Brockhampton

2/11/2020 12:08 AM

Brockhampton: Coca-Cola Coliseum (11/29)

Tour:

Brockhampton

rating:

set time:

8:48 pm

opener:

Slowthai

Hip-Hop/Rap

By:

Jared Marshall

It’s hard to truly understand Brockhampton’s boyband aesthetic until you’ve seen it played out live. There is a certain over the top theatre pop performance for what is at times essentially hardcore blog rap, at others sometimes off key vocal pop ballads. Still, Brockhampton’s leading troupe of Bearface, Matt Champion, Merlin, Don McLennon, Joba, and their architect, Kevin Abstract who make up the vocal songwriting component of the group’s comprised 15 members use choreography, costume changes, tonnes of smoke machines and lasers to recall a concert more informed by N’Sync than N.W.A.

Adding to the show’s peculiar nature was Jesus, as the group strutted across the stage of the Coca-Cola Coliseum underneath strobing crosses. Religious rebirth is a reoccurring theme on Ginger, it only makes sense it would spill out into their live show. But this wasn’t the sleepy Sunday morning mass you got suckered into by your grandparents when you were a kid. The boys brought a battery charged performance, much to the pleasure of Toronto fans who missed the “i’ll be there” tour due to a labour dispute.

The show opened with an acoustic rendition of “Stay” by Rihanna— a perplexing move, but textbook Brockhampton antics— before segueing into “St. Percy”. From there it dialed up to 100. The group undoubtedly holds a brother-like synergy on stage Merlin and Don McLennon stirring up a lot of the fun. JOBA impressed in particular, whether it be his angelically sung passages on “Boy Bye” or his Eminem-esque flow on “Zipper”. His jagged edged flow and clarity on the mic that made him the group’s secret weapon and translates strongly on stage.

It is difficult to find someone over the age of 25 who doesn’t work here and the coliseum has little choice but to aggressively control the merchandise line which seemed to begin and end on nearby sides of the arena. An impressive setlist from the group’s large output of albums was compiled with early hits like “Gold,” “Boogie,” and “Bleach” receiving theatrical on stage reinventions. 

And if there’s one thing Brockhampton knows how to do, it’s rile up a crowd. Before an explosive performance of “Queer,” Kevin Abstract began to ask if members of the audience wanted to come on stage. Lo and behold, they let close to 15 audience members and even invited opener Slowthai back on stage before engaging in a full-on dance party. It’s choices like this that show Brockhampton’s appreciation for their audience goes above and beyond many of their contemporaries. 

There was no encore per se, but there was a fake-out. After a heartfelt performance of “No Halo” and a bow, Abstract asks the crowd “You guys wanna hear a song called ‘Sweet’?” to which several fans in the middle of leaving the auditorium darted back to the crowd at this announcement followed by the playfully moody posse cut.

It was a solid performance from America’s hardest working boyband and while I was not as awestruck as I was from the countless amount of live footage on the internet of Saturation-era performances, I continue to be impressed by Brockhampton’s coordination as a group and their ability to connect with their audience. As their popularity grows, I’ll be interested to see how these elements continue to adapt. 

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padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5gpNOtnqrA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none;" target="_blank">A post shared by BROCKHAMPTON (@brckhmptn)</a> on <time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2019-12-01T00:41:29+00:00">Nov 30, 2019 at 4:41pm PST</time></p></div></blockquote><script async src="//www.instagram.com/embed.js"></script>