Perhaps the biggest underground success story of the past year is that of Odd Future. In 12 short months, the California DIY rap posse has gone from being shunned by taste-makers like 2 Dope Boyz to sneering at those same critics with success after success: releases on XL and Fat Possum, and a VMA for Best New Artist. It’s fitting then that last night’s sold-out set at Terminal 5 featured a group of artists basking in its hard-earned glory—and delivering that joy to fans.
Most of the OF heavy hitters (Free Earl Sweatshirt!!) were present: Tyler, Mellowhype, Domo Genesis, even Syd Tha Kid, the more introverted member of the crew who just so happens to be a sick DJ. Regardless of the original artists, the entire group collaborated on the songs, punctuating the bloated, booming beats with shouts, “SWAG!”s and spitfire verses.
True to their reputation for being goofy pranksters, the group members got into some antics that probably gave venue security a few collective wrinkles: crowd-diving from the second-floor banisters, throwing their provided bottled water to thirsty fans, instructing the audience to “spark one up” before each Domo song.
Ultimately, it added to the fun, frenetic feel of the affair. The audience (comprised largely of rowdy teenage boys between the ages of 15 and 19) faithfully chanted the words to “Sandwitches” and “Orange Juice,” though by far the biggest response was to “Yonkers”—a song that Tyler admitted was getting a little boring for the group to perform. You wouldn’t have been able to tell that from the performance, however; Tyler’s delivery was that perfect mix of steely insanity and acid-tinged wit. Meanwhile, the other members of Odd Future rushed around the stage as if chased by a blowtorch.
There was, however, a notable lack of the mosh-pit-brewing, pulsating energy that Odd Future gigs are known for, save for a few mild waves. Luckily, the group brought plenty of its own punk chaos, jumping into the audience frequently and repeating its Tumblr-famous mantras: “Kill People, Burn Shit, Fuck School” and “Fuck Steve Harvey.” It was, in other words, business as usual for the rap crew—swagged-out to the fullest.