By Jeremy D. Larson
It’s not been a banner year for Odd Future at SXSW. Their old mantra from 2011 “Kill people. burn s–t, f–k school” doesn’t really have the same ring to with reckless homicide casting a thick pall over the festival.
Nevertheless, it was business as usual for Tyler, the Creator who, during his performance at the Scoot Inn, told the crowd waiting on the street outside of the at-capacity venue to push down the fence and come on into the venue.
The trouble began moments after the MC opened his set in the usual fashion — the wrong beat starts, someone yells “I fucked up,” they start over – before shouting out the hundreds of folks crammed outside the venue pressed against the perimeter.
“All you guys back there that can’t get in,” he said — then implored the mob to bust down the gates. There was a split second when it seemed like the crowd wasn’t going to do it, a possibility Tyler extinguished as he led the audience in a chant of “PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!”
And just like that, hundreds of people came rushing through the gates. I happened to be directly in their path when they did, and it felt like being hit with a wave: I pinged off this person and that person before stabilizing myself and catching my breath. I noticed the futile attempts of the security guards: a shit-kicker Joe Arpaio-type at the door tackled someone; another, meeker dude tried a clothesline that didn’t work. It was of little use: the handful of guards were pushed aside like twigs in a flood. Someone came rushing to the sound booth where I’d moored myself and yelled at the sound guy to turn the music off. He did. I looked behind me and, to my horror, saw that they were locking the gates.
Of note, I saw Tyler, the Creator perform at this exact same venue in 2012 and he did the exact same thing. Which leads me to two questions: Why is Tyler, the Creator doing the same schtick he did two years ago, and why did SXSW think they should book a major-label artist with his own TV show at a tiny venue, the same venue when he played when he was just being blogged about?
For which he was not exactly repentant:
I could've socked that bitch in her mouth but I'm a good guy at the end of the day.—
H BIA MIYAGI (@Niggurache) March 14, 2014
Best of luck next year, guys!