Tyler, the Creator Claridge Homes Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 9

Tyler, the Creator Claridge Homes Stage, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa ON, July 9
Photo: Kamara Morozuk
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This year's Bluesfest saw organizers bring in an unusually high ratio of underground hip-hop acts (including Action Bronson, Childish Gambino and Danny Brown), escorting in a whole new demographic of fans to this all-embracing festival. But the most anticipated act of the lot may have been Odd Future leader Tyler, the Creator. Drawing a colossal crowd to the ground's co-headlining stage, OF member Taco Bennett opened the show with a 10-minute DJ set before Tyler and hype man Jasper Dolphin took the stage. Greeting the crowd with a smarmy, "What's up assholes?" while mocking the crowd's aggro cheers, those in attendance seemed either unaffected or oblivious, as waves of teenage partygoers wildly jumped along to tracks like "Jamba," "Bitch Suck Dick," "Domo23" and "Yonkers."

Amused by a foot-long plastic alligator that was thrown onstage, Tyler used the toy to crack jokes and bond with the audience. Taking this as a cue, the fervent crowd began throwing item after item onto the stage; many (like a bra, disposable camera and even a full pack of uncooked bacon) immediately became comedic fodder for Tyler. As people began to surge forward towards the gate, security brought out a hose to cool the packed-in crowd, compelling Tyler to grab the hose and give Jasper, Taco, the audience and security a shower. In just 50 minutes, Tyler, the Creator managed to deliver one of the most entertaining, resourceful and straight-up charismatic performances in the festival's history.