Tyler the Creator brought charismatic warmth to an otherwise frigid evening in Worcester

11/15/17 – The Worcester Palladium

Widely known as the leader of Odd Future (one of the decade’s most influential hip-hop collectives), Tyler the Creator’s first impression to the world consisted of controversy due to his profane lyrics, unorthodox visuals and disorderly conduct at concerts. But after a decade’s worth of evolution, Tyler’s artistic value comprises much more than that of a rebellious rapper. The Los Angeles-based artist recently brought his Flower Boy tour to The Palladium in Worcester and put on a show equally captivating in its charisma and musical merit.

With lines twisting around three different street corners on a frigid November evening, fans packed into the venue ready to experience Tyler’s contagious energy. Opening DJ Taco started the evening by playing a lively set of both current and throwback hip-hop hits, clearly tuned into the taste of his audience. Greeted by thunderous applause, Tyler the Creator then took to the stage dressed in all-orange attire with the inherent haze of the Palladium looming above.

A natural comedian, Tyler The Creator set the tone for the evening by cracking a few jokes about his current central Massachusetts location, “Where the f*ck am I? Am I in War-chest-er… how the hell do you pronounce this place?” Tyler’s lively sense of humor remained present throughout the entire one-hour set. The majority of the performance focused on Tyler’s well-received 2017 album Flower Boy, an open-hearted record which impressively balances the angst and tranquility of Tyler’s multifaceted personality. Reflective songs such as “See You Again” and “911/Mr. Lonely” incited sing-alongs while aggressive efforts like “Who Dat Boy” marked the rowdiness which Tyler trademarked early in his career.

Whether melancholy or animated, Tyler’s transitions in mood were executed with skill as his distinct, raspy vocals and adrenalized dancing ensured there were no dull moments. Tyler went on to perform several older songs (“IFHY”, “Deathcamp”) from past albums Cherry Bomb and Wolf. With a deep catalog consisting of varying styles and genres ranging from R&B to punk, Tyler never misstepped while showcasing his uncompromising versatility.

By thriving off the freedom of creative expression (in a vein similar to his influences such as Pharrell and Kanye West), Tyler the Creator’s progression gives credence to the fact that hip-hop has no bounds or limits. The Flower Boy tour is just the latest example of Tyler breathing colorful life into his renowned performances. There is beauty in a lack of structure, a comfort in Tyler’s sonic unpredictability yet reliability in emotion-evoking content. From not knowing where he was, to calling the Worcester show one of the best of the tour, Tyler the Creator proved that music birthed in Californian warmth can still blossom in the most unlikely of places.  

One Response

  1. Mary

    Sounds like an incredible show! There’s nothing quite like seeing an artist live, especially one as unpredictable, entertaining, and talented as Tyler the Creator. When they know how to control the energy of the room and excite the crowd, it makes for a concert well-wroth the ticket price. Thanks for your review!

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