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Tyler, the Creator entertains in vibrant “IGOR” tour stop


Before seeing Tyler, the Creator live on September 21 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, fans wondered how he could balance the tension between his new colorful persona and his old-school angsty character. Amazingly, he manages to do so with only a few bumps in the road, pleasing both old and new fans alike.

Tyler, the Creator’s evolution as an artist is undeniably unique in the hip-hop scene. The artist made a name for himself with a rebellious and offensive underground style specializing in insulting every group of people imaginable. His sarcastic, dead-pan delivery mixed with the occasionally moody and depressive verse resonated with many young people and shot him into cult stardom. 

However, with the release of his two latest albums, 2017’s “Flowerboy” and 2019’s “IGOR,” Tyler has rebranded himself as a more experimental and sensitive artist. This is reflected in him placing more emphasis on his experimental production than his rapping in both recent albums, especially his latest release, “IGOR.” 

On the IGOR tour, Tyler appears wearing a blond wig and a powder blue suit. Tyler fans are familiar with this get-up, as it is the exact outfit he wears in the music videos for “EARFQUAKE” and “A BOY IS A GUN.” His stage presence was similarly outlandish, kicking off the concert by standing still and staring into the crowd while the beat for “IGOR’S THEME” built around him. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Cameron ’20.

After his surreal entrance, Tyler broke into erratic and uncontrollable flailing, which successfully engaged and excited the crowd. Tyler’s performance was fully unique and energetic, and the production was impressively bright and varied, with “Who Dat Boy” being the highlight in both areas. The track was accompanied by pyrotechnics and explosions that shook the venue while the bass slowly pulsed through my entire body. Unfortunately, many other songs lacked the impact and volume of “Who Dat Boy.”

In fact, many songs left some to be desired. Tyler’s performance was consistently interesting and fun, but it became difficult to fully engage with him due to the unimpressive volume that the venue provided. This unfortunate detriment is a ball and chain that prevents the performance from reaching a full sprint; the crowd was left with a longing for what could have been if the volume had been increased in the venue. 

Despite this one downside, Tyler’s consistently entertaining and vibrant performance along with the varied production and set design made the experience worthwhile.

Feature Image: Courtesy of Maddie Chelak ’23.

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Tyler, the Creator entertains in vibrant “IGOR” tour stop