Review: Tyler, The Creator brings an “EARFQUAKE” to the Armory

On the first stop of his “Igor” tour, Tyler, The Creator was unapologetically himself.

Morgan La Casse

Morgan La Casse

by Alex Strangman

From hypebeasts more concerned with getting their hands on coveted “Igor” merch to diehard Tyler, The Creator fans rocking clothes more reminiscent of the Odd Future days, it was plain to see that no one was there to see openers GoldLink or Jaden. The opening night of the “Igor” tour was dedicated to the Flower Boy: Tyler, The Creator.

The first opener, GoldLink, proved he is more than just his wavy 2017 hit “Crew” with a high energy set. Jaden came on stage next and had the crowd eating out of his hand with the help of an intricate light show. 

At the end of his set, Jaden took a moment to speak to the crowd. “This next song really explains what Tyler is to us,” he said. 

Suddenly, Jaden’s biggest song to date, “Icon,” in which he declares himself “an icon living,” began blasting through the speakers.

Clearly Jaden’s sentiment was shared by the crowd, because when the wig-clad “Igor” rapper slowly emerged from behind the metallic silver backdrop, the entire building shook under the weight of thousands of jumping fans.

What happened next was something only an artist like Tyler, The Creator is capable of pulling off. As the deep bass of “Igor’s Theme” flooded the Armory, Tyler stood still, eyeing up the crowd with a neutral expression on his face. 

Then, as if someone had flipped a switch, the rapper – dressed in a neon green suit paired with white Dr. Martens, a white wig and blue shades – began dancing around the stage in a manner that resembled Andy Warhol on speed. 

This juxtaposition of energies – absolute madness and pure serenity – was a theme throughout the show. 

At one point, Tyler performed “Yonkers” and had everyone in the venue on their feet, screaming lyrics about stabbing “Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus.” Then, mere moments later, the ever-talented emcee had the crowd gently swaying and quietly reciting lyrics about stalking a young woman as he performed “She.”

Tyler peppered in a few darker songs off “Goblin” between the more flowery songs of his most recent album, “Igor,” and his 2017 masterpiece, “Flower Boy.” The track list showcased the complete evolution of Tyler, The Creator’s sound. 

While his new music has diverged from older themes, Tyler’s set proved he is still the same blunt and uncensored artist fans love, mixing humor with profanity in his signature Tyler, The Creator style.

It wasn’t all jokes. At times Tyler let fans catch a glimpse of his sensitive side, confirming his ability to relate to his fans. With rain pitter-pattering on the backdrop, Tyler sat on an elevated stage and let loose on “IFHY,” a forlorn love song off his 2013 album “Wolf.” 

From a small army of fans dressed just like Tyler, to the performance of “Who Dat Boy,” when fireworks shot off during the initial bass drop, and everyone began yelling “Who dat boy? Who him is?,” Tyler effortlessly cemented himself as one of this generation’s greats.

As the “Igor” tour continues its way across North America, it’s safe to say the Flower Boy is in full bloom.