Review: Tyler, The Creator brings the colorful world of ‘Flower Boy’ to Eugene
Los Angeles-based rapper Tyler, the Creator brought the brash sounds and beautiful colors of his “Flower Boy” tour, along with Odd Future tag-alongs Taco and Jasper, to McDonald Theatre on Saturday night.
Tyler released his highly successful album “Flower Boy” in July and started the tour in promotion of the record in late October. His stop in Eugene took place just a week after his annual Camp Flog Gnaw music festival. But despite speculation towards a special, unannounced guest, the Flower Boy was generally unaided at his show in Eugene.
The McDonald Theatre’s stage was simply decorated. Embedded in a plethora of lighting fixtures, a lone, metal-framed cube sat in the middle of the stage that Tyler would occasionally lean on or sit in. With fog gushing from under the cube in striking lighting, Tyler’s approach to stage design is reflected in his latest album’s colorful aesthetic.
Most Odd Future fans knew what to expect for a concert opener. Taco kept the crowded ballroom full of energy with his contemporary DJ set that included songs like “Solo (Reprise),” “Paper Planes,” “Pursuit of Happiness” and “All Of The Lights” in closing.
Once Taco finished up his set, and after about 15 minutes of King Krule’s “The Ooz” playing through the PA System, Tyler emerged from the uncurtained metal cube bearing a white Golf Wang t-shirt, quirky, patterned green pants and a green baseball cap.
He began his performance with “Where This Flower Blooms,” fixing the atmosphere of the venue to better match the vibe of his last album. Most of the songs Tyler, the Creator performed were from the album — but he did find some time to throw it back to previous works.
Over the next hour and 20 minutes or so, Tyler bounced around the tracklist of “Flower Boy” while taking the occasional deeper dive. “Forward,” “Boredom,” “911 / Mr. Lonely,” “Who Dat Boy,” “Glitter” and “See You Again” were some of the tracks performed off the latest album. But fans cheered just as loud for throwbacks like “IFHY,” “She,” “48” and “Tamale.”
Throughout the night, Tyler continued to entertain the crowd with his boisterous attitude that’s tastefully laden with shy-boy body language and a poignant bravado. He often would lean on the framing of the cube while rapping to give off a vulnerable look. For the second half of “911 / Mr. Lonely,” he sat in a naive criss-cross alone in the center of the cube rapping his verse, presumably to further his shy-boy image.
Perhaps the underlying piece that tied the production together was the myriad of bright, striking lights that illuminated the hall. Bright oranges, powerful reds and stunning purples filled the room, making the atmosphere heavily reminiscent of the cover of “Flower Boy.” The way the lights reflected off Tyler’s white shirt made the performer glow even more so than he naturally does.
Of course, Tyler had some original thoughts to share between songs, and this time, Eugene was the topic of conversation. “Sup Eugene, Oregon? Eugene, Oregon sounds like the dirtiest nigga ever,” he said. “This city is so pretty, though, god damn. Y’all got trees and shit. I’m from L.A., y’all have real white people here… Are there any black people in the audience?”
And after investigating, he wasn’t very impressed by the city’s diversity.
Tyler closed with “Glitter,” thanked the crowd, blessed his lungs, took off his shirt and threw it into the crowd. Tyler then walked off the stage calmly to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” — his Eugene stop was a great success.
See photos from the show below:
Follow Jordan on Twitter @montero_jor.