DTK Goes to a Theophilus London & Father Concert
Arriving on a snowy -35 degrees night, it looked to be a little deserted for a sold out show.
With the tour bus parked in front of the venue, the Belmont, it is announced that the headliner himself is sick, ironically. Everyone is bundled up, the line inside is as long as the one outside and you can barley move. It's 9 o'clock and the room is already half full. A predominantly female crowd is patiently awaiting the artists with their waists glued to the stage. An atmosphere of immobility packed the area as we would have been watching Doja Cat performing. Complimented with stellar bloody Caesars, we awaited for the ATL and NY rappers.
A familiar base rumbles the in the venue as the crowd begins to move rhythmically to the beat. Enter Father. Dressed in a vintage-looking leopard print hoodie, a tactical vest/sweater that reads "sex" on the sleeves and "alien" on the torso, a longline t-shirt with the word "hoodrats" printed on the bottom, burgundy jeans and some unidentifiable Adidas sneaks. The beat was that of his 1.8M view video, "Wrist". The over the top lyrics are being recited by the entire crowd, everything from "Gas guzzler I remind her of her Hummer/She remind me of Corolla" to the heavily repetitive chorus. Everyone was singing, save Father himself...quickly changing the song after his verse, Father proceeds to shut down the stage completely by performing tracks like "Nokia" & "2 Dead 6 Wounded". The production style of Father relies heavily on sub basses and powerful synth basses which sound apocalyptic on massive speakers. The ATLien leaves on the same note he came, on the wrist beat, without performing it. Leaving the crowd a little dry, yet rattled and ready for Theo. Knowing the sound of Theo's music, chosing Father as an opener seems almost random, yet conscious.
Shortly after Father's set, a train of bouncers plowed through the crowd rushing an incredibly tall Theophilus London to the steps of the stage. Standing on the side, we got the pleasure of being blocked from the middle by the bouncers, leaving a small lot of space to be shared by 5 photographers in a rotation. I have a sour predisposition to Theophilus' performances, as he bailed on a stop I was scheduled to attend back in 2011 without any explanations. I'm still a fan of his music, and was ready to give him a second chance. Entering in the instantly recognizable "Yeezys Boosts" by Adidas, skinny blue jeans, a loud varsity jacket and what appeared to be a customized hockey jersey.
Theo was accompanied by a live band. Starting off with a softer song, it was evident that the "sickness" of which we were warned affected his vocal cords just enough for his voice to be drowned out by the talented drummer this band had to offer. Theo proceeded to complain about certain yellow lights that didn't please him, more than a few times. It took him a while to perform hits like "Can't stop", "Do Girls" & his cover of Tweet's "Oops", which had the crowd going up, even reciting the parts of "Can't Stop" by Kanye. The NY resident included various gimmicks like a drum pad he hit from time to time (he even let a groupie hit it, I found it slightly comical), allowing girls on stage and getting them to kiss each other & "Story time with Theo" which was really just a live skit between songs. Although some of these are common, they felt very displaced. Theo's voice was so faint that whenever "Rio" came on we couldn't hear a single word, not even the chorus. Being an early fan of his, I heard no songs from his "This Charming Mixtape" nor "Jam!". Losing my attention, I went to join Father and speak to him for a bit until the last two songs came on. At one point "Wrist" came back on, the crowd went wild. Inviting the fans on stage, Father finally performed his hit, going absolutely crazy.
Overall the two performances were decent, with Father impressing me far more than the Warner brothers backed Theophilus London. Theo's performance slightly disappointed yet entertained me. The location was also an issue, a larger venue would have been a better idea, but the atmosphere and the crowd fit nicely with the Belmont.