There are many musicians who would abruptly end a concert in a huff if the audience kept throwing things at them. But when that happened to Odd Future halfway through its performance at the Town Ballroom on Sunday, the rap group - featuring core members Tyler the Creator, Domo Genesis, Mike G and Hodgy Beats - encouraged the crowd to keep doing it.
People threw everything from bras to gift certificates to driver's licenses, and the Odd Future gang delighted in rummaging through the stuff. When people threw dollar bills, the rappers dived across the stage for them. Someone passed Tyler a $50 bill, and he stared at it in disbelief and announced, "I don't need to tour anymore. This is so exciting!"
For these guys, Sunday's show was just another night of wild fun. Odd Future - officially called Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or OFWGKTA if you're good with difficult acronyms - is a collective of friends from Los Angeles, most of them barely out of their teens. They gradually built a cult following until last year, when Tyler, the 21-year-old unofficial leader, dropped his hit single "Yonkers" and second solo album "Goblin," elevating the entire group to the mainstream with him.
By now, the group could have been chewed up and spit out with too-much-too-soon Internet hype. But on the new albums and mixtapes they roll out every few months, they still sound like a bunch of fiercely talented kids playing off each other, not taking anything too seriously and loving every minute of it. As they showed Sunday night, their devilish spirit remains in full force.
The crowd was surging and densely packed long before the group came on, probably because most people there were too young to hang around the bar. "Bitches," the kick-off track from this year's group album "The OF Tape Vol. 2," also kicked off the concert. Domo Genesis stormed the stage with his opening verse, with Hodgy Beats soon following. The crowd easily rapped along to the verses, but it erupted when Tyler appeared, laying down a few bars to finish the song.
But Tyler didn't dominate the proceedings, as might be expected. No one member was the star of the show - Odd Future thrived on its group ethic. Everyone rapped along to verses that weren't theirs. Each rapper had a chance to shine with a capella verses. (Mike G, the group's smoothest rhymer, killed it more often than anyone else.) Some members took breaks or disappeared to let their bandmates violently trash and dance in the spotlight. After only a few songs, Tyler was already hanging back, drying off with a towel and texting. Other members took on stage smoking breaks throughout the show.
This casual attitude came through in the set list, too. With a myriad of solo albums, groups-within-groups and collaborative mixtapes, Odd Future has a deep catalog for such a young band, and the rappers did their best to glide through all facets of it. They blew through old and new hits like "French!," "NY (Ned Flander)," "Rolling Paper" and "Tron Cat," cutting almost every song short to get right into the next one. Over the crowd's screams, Tyler nonchalantly said he would play a new song; he did so for about a minute, his barking verses mostly incomprehensible, before stopping and moving to something else.
The crowd was most ecstatic for "Yonkers" - they rapped almost the entire first verse alone - but this was a show with no true high points. It had a constant, chaotic energy, with the band stopping only to occasionally peruse the strange mix of items collecting onstage.
After 90 sweaty, vicious minutes passed, Odd Future seemed like it could keep going, but the band called it quits after the malevolent anthem "Sandwitches." There wasn't an encore, but the rappers took their saying goodbye. The guys hung around the stage for a few minutes, posing and taking pictures of each other on their phones, like they were marking the end of a great hangout.