I thought that I was ready for Brockhampton’s show as I walked in the doors of The Fillmore on Oct. 18, but I was wrong. I had seen footage from the night before where the hip-hop collective and self-professed “Hardest Working Boyband in Show Business” performed their first Philadelphia show on their I’ll Be There Tour. It looked like your average concert. Maybe the energy level was higher than average but nothing too crazy.
This tour follows the release of the group’s studio and Billboard topping album, “Iridescence.” They signed to RCA Records last year after releasing three albums in 2017 and garnering a sizeable and passionate fanbase. This passion correlates to the energy in the crowd at the show as I quickly found out.
The group consists of six vocalists who shared the stage throughout the night, but the arguable front-man of the group, Kevin Abstract, kicked off the show by coming out on stage and breaking into his opening verse on “Weight,” a popular cut off of the group’s new record. The rest of the group came out to join in as the song picked up pace. At this point the audience had pushed forward as much as possible and the energy was already beginning to build. People were ready to jump and scream and mosh and you could feel it in the air.
The show then launched into some of the higher energy cuts off of Brockhampton’s newest record as well as a decent amount of cuts from the “Saturation” trilogy. Most of these old cuts were front loaded in the show with some popular songs like “Zipper,” “Gummy” and “Gold” making much appreciated appearances as fans went wild and moshed their little hearts out. It was easily 90 degrees in this venue on a night that was cold enough outside to see your breath. Periodically, Kevin would call for a massive mosh pit to open up in the middle of the floor, which I tried to take part in a few times, but usually it resulted in me being out of breath and sore. I’m making this not sound fun but it was so much fun. Everyone was there to cut loose and expend energy and bond, and though it was exhausting, it was a great experience.
The stand out performances were from Abstract, Joba and Merlyn Wood, who brought unparalleled charisma and energy to the stage. Each of them got their moments to shine as well. In “J’Ouvert,” Joba got to pull his hair and scream at a level I tried to emulate but blew out my vocal chords. Wood got his moment with “Where The Cash At,” where he was accompanied on stage only by Matt Champion, who supplied a verse as the crowd bounced.
The group ended up performing most of the cuts off of “Iridescence” and a handful of old cuts, clocking in at a cool 19 song setlist. There wasn’t an opener so the group just performed straight from about 9 to 11 p.m. They did take a moment for themselves and the audience to mellow things down with a somber, haunting performance of “San Marcos,” where they brought out seats and sat in a semicircle around the stage as they crooned out their individual moments in the song behind autotune.
The only real misstep in the show’s pacing was a moment where the group had the audience sing the chorus to “Bleach” for way too long. It had to be a good three minutes of just the audience singing the chorus a capella whilst being completely drained after enduring an hour of moshing and jumping.
The group closed out the night with a encore of their most popular song from the “Saturation” trilogy, “Boogie,” which was intense for about a minute but that late in the show the audience had no energy left and really struggled to do much other than bounce around.
Overall it was a really solid and fun show and I would highly recommend catching them at least once while they are at this level of fame.