[SXSW 2011] Watch: OFWGKTA at 'Mess With Texas'
For the hype surrounding Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and their leader Tyler, The Creator they were never short of a crowd at SXSW in Austin, Texas last week. They even left after just 3 songs at their showcase with Billboard. However for the free event at Mess With Texas was a buzz as fans flocked to the sweaty indoor stage and with just 10 minutes left before the group were to hit the stage the announcement came that it had been moved to the outside stage and madness ensued as fans and people eager to see them meet the hype flocked to the other stage. On arrival to the stage signs with "Free Earl" weren't hard to spot and just a few minutes later Syd took to the stage to set up her headphones and beats.
Chants of "swag" reigned dominant throughout the set but prior to any other members taking to the stage the atmosphere was intense and you could feel the anticipation in everyone around you and the crowd as a whole. Cue Tyler telling Syd to drop a beat to then have a rant at the soung guy telling him to make the "speakers bleed". He came to play and he wanted it on his terms. Hodgy started bouncing along the stage as the beat to "Swag Me Out" drops with Tyler, The Creator's voice being heard from backstage somewhere but he was still nowhere to be seen. The crowd suddenly surged as he took to his commanding point with a burst of energy like no other and bodies started flying all over the place. The vibe you get from these guys is that they don't give a fuck who they mess up they just came to party and they brought the party, hard!
Leading into Tyler's hugely acclaimed "Yonkers" the crowd screams back at him "I’m a fucking walking paradox" and from there on in the bodies kept on flying towards the stage doing anythign they could to get clsoer to OFWGKTA only to be thrown back onto the crowd by the band or security. At one poitn a girl was on stage dancing away which even stunned Tyler as he stopped and admired before the girl was of course, thrown back into the pile of sweaty, dust filled bodies that was the crowd.
Hodgy and Tyler spat and chugged their way through the track "French" at such a feirce angry tempo, and Tyler's voice was cutting through the mix like a chainsaw through a woodland forrest. So recognisable and unique it's his signature. The crowd constantly shouting back at them "CHECK MY FRENCH" before the song seemed to end before it had begun. Throughout the set DJ Syd was flipping off the entire crowd whilst bopping along to the bets she was spinning from her MacBook Pro.
If you were close enough you'd of spotted Lance Bangs of the Jackass crew filming the shennanigans and at one point he even partook in a stage dive which Tyler said he'd never done before. For a Jackass crew member I'm sure he's seen some crazy stuff in his time but what my eyes were seeing on stage was mesmorising. The feeling I got when watchign that Fallon show just months ago was of fear and a weird obsession with the charachters I saw on stage. Here I was 4000 miles away from home seeing the madness just feet away from me. I was frozen in the moment before I snapepd out of it as Tyler and Hodgy Beats climbed the scaffolding, which by this point in the week was no surprise if you'd witnessed the Thrasher Party show where Tyler broke a kids nose! Tyler launched his body from the speakers and into the crowd nd was supported and transported to the stage once more by the constant waves of bodies and arms moving forward like a good ol' tide.
The final song was "Kill People, Burn Shit, Fuck School" and Tyler introduced it as his favourite song to do live and with the reaction from the crowd it was easy to say way. The whole band at some point stage dived and from the videos after the jump you can see the shear amount of legs and flayling arms how intense and passionate they were. The entire show for me answered the doubters. If you still don't like these guys go check them out live, hate 'em if you want but you're missing a trip by not checking the, out at least once and risking getting your face broken by OFWGKTA. Myself and Rock escaped unscathed but with an added sense of wellbeing and energy which led us to roam the streets of Austin regularly shouting "SWAG" at passers by. Far from just an average night at SXSW and far from an average performance from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.
Tyler, The Creator's new album Goblin drops May 10th and rumour has it today that OFWGKTA are to appear on Beyonce's new album, yes you read that correctly, Jay-Z's wife is to work with Tyler, I hope he doens't start saying things he wants to do to her mouth like Selena Gomez. Odd Future have also just been announced to be playing Leeds & Reading Festival this August. For now we have a gauraunteed 5 months of Swag to come and I for one will welcome it if they don't break their necks trying to impress before!
Rocko: I'm still amazed on how crazy the OFWGKTA movement has grown within the year. They absolutely killed every SXSW showcase they performed or appeared at. I mean within the first song, shoes and drinks were flying into the crown and mosh pits and stage dives erupted, turning this into one of my most unforgetable shows I've ever seen. OFWGKTA bring the essence of early Wu Tang live shows mixed with the chaos and fun of most punk shows. If you have a chance to check them out, DO IT!