Right now it’s September 11, 2012 at around 11 p.m. in Cleveland and tonight I have already got back to my computer after an Odd Future show at The House of Blues with sufficient time to reflect on what just happened. In an effort to mirror the structure of the show, I’m going to throw out a few ideas on just what an OF show is like these days and see how it goes:
- In a span of two years the average age of the audience has dropped significantly. Several moms throughout the crowd were spotted nervously watching their sub-middle-school age kids as they screamed “SHUT UP BITCH, SUCK MY DICK” like they weren’t completely appalled by what they were seeing.
- Earl is back, but sadly not in attendance for the group’s biggest tour to date. He has the group’s sharpest tongue and strongest catalogue of appearances, but is still sitting on the sidelines for the live end of things. Fingers crossed this means more material from him in the near future.
- Odd Future shows don’t have an opening act. You show up three hours early if you want to get close or you hang out in the back and watch all the madness go down. The show starts promptly at 9 and is wrapped up by 10:30, a remarkably early end for any concert.
- Domo and Hodgy have made leaps and bounds in the past year, both having two of the strongest entries in the OF catalogue (No Idols and Untitled EP), but sadly get reception from the crowd that comes off as just an intermission between Tyler songs, who spends his time on a scooter riding around in the back.
- The heavy hitters from the earlier releases still set a crowd on fire. “French”, “Transylvania”, and “Tron Cat” will all start riots in any crowd.
- Their live shows have become more polished. This isn’t to say there isn’t a subtle feeling they aren’t making things up as they go, they have just gotten much better at it. After three years of consistent touring, a method to all the madness beings to slowly emerge.
- Sadly, the feelings of complete mayhem have subsided some. All out riots from front to back of the venue have calmed to a lot of jumping and some pushing here and there. Maybe the hype has died down, maybe I was standing in a bad spot, or maybe it was the Cleveland crowd. One thing is for sure, though, and that’s going to a show after a long day of work with the intentions of tossing crowd surfers and throwing ‘bows only to get a little bit of jumping is underwhelming to say the least.
So, what does this all add up to? Actually a pretty good show. Nothing extraordinary like their early tours that garnered such a huge response, but nothing to actually get angry about. You will still scream “bitch!” more in one night that any sane human being ever should. You will still bug out and push people around when “Rella” comes on in ways you’d be completely embarrassed to act in front of any of your extended family.
You will still feel kind of disoriented as you get back into normal life after the show. You will still have a weird respect for the crew of misfit skaters from LA, who in spite of wherever their fame takes them in years to come, remain as Odd Future as ever. That “fuck everyone else” attitude is part of what made them so intriguing in the first place, and with that still completely intact, can you really get that mad?
(The below video features live footage from OFWGKTA’s recent Baltimore show.)