Brockhampton PNE Forum, Vancouver BC, November 5
Published Nov 06, 2018Brockhampton made their Vancouver arena debut in front of a packed crowd at the PNE Forum on Monday night. The hip-hop boy band burned through their most heated songs, including "Zipper," "Queer," "Gummy" and "Honey." The back-to-back sequence of "J'Ouvert" and "District" came as the hardest-hitting combo of the night. Yet the crowd was most hyped for "Sweet" and, of course, two of Brockhampton's most beloved fan favourites, "Gold" and "Star."
Brockhamptons are as well-known for their chaotic beats and fiery raps as they are for baring their emotions. The group did not slow the pace until they were seven songs in, with "Tonya." Disappointingly, Brockhampton did not bring instruments to this show. The piano that leads "Tonya" and the string section they have been featuring lately would have been treats to experience live.
As for downtempo, sentimental numbers, "Bleach" was the greatest highlight. The band members sat on an artificial slope while Matt Champion, birthday boy Merlyn Wood and Dom McLennon took turns stepping forward with the mic. With the house lights turned off and the arena illuminated by nothing but cell phones (per their request), the band led an a cappella sing-along on the song's chorus. Later, Brockhampton sang "San Marcos" while lying in the same spot. Fans joined in on that chorus, too, but without a prompt: "I want more out of life than this. I want more," everyone sang. It was the purest boy band pop moment of the night.
Brockhampton took a few breaks throughout their set, but they made the crowd work for the encore. The final delay was long enough that fans likely would have left even if it wasn't already late; those who could not wait any longer missed out on the frantic, alarming "Boogie."
In the past, Brockhampton's energy spilled off the stage. The members criss-crossed each other as they ran and leapt from one side of the stage to another. But their energy at the PNE was more focused. Their movements were at a relative minimum. And although Brockhampton were short a voice — at the end of last May, they kicked out Ameer Vann over sexual abuse allegations — their energy was still atomic.
It is fitting that Brockhampton have named their latest album Iridescence. They constantly change, whether they add nuances to their sound or tweak their live show. On every new release and tour, Brockhampton glow a few different colours.