Tyler, The Creator: Also Connoisseur & Comedian @ Schottenstein Center

His name is Tyler, The Creator. It could also be Tyler, The Connoisseur. Maybe even Tyler, The Comedian? Tyler, The Creator has gone by tons of different aliases throughout his more-than-a decade-long career and curiously, he’s never adopted these. As Tyler prepares to continue touring off the overwhelming success of his 2021 award-winning record Call Me If You Get Lost, it’s about time to discuss his hilariously electrifying, sold-out show at the Ohio State University’s Schottenstein Center on February 27th. 

Unlike some acts that would prefer to just play through their sets without much in the way of audience interaction, Tyler is one to play stand-up comedian between songs while also intermittently engaging in vulgar yet playful banter with his fans. The first memorable instance of his stand-up routine during the concert came when Tyler was recounting a likely fabricated story of how he had initially wished the show would be “boring and low energy” promptly before yelling at a fan to “shut the f*** up” and then shouting “let me finish, b****.” A comparable example occurred after Tyler’s performance of “Who Dat Boy” in which fans were chanting his name over and over to his comically abrasive reaction of “aight f***! B**** I know my name!”

Starting off with the flute and vocal-infused intro of “Massa,” Tyler guided tens of thousands of eager fans on an extensive, projected tour through exotic forests and trees before exposing them to a set composed of a fantastical mini-mansion in the background with a light-blue skiff in the foreground. This coincided with the deliberately abrupt interruption of “Massa,” immediately followed by “Sir Baudelaire” — the intro track to Call Me If You Get Lost

Tyler continued with the album’s original sequence until it was time to introduce the lead single, “Lumberjack.” On the connoisseurial side of things, when it came to hinting at what the next song would be, Tyler was quick to flex his financial success in the fashion and music industries by talking indirectly about being able to purchase a certain motor vehicle. Which motor vehicle? The answer was made abundantly clear by the very first lyrics of the song (“Rolls Royce pull up / black boy hop out”). 

Next came the highlights of his performance — the previously mentioned “Massa” and the most popular song on the album, “Wusyaname.” Whereas the mini-mansion was brightly colored prior to “Massa”, the set rapidly shifted to resemble your dreariest nightmare. This cosmetic shift reflected a tonal shift in the setlist. If you think of the songs before “Massa” being roller coasters traveling at peak speeds following a drop, “Massa” would have to represent the mid-coaster brake run that allows riders to truly take in the whole experience — as well as the second drop that gets them riled up again. 

Tyler constantly mentioned his asthma and how difficult it is for him to perform such energy-filled songs back to back to back. Until its final verse, “Massa” is one that you can imagine gave some breathing room for Tyler as a high-energy asthmatic. As he encouraged audience members to do the bulk of the singing in “Wusyaname”, he provided himself breathing room throughout — all while traversing on his little boat to a more grassy set on the other side of the venue.

Most of the show’s remaining numbers were performed on this grassy set. Tracks he played here were primarily from his older projects. An unforgettable moment during “911 / Mr. Lonely” was when Tyler flawlessly executed a call and response. He called out the letters O and H before the audience enthusiastically responded, “Ohio!” To keep his concert within a certain time limit, Tyler ensured a lot of these throwback songs were at snippet-length.

The shift back to the original stage came when Tyler went back on the boat to perform the nearly 10-minute ballad “Sweet / I Thought You Wanted To Dance.” Because he does not trust his singing as much as his rapping abilities, Tyler yet again employed a call and response for this one. Like the beginning of the setlist, most of the remaining tracks could reasonably be characterized as high-energy. Before the beat dramatically dropped within the show’s closer “Run It Up,” he made sure to thank the crowd for being receptive — despite being Ohioan — before repeatedly advising his fans to “hold [their] d***” and to “stay safe.” Thus, Tyler sent the audience home by utilizing his endearing profanity one last time.

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