Exclaim!

Tyler, the Creator

Opera House, Toronto, ON, March 22

Tyler, the Creator
7
Outside the Opera House, discarded blankets and keychain flasks littered the ground. Tyler, the Creator's tour bus was covered in dust and the Twitter handles of hundreds of hopeful fans. A girl was denied entry because, in desperation, she'd bought a scalped ticket from someone who'd already been kicked out of the venue for being drunk, and thus, whose ticket had already been scanned.

Inside, a writhing, churning all-ages crowd was so infatuated with Tyler, the Creator and the rest of the Odd Future crew's music that they're pogoing and crowd-surfing to Taco Bennett's DJ set, which includes Drake, Schoolboy Q, Chief Keef, Waka Flocka Flame, and a smattering of OF tunes, before Tyler's even taken the stage.

When Tyler sprints out with OF compatriot Jasper for a wild rendition of "French!" the crowd erupts. "What's up motherfuckers?!" he asks, and is greeted by a thousand gleeful middle fingers.

The dynamic between him and his fans is a wonderfully complex one — he's calling them "assholes" one moment, and wearing a fan's glasses for a song and then returning them the next — but when he plays his songs, it's simple: he raps, they scream every single word along with him.

Tyler played songs from across his catalogue, including "Tron Cat," VCR," "Orange Juice," and his his verses from posse cut "Oldie," but it was "Yonkers," whose first four bars were all shouted by the crowd with no aid from Tyler, and new single "Domo23" that provided the highlights.

A handful of new tunes from his forthcoming third solo album Wolf mid-set pleased fans despite the OF frontman thinking it "awkward" that the crowd slowed down their moshing in order to actually hear the new songs. So it was that by the end of the set, despite Tyler's voice being almost gone and his having to take a hit from his asthma inhaler, he implored the audience to gather up all the energy they had left for his final song.

UPDATE: Tyler played "Sandwitches" last. Please see the comments.

And really, there's no more appropriate ending than "Radicals," OF's complex manifesto tune that, in the chorus, screams "Kill People, Burn Shit, Fuck School!" while in the verses, reminds you that it's all a bit of fun, and that now and then, everybody needs a release.
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