Live Review: Brockhampton at House Blues, Feb 18-19
Picture this: adolescent energy at maximum level, costumes and blue face paint to match the band, hands perpetually in the air, foolhardy attempts at crowd surfing, every last lyric proclaimed in distinctly teenage-like devotion. And you pretty much have the idea of Brockhampton’s two nights of sold-out shows at House of Blues.
Sunday’s show began when emcee Ameer wandered onstage between stop light and crosswalk signs, wearing a headlamp and surgical mask. He paused in the middle, removing his gear while the opening track to Saturation III’s “BOOGIE” began—the crowd’s enthusiasm rising with each corner of Ameer’s widening grin. Within seconds, the seven remaining emcees rushed the stage in matching orange jumpsuits, eventually forming a soul train to close out the opening track. The bar was set. And it didn’t come down the entire night.
The mood fluctuated throughout the set, each song offering various forms of cathartic release from an angsty vent about the cops to sentimental reflections on addiction and self-acceptance, ushering in a victory lap for a group of boys who dared moving to LA to launch a music career from their bedrooms. Halfway through the concert, the band took an onstage break to relish in this reality. They lounged around on a living room set and commenced playfully roasting one another, telling a bad knock-knock joke, and inciting a Q&A from the crowd. They proudly shook hands with some of the fans responsible for their rising star status, and then returned to the music.
Delivering catchy hook after catchy hook from their genre-blending discography, Brockhampton’s show was lit with millennial fervor, radiating both optimism and a give-no-fucks attitude towards the status quo that has defined their career path. Toward the end of the night, frontman Kevin Abstract stepped forward, attempting to set a different tone: “Can we all pretend like we’re at a party together? And this is our favorite song.” But it was redundant: the party had already started the minute Brockhampton took the stage. And judging by the crowd reaction, every song was their favorite song.
–BY JULIET CANGELOSI–PHOTOS BY ASHLAN GREY