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LIVE REVIEW: OFWGKTA brings the Odd Future to Epicentre

OFWGKTA in San Diego
OFWGKTA in San Diego
Kayla Fraser

If you haven’t been to an Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All show yet, it’s the latest thing to combine hip-hop member rankings like that of Wu-Tang’s with the live sweaty punk voracity of Ice-T’s Body Count. And with the young collective rarely venturing outside of their native LA hub, the demand for their live shows allow them to sell out venues within 24 hours of tickets going on sale. And for the Mira Mesa Epicentre this seemed to be just the case as the June 16th show easily packed the 525 capacity venue, scalped tickets sometimes going for $100+.

With anticipation at fevered levels the night began with s dj Syd the Kyd as the only opener, sending droves of minors into the rafters of the venue. Security was tight and utilized off duty officers to maintain some order and curb drug use, but when OF ringleader Tyler the Creator took the stage he was at complete command of the crowd. Tyler even at one point allowing a minor on stage to consensually embrace his bare feet. Along with Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Taco, and Jasper Dolphin the band shifted between tracks on 2010’s Radical and their respected solo albums, some still waiting in the wings. Seas of saturated bodies rushed the stage only to be herded back into the crowd by security; the temperature went up as the audiences inhibitions toward their own safety went down.

Although entertainingly misanthropic in their lyrics, among the members is an uncommon willingness to interact with the crowd rarely found in contemporary MC’s. Gone are the proclamations of financial worth, the seeking of prized status, or constant media pandering, all qualities they have called out in their rivals. One of the most popular tracks, “Yonkers” by Tyler the Creator was playfully mocked rather than fully performed, as a sign of Tyler’s disgust with the misdirected popularity it has brought him. Although performing without the unavailable Earl Sweatshirt, the bands performance easily compensated for it on tracks like “Orange Juice” with other members filling his lines. Somewhat heartsick for the absence of their comrade, the set wasn’t without chants of "Free Earl" and song dedications for the eventual return of their friend to their crew.

By shows end the band’s mostly underage audience was safely ferreted back outside to their waiting rides, along with the segment of older demographic who braved the all-ages tag the venue carries. With no major destruction to the venue or riotous commotion the band has been known to cause, it would seem that Odd Future’s reputation is as enigmatic as their subject matter of violence, rape, and illicit drug use. Whatever diverse appeal the band was looking to proliferate, they had indeed done so in the intimate sold-out setting of the Epicentre.

Video by brittanykathlyn