Concert review: Tyler, the creator of the Capital One Arena
On Monday night at the Capital One Arena, an artist’s portrayal as a 31-year-old was brought to life, with Tyler’s dark and twisted beautiful fantasies brought to life in front of an adoring crowd.
Tour in support ofCall me if you get lost“, Tyler shot the 2021 the album’s opulent lyrics within its setting, projecting the image of an alpine retreat behind a two-story mansion. Shortly before 10 p.m., he emerged from under the stage in a moss-green 1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith. In case the house and the coupe were too subtle, he then rolled a yacht through the crowd towards a second stage.
But make no mistake: this is conspicuous consumption as a coping mechanism. Behind the bombast hides a heartbroken romantic. “I remembered I was rich, so I bought myself new emotions,” he later rapped, “And a new boat because I’d rather cry in the ocean.”
“Call Me If You Get Lost” topped the set list, but Tyler devoted plenty of time to highlights from his six-album discography, swinging between orchestral boom bap, sunny soul trains and loungy tropicalia. The audience — a diverse crowd in casual looks that resembled the avant-garde cast of “Euphoria” — ate every word and every gesture, singing every word.
The crowd’s love wasn’t just for Tyler. Two of his early acts, longtime compatriot Vince Staples and Colombian American singer Kali Uchis, also received rave reviews. Staples, another supernaturally talented rapper from Southern California, made the most of a short set and solo setup, while Uchis – a rising star born in nearby Alexandria – dazzled with an eclectic array of songs and choreography that blended her belly dancer gyrations with the interpretive movements of her background dancers.
But the chameleon Creator more than deserved its place as headliner. Tyler’s lyrics formed a cataract of consonants that turns into frenzied screams or passionate croons. In a short-sleeved animal-print button-up shirt, black shorts, knee-high socks, loafers and the kind of ushanka he’s worn for years, he’s an unlikely style icon and springy dancer, though his moves are a mix of robotic dummy, cartoon cat, uncle-at-a-cookout and king of pop. He’s also a bit of a comedian, easily roasting onlookers and begging to be booed instead of serenaded on his birthday, which was the Sunday.
On “Call Me If You Get Lost,” Tyler anointed himself “Tyler Baudelaire,” after Charles Baudelaire, and it’s a surprisingly apt nickname. The French poet once wrote that boredom or boredom was the worst fate one could know – worse than most of the grim topics Tyler used to rap about. With each passing year, Tyler continues to prove he’s a lot of things, but he’s never boring.