Tyler, the Creator, as unpredictable as ever, took over the Mann Center’s Skyline Stage with a blue pastel suit, platinum blonde wig and a high-concept minimalist performance; this is the IGOR tour. “IGOR,” an album produced entirely by Tyler, is a mix of genres, including hip-hop, funk, soul and R&B. It is an album that has a groove for everyone to latch onto. “IGOR” was Tyler, the Creator’s first No. 1 album and also claims the title of the first self-produced No. 1 album. The entire IGOR tour is a celebration of the feats this album accomplished. Tyler was proud of his art and how well it was received, so the IGOR tour set out to share that celebration with the world.
The timing and location could not have been better for an outdoor concert. The sun was setting around 6:30 p.m. and there was a slight breeze that blessed the packed general admission audience every few minutes.
The crowd waited for GoldLink and Jaden Smith to start their sets. GoldLink performed “Zulu Screams,” showcasing how his tropical production woven with his smooth lyrics could get the crowd swaying from left to right. There wasn’t much room to dance, but with general admission, any form of movement was sufficient. Jaden Smith was next, and his energy was as over-the-top as he performed his new album, “SYRE.” “SYRE,” much like “IGOR,” is a mix of numerous genres including hip-hop, punk, rap and trap. But Jaden’s new album exudes a punk attitude accentuated by the visuals, which features pink smoke, car wrecks and puking black liquid while playing the guitar. These are all visuals that leave a lasting impression, something that Jaden Smith is a master of. He stayed engaged with the audience, making sure they were pumped to see Tyler. Jaden’s music got people moshing into each other as the GIFs of pink cars and black smoke played behind him. Unfortunately, Jaden had to stop his set multiple times to make sure no one was getting seriously injured while moshing. I counted at least four times the crowd had to stop the show to help someone. It was intense.
The stage itself was littered with surprises that Tyler would unveil throughout the show. Modeled after the now-iconic platinum bowl-cut wig Tyler was sporting, there was a four-layer projection screen, in addition to fire cannons and a smooth white piano where Tyler teased the audience by playing the opening to “EARFQUAKE.”
At first, Tyler entered the stage somberly, keeping his eyes down and feet planted as “Igor’s Theme” played. The show began a bit tame; Tyler grooved to his music in slow and calculated ways. After “Igor’s Theme,” the synth beats to “I Think” sounded, enticing the audience to sing along and further loosening Tyler up. He began to travel around the stage while calling out to the audience. Tyler’s love for performing was present throughout the night and his comedic interactions with the audience were also up to par.
After a few songs, he asked, “How are all you assholes tonight?” The crowd cheered. “TIGHT!” Tyler’s dialogue was funny and more light-hearted when compared to his usual banter. It gave the audience some time to see Tyler on a more vulnerable level, which was something “IGOR” set out to do.
Traveling to center stage, Tyler was then lifted up for the whole audience to see. The backdrop began to sway with the wind as he performed his heart out for the last few songs. Tyler’s emotion accompanied with the swaying backdrop made the stage look like it was breathing. While the beginning of his set was filled with “IGOR” tracks, the last half of the show contained fan favorites. “Yonkers,” “Who Dat Boy” and “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” were some of the perfect choices to end the show on a high note. This was a celebration fit for an album that pushed boundaries and thrived on the other side, an album such as “IGOR.”