Review: OFWGKTA, Hi-Fi Bar, Feb 1

Odd Future have gone from hyped to hated in the past 12 months. Plenty of people call them overrated and unworthy of the media hysteria surrounding them, but in the end you have to question whether these people are really hip-hop fans. The trouble with hype is that it prevents credit being given where credit is due once the furore dies down. OFWGKTA are just one casualty of this reality – the freshness they’ve brought to hip-hop is undeniable and should be praised. After all, it’s good to be excited about music.

Despite the canning they’ve copped in the lead up to this Australian tour, the show at the Hi-Fi did sell out. They probably could have sold out the Palace if the gig hadn’t been moved, but personally I was pleased to be seeing them in a much more intimate setting. The bandroom was full by 8pm, even though there was no support and the guys weren’t due on stage til 10pm. Chants of “Wolf Gang” and “Golf Wang” sparked up every 20 minutes or so, with the guys teasing the crowd running on and off stage before actually coming on. By the second track there were already people crowd surfing.

Though the first couple of songs took off and Hodgy Beats and Tyler’s imp-like dancing around the stage was full of copious energy, the first part of the show tended to lag. Some of this was down to Mike G, who just walked around the stage slowly – I’m not sure if he was feeling lethargic or was stoned, or both. The turning point was ‘Yonkers’, when the crowd fully got into it and was able to keep up the vitality for the rest of the show. In fact, the best songs were definitely from Tyler’s last album Goblin, as it is obviously the album with which most people are familiar. Even so, Domo Genesis got a lot of cheers when he performed some stuff from his Under the Influence mixtape.

Syd tha Kid (sic) is easily the coolest girl in hip-hop, not to mention one of the best DJs – the crowd even stopped the show at one stage to chant her name. Throughout the set the guys called out “Free Earl” and commented on his absence, with Syd even saying “That shit ain’t made up” (Earl has reportedly been shipped off to Samoa by his mother and prevented from releasing or creating any more music with the group).

It’s fair to say that Tyler and Hodgy Beats stole the show. Tyler in the ‘gay cats’ t-shirt he designed really is larger than life. When he opened his eyes as wide as possible it was kind of eerie – reminiscent of his blacked out eyes in the ‘Yonkers’ film clip, it really made him seem like the creature he paints himself as. Crowd abuse wasn’t as prominent as at some of their shows, but when one guy kept yelling out “Bitch suck dick”, Tyler eventually said that if he continued he was going to come into the crowd and get him. When he performed ‘Sandwitches’, both the Odd Future guys and the crowd went nuts. Tyler didn’t just crowd surf – he launched himself into the crowd with a half-barrel roll. Jaws dropped, but thankfully he wasn’t.

Hodgy’s ‘Nigga’ hat was stolen when he got into the crowd too, but he didn’t seem too fazed, even though he mentioned it’s virtually the only one of its kind. He even offered to sign it if the person came to the front of the stage. But seeing as a fight had broken out amongst those in the middle over it, it seems someone grabbed it and shoved it down their pants never to be seen again. They will never be able to wear that hat in public.

Finishing with ‘Radicals’, the crowd turned into a mosh pit like you’d find at a metal show. Surely proving to be one of the most cathartic experiences of their lives, the crowd grew louder and angrier, yelling “Kill people! Burn shit! Fuck school!” before being sent out into the night with no encore. Haters gonna hate, but I get the feeling we’re going to see some amazing things from OFWGKTA in the future.

Photo: Aleks Kostadinoski

Published 02 February 2012 on Everguide.com.au

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