Words by Kelsey Paulus
After a big-hit release in May of his fourth studio album, “IGOR,” Tyler, the Creator began touring the U.S. near the beginning of August. While Tyler has always been the type of artist with great stage presence, “IGOR” has brought out a new personality and act of professionalism than previously seen with him. “IGOR” has transformed him into a character who is performing an act on stage – an act that follows the successes and triumphs found in the new album.
After seeing Tyler in both Columbus and Pittsburgh, I have fallen in love with the new album all over again. Thus far, “IGOR” has been my number one album of the year, and these two performances solidified my opinion. He played every song off of the album except for “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE,” so fans were able to get a nearly-full live experience of the album.
Kicking off the show with the song “IGOR’S THEME,” this bass-heavy track was able to transport attendees into the world of “IGOR.” Tyler arrived on stage in full character attire, and was ready to put on an act for the masses. Seeing him perform in such a lively, passionate manner was something I have never experienced before, and adds to Tyler’s credibility of being one of the most unique and hard-working artists in the current industry. To take an idea – especially one as a character following a plotline throughout an album – and execute it greatly is something rarely seen from a popular artist.
After playing a few various songs from the new album, Tyler took a step back and played songs from his older albums. He played some of the classics off of “Flower Boy” and also dated back to play songs such as “IFHY,” “Yonkers” and “She.” Although these songs are not a part of his current era, they still added to the performance as a whole. These songs show how much Tyler has grown as an artist, and also showcases the immense support he has from his fans, as they were still shouting the lyrics as loud, and maybe even louder than they were before. In addition, Tyler mixed new renditions of songs “GONE GONE” and “RUNNING OUT OF TIME” to add a bit of variety into the show.
Even though Tyler was in a characterized mindset throughout the show, that did not stop him from interacting with the crowd. He was most talkative to the Columbus crowd, discussing topics such as his old music, how smelly we all were and even stopped in the middle of performing one-off single “OKRA” to tell us how exhausted this song makes him, then playing “Tamale” instead. At the Pittsburgh show, he sang a vulgar rendition of “Happy Birthday” to a girl who kept telling him it was her birthday. It was admirable to see Tyler’s humorous side come out to show the audience more than just the performance, but to also express his personality in real life.
Aside from Tyler’s insane amount of passion in performing, I would consider the stage visuals to be the most enhanced part of the entire concert. Throughout the show, there were different visuals displayed on an LED screen, which played along with the storylines behind the songs. These visuals made the entire experience seem like a new world, and was the perfect cherry on top for both nights. It was clear to see that Tyler had a vision, and he executed it with great care and perfectionism to make the performance come to life.
I had high expectations when I first purchased my tickets to the IGOR tour back in June, and it is without a doubt that I can say my expectations were greatly exceeded. It is always such a surreal feeling to experience one of your favorite musicians live, but when they take the experience to a new level for attendees to step into a world of creativity, that is when it becomes a rare occurrence. The IGOR tour was nothing short of brilliance, and it will be a show that I will never forget.