Tyler The Creator @ O2 Academy, Bristol, 15/05/2015

Tyler the Creator"It's crazy that people in a different continent know all the words to these songs, so thank you for that."

Something that's always been noticeable throughout Tyler The Creator's career is the awe and gratitude he expresses towards the support for his music and the collective he rose to prominence with, Odd Future. At the age of 24, and already one mixtape and three albums into his solo career, Tyler's clearly still coming to grips with the way his life is panning out. Denzel Washington recently told him at a party the two were attending he should embrace these changes wholeheartedly: "Stop acting like you don't belong here. You're supposed to be here. You worked hard to be here."

One place I'm certainly happy to see him appear is the O2 Academy in Bristol, as a part of the world tour for his latest album, Cherry Bomb. Upon entering the venue, a broad age range of attendees is apparent. Luckily the majority are young, so the bar is free from any queues. The stage is simply dressed with a Cherry Bomb banner and a Great British flag draped over a table with decks on it. As the lights lower, a sound engineer takes to the stage. He's met with rapturous applause that quickly dies down when everyone realises the show isn't actually starting and won't for another 20 minutes.

Several minutes behind schedule, Taco bursts out from behind a curtain to deliver a quick DJ set, including the likes of Drake and Migos. As is often customary with the way in which Tyler records his music, live shows are kept exclusively in-house, with Taco acting as the only support act. The sound cuts out, affording the sound engineer another go in the spotlight. However, by this point, the crowd have grown tired of his one act show. Taco resumes, helping to reach a certain level of hype before transitioning straight into Tyler's set with the satisfyingly irreverent "Bitch Suck Dick". The song is lead by a verse from Jasper, who also joins each of Tyler's shows as the hype man. During this song, I take a moment to look up at the balcony, where a 10 year old is perched with his Dad. Both seem happy, and I'm sure the experience made for great conversation around breakfast the following morning.

The introductions kick off with Tyler announcing, "So, how many black people are actually here?" He and Jasper eventually count 10, at which point they're happy to proceed, "Okay, we're good!" The set consists of a mix of songs from his three studio albums, Cherry Bomb, Wolf and Goblin; the old and familiar complimenting the new perfectly. The crowd sing every note of new single "Fucking Young". A few perhaps unexpected performances, including "Tron Cat" and Tyler and Jasper's verses from "Oldie", are met with similar adoration.

As "Tron Cat" ends with the line, "Drop the beat here to make it extra climactic," Jasper manages to violently throw up on stage, which is quickly dealt with in true Odd Future fashion by Tyler negotiating a price, settling on £80, for someone to eat the sick. Cue Gareth, a happy-go-lucky looking guy from Wales, who is gleefully helped over the barrier by a security guard before jumping up on stage and chowing down on what is probably his second dinner of the night. It doesn't even look like he thought it was the worst of the two either. Tyler asks, "Before you get off the stage, why did you do that?", to which Gareth replies, "I don't know." "Wow, everyone give it up for him!" is Tyler's final remark on the situation, those not retching give a confused applause.

The gig wraps up 15 minutes early, but the energy in the room's still high. No one looks ready to move on from what's been an incredibly packed hour and a half, bordering on insane at times, everyone undoubtedly thinking of Gareth and hoping he makes it through the night. Before leaving, Tyler re-emerges on the balcony and throws a pair of socks into the crowd, Jasper follows suit and throws his shirt, which is pounced on by 10 teenagers who rip it to shreds. Each gain a new, sweat stained trophy for Instagram. "Thanks Bristol, we'll see you again!" Again can't come soon enough.


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