on shortly after, in a huge yellow fur coat with Taco behind him at the DJ booth and Jasper by his side. His stage looked like an enlarged version of a child's room. Big alphabet blocks with large stuffed animals and toy boxes flanked him on either side. And, as expected, the crowd turned into a "Deathcamp," (see that's funny because that's the song Tyler opened with.) Halfway through his set, I had to leave the pit and move side stage. The view, surprisingly, was better and so was the sound quality. The performance was spectacular. Tyler performed with the passion and fervor he's known for. It was actually an emotional experience. Seeing him now, two years later, he seemed (if possible,) more mature as an artist with a more cohesive set and performance. He will always be one of my favorite artists – not just singer/performer.
AND FINALLY. A$AP Rocky. A$AP Rocky has been one of my favorite artists (and biggest celebrity crushes/inspirations) for years. I went wild when not only he came out, but all of the A$AP Mob. An elaborate stage setup with lifts and scaffolding – they were stages with more stages stacked on top sitting at various heights. It was a transcedental experience. The love the Mob has for their fans showed so clearly, and the loyalty the fans have for the mob was returned. Each song was performed flawlessly. With raining dollar bills and confetti, a guest appearance from Vince Staples, flashing lights and fog machines, this was one of the greatest moments of my life. Songs from his new album, AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP. and some older tracks flowed together seemlessly. The most notable? "L$D" (obviously,) "Multiply," "Hella Hoes," "Shabba," "Wild for the Night," and "M'$," amongst literally every single other song.
The concert overall was a "religious experience" as my roommate called it when she saw my face when I returned to my dorm. I knew all four of these artists were some of the best in the game, but I never realized how cohesively they could work together to put on one of the greatest hip hop/rap concerts I've ever seen. This concert, A$AP Rocky & the Mob specifically, really confirmed that I am working in the right industry. I look forward to working with artists like these in the future.