Tyler the Creator sets sail on St. Louis

Tyler the Creator proves again why he has been a staple in the rap game for over a decade with the Call Me if You Get Lost Tour. Back when I first heard of Tyler in 2009, we were both just kids. He was making music videos with Earl and starting one of the biggest rap groups the country has ever seen. He had every teenager in the country wrapped up in the world of Odd Future and whatever crazy, ignorant thing they were going to do next.

After seeing his show, it’s clear Tyler the Creator still commands a firm hold over the youth of the nation, but perhaps sans all the ignorance.

Walking into the Chaifetz Arena and seeing the throngs of well-dressed kids filing to their seats shocked me slightly: I thought the crowd would be my age (28), but they actually skew much younger. Tyler’s latest fashion line, Golf le Fleur, has clearly made an impact on these youths. Many of them looked downright dapper. 

Teezo Touchdown took the stage to begin the show. His set was very goofy and construction-themed; the number of tools the rapper wore on his belt rivaled the amount of hardware he wore in his hair. Even the stage crew and sound technicians were wearing hard hats and coveralls.

After Teezo warmed the crowd up, Vince Staples performed a plethora of new songs and old hits from his vast catalogue of music. In stark contrast to the show before it, this performance consisted of no-nonsense rapping. Vince has never been one to beat around the bush or play games, and this became even more evident as he slammed through hit after hit. Fans couldn’t resist to scream the words to favorites like “Big Fish” and “Norf Norf”.  

Next up was Kali Uchis, who has been making music since 2012, and yet all the teenage girls in the stadium still seemed to know all of her lyrics. The Colombian-American R&B singer and her four talented dancers captivated the crowd and proved again that this lineup of artists has staying power.

Finally, Tyler took the stage, rising from below the stage in a green Rolls Royce.

As the beautiful vehicle pulled up to an adorable Victorian mansion, it is evident that Tyler feels at home in this performance. He started the show with a blast, delivering several cuts from his newest album (which the tour is named after). Sparks flew as Tyler jumped and the crowed jumped with him. As this happened, I was taken back to the last time I saw Tyler at Bonnaroo in 2016. I was a fan back then as well, but Tyler’s jumping around and cussing at the crowd eventually grew old and I left to see M83. As I thought about that show six years ago, I found appreciation how Tyler has been able to evolve his image and become a better role model for the kids and adults who follow him.

I came back to the present moment as Tyler is climbed aboard a boat and began to ride it slowly through the middle of the crowd. The boat rocked back and forth gently as the crowd crashed against the rails on either side of it like waves. The crowd shifted with the boat, fans swooning over Tyler’s proximity as he glided by. The boat eventually landed at a secondary island stage where Tyler delivered R&B favorites from Flower Boy and other older songs like “Yonkers” and “Tamale”, which seemed like an obligation to the older members of the audience.

To bring the show to a close, Tyler once again boarded his vessel and set sail for home.

After he reached the stage and returned to his mansion, the show reached a climax while he sang the explosive “Who Dat Boy”. The masses of teenagers in the crowd moshed aggressively, as fireballs erupted across the stage. The show concluded with easy-to-dance-to tunes from IGOR, like “Earfquake” and “I Think”, as the crowd sang along.

Judging by the wide age range of the show and how dedicated this new batch of teenage fans seemed, it is clear that Tyler the Creator still has a firm pulse on what the youngest members of our society are feeling. His discography spans over a decade and has tunes that any type of listener can enjoy. I left the stadium wondering what his show will be like in another 10 years and if it will be filled by another generation of young fans who just can’t get enough Tyler.

Photography by Sean Rider

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9 months ago

These photos are amazing!