Tyler The Creator | photo by Koof Ibi Umoren for WXPN
Tyler The Creator and Vince Staples go big, introspectively, at the Liacouras Center
Vince Staples and Tyler, The Creator are showing serious growth from the now-disbanded Odd Future crew. With more attention spent on interactive stage settings at the Liacouras Center last week, each artist was able to deliver a more introspective set then we’ve seen from them in the past.
Following a huge collaboration with Kendrick Lamar for the Black Panther soundtrack, Vince Staples was in command of the stage. Silhoutted by an automated LED/Video screen wall and engulfed in a healthy amount of fog, Staples’ black on black ‘military’ outfit made him almost disappear center stage at times. This kind of stage craft allowed the messages of his most recent album, Big Fish Theory, to shine.
A countdown from 7:45 started the show, alluding to the song of the same title, with the old school Odd Future fan revealing themselves at 4:20. After an energetic first few songs including album hits “BagBak” and “Rain Come Down,” Staples switched to a stationary mic stand on the side of the stage while the video of Amy Winehouse accompanied her sampled audio from “Alyssa Interlude.” The middle of the set was comprised of the artist’s older material like “Blue Suede” from Hell Can Wait and “Smile” from Prima Donna. The crowd jumped right back into party mode when the booming bass of “Yeah Right” shook the whole stadium.
With an extended intro to “Where This Flower Blooms” setting the stage for Tyler’s set — and the reveal of his stage plot, which looked like it was lifted from a children’s storybook — Tyler the Creator appeared standing on tree stump with a neon crossing guard outfit which he personalized to read “Child of GoLF.” His baseball cap stayed on through a verse and a chorus before being flung of to reveal his leopard print hair cut at the line:
“Tell these black kids they could be who they are
Dye your hair blue, shit, I’ll do it too”
Many of the introductions to Tyler’s songs were extended to match the cinematic scene on stage. It was a intense experience seeing Tyler deep backstage for the intro of “Mr. Lonely,” while the the audience was feel into chanting “I can’t even lie, I’ve been lonely as f*ck,” for longer than they were used to on the record. The crowd was rewarded for this by being able to scream out Frank Ocean’s verse on 2011’s “She,” which slowed things down for the subversive love song “IFHY.”
Tyler took a second to connect with the Philadelphia crowd by telling the story of this manager, Clancy, a Philly native whose life dream was to see the Eagles win a Super Bowl. Met with chants for Nick Foles, Tyler, caught off guard, proceeded to ask “What are you saying? Who is that? Who is Nick? OK! Screaming Nick is important to you, so… Big D*ck Nick”
As the set reached its finale, the energy spiked for “Tamale,” and “I Ain’t Got Time!” which showcased Tyler’s exciting production skills and great sample choices. Check out a gallery of photos from the concert below.