Review: Odd Future @ First Avenue

The 10-member rap collective came with plenty of stage dives, middle fingers and awkward set banter.

Review: Odd Future @ First Avenue

by Raghav Mehta


Tyler, the Creator canâÄôt stop saying b**tch. Of course, this is nothing new. Over the past year, the ever-profane Odd Future ringleader and his rap cohorts have built a name for themselves as one of the most lyrically polarizing crews in pop music. But IâÄôll stop right there and get to the important stuff. At this point thereâÄôs been so much ink and angst spilt over the 10-member rap collective that itâÄôd be an utter disservice for me to wax intellectual about the merits of the group. 

Wherever you stand on the Odd Future fandom spectrum, one thingâÄôs for certain: these kids donâÄôt put on any ordinary rap show. And last nightâÄôs performance at First Avenue was as good of an example as any other. Opening with MellowhypeâÄôs âÄú64âÄù the west coast rabble rousers pulled no punches as they launched into their set with all the essential ingredients âÄì countless stage dives, gratuitous profanity, hostile stage banter and, strangely enough, borderline lethargic mosh pits. 

âÄúYou guys are hype as f**k,âÄù announced Tyler, the Creator to a packed First Avenue floor. 

However, last night was light on Tyler material, with the group opting for cuts that drew from various areas of the voluminous Wolf Gang catalog. But that didnâÄôt necessarily take away from the show. From Domo GenesisâÄô âÄúRolling PapersâÄù to MellowhypeâÄôs âÄúF***k the PoliceâÄù (arguably OFâÄôs best track), there was plenty of mindless rage and energy to go around. Of course, there was no moment more cathartic than when Tyler, under a flood of red light, sat at the dead center of the stage as âÄúYonkersâÄù commenced with the entire crowd shrieking every line in unison. IâÄôve been to a few rock âÄònâÄô roll shows in my day but the level of energy Odd Future generates is unparalleled; each line is packed with just the right level of ferocity and spontaneity. Performance wise the group has more in common with American hardcore than any sort of rowdy hip-hop clan. As for the lazy Wu-Tang comparisons? Really the only thing the two share is that they are a large group of black men (with the exception of their DJ Syd).

But there was something a little unnerving about last nightâÄôs all ages show. The crowd was disarmingly young and I couldnâÄôt help but feel sorry for the various momâÄôs and dadâÄôs waddling around in the back trying to decide if what they were witnessing was a rap concert or some sort of annual gathering of teenage Satanists. Also, watching a seemingly drunken (and obviously underage) teenage girl gleefully moshing was enough convince me that I should maybe just hang out in the back. Finally, as the Star TribuneâÄôs Chris Rimenschneider noted, the crowd was uniquely dumb. At one point an audience member even launched a set of keys up onto the stage (if that guy didnâÄôt feel like an idiot for the rest of the show then thereâÄôs no hope for America). 

So aside from some awkward stage banter and sporadic stupidity, Odd Future delivered everything one would expect. And as the group closed out with a powerhouse rendition of âÄúRadicals,âÄù I glanced over at an older attendee (possibly someoneâÄôs dad) looking on disapprovingly. And just as the song ended, just as I expected him to walk out in a fit of paternal disgust, I see him laughing and applauding.

âÄúWait, so this didnâÄôt offend you?âÄù I asked.

âÄúDid it offend me? Not at all. The lyrics were pretty nasty but these guys just look like kids. WhatâÄôs the use in getting offended?âÄù  


64 (Mellowhype)/Dracula (Tyler)/Rolling Papers (Domo & Tyler)/Made It Look Good (Mike G)/I Got A Gun (MellowHype)/Tron Cat (Tyler)/TangGolf (Domo & Hodgy)/Everything That’s Yours (Mike G)/Splatter (Tyler)/Orange Juice (EarlWolf)/Turnt Down (Hodgy Beats)/Domier (Domo)/Timeless (Mike G)/French! (Tyler & Hodgy)/Yonkers (Tyler)/Under The Influence (Domo)/Loaded (MellowHype & Mike G)

Whole City Behind Us (Domo & Tyler)/Burger (Tyler & Hodgy)/Up (Domo & Hodgy)/Sandwitches (Tyler & Hodgy) Fuck The Police (MellowHype & Tyler)/Bitch Suck Dick (Tyler & Jasper)/Cool (Earl & Mike G)/Steam Roller (Domo)/ Radicals (Tyler)/ Earl (Outro)