I love boybands, but I’ve never seen a boyband live before.
Wednesday night I saw Brockhampton at the TLA on the Love Your Parents tour. It was a life-changing and slightly harrowing experience. When I arrived, the venue was packed with people of all shapes, sizes, and ages shoulder to shoulder, excitedly talking, smoking, and breaking out into random chants of “Fuck Tom Brady!” as well as screaming demands to see Merlyn.
As soon as the house lights dimmed, the crowd went absolutely wild. There was a split second before I realized what was about to go down, as people around me started to lock arms with their friends and partners. All of a sudden, the entire crowd forcefully lurched forward with crazed fans forcing their way as close to the front as possible. I caught brief glimpses of their signature orange jumpsuits and Joba’s head. I’m not quite sure if they had hopped into the crowd or not but I could barely hear over the screams, and couldn’t see over all the tall people (I’m 5’3″).
Eventually I found my way to a calmer spot on the stairs, and then on the balcony from which I could witness the madness in full. There was not a single moment of silence the whole show as fans screamed along to every song. The band performed their hits: “Junky,” “Gold,” “Bleach,” as well as picks from across their discography. They maintained an insane amount of energy onstage throughout the show, and sounded amazing live, notably bearface’s blue lit performance of “Summer,” my personal favorite.
I also appreciated the crowd interaction. At one point, defacto leader Kevin Abstract singled out two members of the crowd, Andre and Jordan, to get into the center of two circles on the sides. The crowd was then instructed to loving chant “Fuck you, Andre!” and “Fuck you, Jordan!” and then surround them with endearing moshing when the beat dropped. There were also the typical declarations of love and gratitude for their fans.
I remember Kevin asking if we could all just have a party together, and that’s exactly what it felt like. A frenzied, sweaty, cathartic party of Roman proportions. Despite the small bruises and the minor ringing my ears after the show, I would love to do it again.
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