It’s fair to categorize Tyler, the Creator as an indelible legacy artist in the rap music industry these days. After the multi-hypenate initially became famous with his former Los Angeles-based underground rap supergroup Odd Future in the late 2000s, he’s released six solo albums since 2011, and steadily risen to pop stardom. He may just be The Only Brand That Matters in hip-hop.
That was evident from the diverse, sold-out crowd of high school kids, college students, and fans aged 40-plus alike on the opening night of Tyler’s electrifying “Call Me If You Get Lost Tour.” Much of the crowd at Footprint Center in Phoenix on Tuesday night (February 8th) was also sporting his Golf Wang apparel, which he refuses to call “merchandise.”
After performances from the three opening acts — Teezo Touchdown, Tyler’s fellow SoCal MC Vince Staples, and Latina soul singer Kali Uchis — Tyler’s one-hour, 15-minute performance was a wonderfully odd intersection of the pageantry of 1980s TV magazine Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (which profiled wealthy one-percenters), Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, and the spastic rage of a hardcore punk show.
Tyler rose up from under the floor, standing through the roof of his 1930s Rolls-Royce Wraith, before jumping onstage for his tracks “SIR BAUDELAIRE,” “CORSO” and “LEMONHEAD” while he rapped and headbanged until his eyes visibly rolled to the back of his head. Dressed in a white, furry Russian ushanka cap, printed button-down shirt, tassled penny loafers and white socks, Tyler spent the night captivating his crowd amid a Broadway play-esque house and snowy forest backdrops.
— DANA (@iam_DanaScott) February 9, 2022
At one point, Tyler asked the audience, “I went to Baskin-Robbins earlier, and a crackhead tried to break in — and they were open! Is meth the drug of choice here?!” The crowd laughed as if they were at a stand-up comedy show, giving rap’s merry prankster the attention he deserved.
Elsewhere, Tyler ran through CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST album cuts, treating fans to the gritty DJ Drama-assisted “LUMBERJACK” and the witty storytelling of “MASSA.” Soon, he was standing atop a dark cigarette boat that slowly floated through the parted crowd as he performed the single “WUSYANAME.”
The crowd screamed relentlessly, and at times, Tyler screamed back. “You can come over here too, you know, dorks!” he yelled fondly, inviting fans to have fun with him in the pit before launching into R&B-style singalongs from his 2017 album Flower Boy.
Eventually, Tyler broke into early career solo tracks “She,” “Yonkers,” “Bimmer” and “Tamale,” while moshpits ensued. “Even if you say, ‘This is the worst show I’ve been to,’ I appreciate that,” Tyler said. “Because a lot of you know where I fucking started.”
As the evening wound down, Tyler moved back to the stage on his boat. The climactic song “Who Dat Boy” involved fireballs, sending the crowd further into a frenzy. Then it was time for danceable IGOR album hits “EARFQUAKE” and “I THINK,” the dissonant “NEW MAGIC WAND,” and finally, show closer “RUNITUP.”
When it was all over, Tyler picked up his two briefcases and exited the house prop’s door. His job of helping his fans navigate toward his eccentric, audible paradise, was done.
Tyler next hits San Diego on Thursday (February 10th). Tickets for that date, and for the rest of the tour, are available via Ticketmaster.
See You Again
I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE
Who Dat Boy
NEW MAGIC WAND