Arts, Music, Off Campus

BROCKHAMPTON Transforms House of Blues into House Party

Hordes of orange jumpsuits, blue faces, and colorful haircuts lined Lansdowne Street outside the House of Blues on Monday in anticipation for BROCKHAMPTON’s Boston stop on its Love Your Parents tour. The eccentric group, self-dubbed the “best boy band since One Direction” in their song “BOOGIE,” delivered an electric performance to the full venue of dedicated fans and intrigued patrons. With three popular, critically acclaimed albums titled SATURATION I, II, and III released in 2017, the band cherry picked the perfect list of hits and fan favorites for the superhuman two-and-a-half hour set.

The 14-member band hopped in its signature orange jumpsuits and opened with an insane performance of “BOOGIE,” a high-energy hit from BROCKHAMPTON’s most recent album SATURATION III. The group proved that it did not need an opening act to warm up the crowd as crowd surges ensued immediately upon the first blast-off beats of the popular song. The crowd exploded into a massive mosh pit as Joba’s pink head jumped around the stage during his raucous verse that screams “Break necks, I’m the chiropractor.”

The self-titled American boyband next broke out a performance of “QUEER,” a versatile song from SATURATION II that cemented the band’s rise to fame in 2017. The crowd instantly recognized the traphouse party hit when Matt Champion started the first verse with “Skinny boy, skinny boy / Where your muscles at?” Kevin Abstract’s chorus on the song broke down the booming bass-backed beat that shook the walls of the venue for the crowd to sing along and sway with the band.

The set was packed with crowd-pleasing party plays. The outlandish lyrics of “ZIPPER” that muse “Pretty sure I’m maniacal, but what do I know? / I don’t know, all I know is what I see through my monocle” along with the whimsical wooing beat turned the House of Blues into a house party with the whole crowd going manic with the band. Faithful fans chanted the hook of “SWAMP” and nailed the “yeah, yeah, yeah” response to Merlyn Wood’s intro on “SISTER,” a track they introduced as the “hypest” song on SATURATION III. Merlyn Wood also savored every second of his vivacious verse on “SWEET,” bellowing the lyrics that echoed through the building “Don’t call me stupid / That ain’t the way my name pronounced / Don’t call me Cupid / I got too many hoes right now.”  

“JUNKY,” a track that opens with Kevin Abstract’s intense and personal verse that discusses his experience as a gay black man in the rap game, was ended with a warning from the artist: “Tell your momma and daddy BROCKHAMPTON is pushing the gay agenda on their children.” The bold statement highlights the band’s challenge to the nasty homophobia that has historically plagued the hip-hop industry.

BROCKHAMPTON complemented hype hits with breezy ballads like “FACE” and “BLEACH,” the latter which the crowd echoed the chorus back to the band following the track’s finish. Demonstrating the endless supply of talent within the company, bearface broke out his electric guitar for heartfelt performances of “SUMMER” and “TEAM.” The crowd swayed in silence out of the sheer shock of watching bearface shred the electric guitar while exhibiting his insane vocal range during the intro to “TEAM,” a verse that addresses an estranged lover, “Evanie.” The stage lights synchronized with the guitar riffs to heighten the emotion of the performance of the sentimental songs.

As the stage faded to black, the audience began to enthusiastically demand an encore performance, a request which BROCKHAMPTON gladly fulfilled. After standing in a still and emotionless line at the front of the stage for about five minutes, the group satirized its boy band branding, introducing “HOTTIE” as its “poppy boy band song.” The band also played on the Boston stereotype, asking, “Boston, you mad?” and prompting a massive mosh circle to form on the floor and collapse in on itself before the beat drop of “HEAT.” BROCKHAMPTON absorbed the primitive energy of the crowd to deliver five consecutive performances of “STAR” to keep the moshing going well into the night. The band also crowded the stage with fans who dressed in orange jumpsuits or donned the signature blue face paint for the evening, underscoring its genuine appreciation for its fans.

BROCKHAMPTON is neither a boy band nor a rap group—BROCKHAMPTON is an experience. The band effortlessly pulls from the emotional awareness of pop and the intensity of hip-hop to create a brand new type of band, one undoubtedly worthy of the title “best boy band since One Direction.” A group composed of refreshingly creative and talented young musicians, producers, and visual artists, the American boy band possesses enormous potential. Standing in the crowd at a BROCKHAMPTON show, one can’t help but feel like she is watching the swell before a massive tsunami that threatens to break every preconception about music in its path.

Featured Image by Ashlan Grey

February 8, 2018