After listening to Tyler, the Creator’s highly anticipated fourth album, when it came out in the summer of 2017, I knew “Flower Boy” was going to be one of my new favorite records. The dreamy sounds, ’90s hip-hop influences and all-star features were only some of the aspects that made this album a true gem in my eyes. “Flower Boy” gave me a sense of familiarity and I felt like I could relate to it more than his earlier works, such as ‘Goblin” and “Cherry Bomb.” Naturally, as many artists do, Tyler announced a national tour a while after he released the album and I knew I had to go. When the day came, I was definitely not disappointed.
The show was held in Valley View Casino Center on Friday, Feb. 2 and waiting outside for the doors to open was already an exciting experience. The majority of people there were dressed in GOLF clothing, Tyler’s fashion line, and realizing that so many are inspired by his style and his music was awesome. Once I got inside, I bought a GOLF t-shirt and headed towards the general admission area in attempts of getting a chance to see the man himself up close, though I ended up standing in the back where I could actually see over people. The opening acts included Taco playing a DJ set and Vince Staples, and they did a good job at hyping up the crowd.
When Tyler finally took the stage, he opened with “Where This Flower Blooms” and though he performed a good chunk of “Flower Boy,” he also brought back some old favorites like “IFHY,” “Yonkers,” “F*cking Young” and “She.” The stage lighting and design were perfectly matched to the aesthetic of the album’s cover art and music and I loved every aspect of it. Hearing Tyler live was an entirely different experience from solely listening to his music he sounded even better than he does on the record itself. Tyler’s ability to bring energy to his performances amazes me and I wish I could go to another one of his shows for this tour, but I’m sure I’ll see him again soon.
On Nov. 11, Wyatt Shears of The Garden headlined a late night show for his solo project Enjoy in Santa Ana’s Constellation Room at the Observatory. Starting at 11 p.m., the show lasted until 2 a.m. and had multiple other bands perform, including Makeout Reef, Capital Wasteland, Distractor and Blivet. Each band played a 30 to 45 minute set and the artists were pretty different from each other. Tickets were 10 dollars and I personally think it was worth the drive to Santa Ana from San Diego to see all five bands perform. I was mostly excited to see Wyatt play in Enjoy rather than The Garden, because I have never seen him play solo.
When Enjoy finally started setting up on stage, I was surprised and really happy that Wyatt’s brother, Fletcher was going to be on drums. Before seeing Enjoy live, I was not aware that Fletcher still played a part in Wyatt’s solo band and I was excited that I was able to see both of them at the same time. They are both on my list of favorite artists as of late. Although all of these things were great, I was honestly a bit saddened at the fact that Enjoy’s set was so short! Because they were headlining this late show, I thought they would play a longer set, and my friends and I drove up to Santa Ana from San Diego, so we were all honestly disappointed with how the times of the sets were handled. On Instagram, the set times were inaccurate and out of order, which made it frustrating. The audience seemed to be visibly upset because of that. Immediately at the end of Enjoy’s set, the lights were turned back on in the room and everyone started leaving reluctantly.
I am very glad that I was able to see my favorites, Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, though I wish their sets were longer and the information about the event was more clearly stated on social media. But, for the price of 10 dollars I still feel like it was worth going to this show for sure, and I definitely had a great time getting to see the other bands as well.
After listening to The Drums for a few years now, and upon hearing their newest album, “Abysmal Thoughts,” my friends and I were excited to finally get a chance to see Jonny Pierce perform live. On Wednesday, Nov. 1, we watched The Drums play a show at North Park Observatory for 20 dollars general admission. The mosh pit was fun, the music was great, as expected, and Jonny shared some wisdom with the crowd that I felt was really important.
The entire concert was very high energy and everyone around was happy and extremely excited for Jonny’s performance with The Drums. The mosh pit slowly got more and more wild as the show went on. The band played some of their more popular hits, such as“Let’s Go Surfing,” “Money,” “What You Were,” “Days” and from their latest album, “Blood Under My Belt.”
During the set, Jonny stopped to talk about his struggles with depression, anxiety and self-identity, saying that for the longest time he lived to please others, but never stopped to think about what he was doing for himself. He continued, saying that the difference between this newest record, “Abysmal Thoughts,” and his other earlier projects was that this time around he learned to love himself and make himself happy, as opposed to putting everyone else first. Jonny summed his speech up by saying that it is important to respect yourself and weed out the people that do not love you for who you are.
Overall, the concert was amazing and after I was able to snag a meet and greet wristband to meet Jonny. He was very nice and he expressed his appreciation towards me and his other fans and he signed the vinyl I purchased at the merch table. I appreciated the fact that Jonny not only played an awesome show, but also made an effort to spread a positive message. I would most definitely recommend seeing The Drums when they come to your area.
In 2008, James “J-Patt” Patterson and Ben “DJ B-Roc” Ruttner formed an electronic music duo called The Knocks, specializing in happy, upbeat tunes with melodic, simple lyrics and positive messages. I personally first heard of The Knocks in 2012 when they released their catchy collaboration with Fred Falke,”Geronimo,” and even now, I still find myself listening to that song. Since then, they have continued to grow and produce music that helps inspire good moods everywhere.
The Knocks have made remixes of popular songs, produced for huge stars and featured many different artists in their work, building up a strong reputation amongst those in the electronic music industry. In their latest EP, “Testify” released in February 2017, they managed to bring newer artists to light with their modern sunny producing style. From the self-love words in “Worship” and the inspiring lyrics in “Trouble,” to the star struck love vibes in “Your Eyes,” The Knocks bring out a sense of optimism in their production, making “Testify” great to listen to when you are in need a musical pick-me-up.
In comparison, in their 2011 EP “Magic” their production style has a more organic sound to it, utilizing simpler drum beats in place of electric sounds and less artist features. “Magic” still carried the optimistic vibes that “Testify” has, with a bit of a different sound. You can tell that The Knocks have matured quite a lot since then and improved their sound throughout the years.
Listening to The Knocks is a pretty enlightening and uplifting experience, when compared to some of the other electronic music I have heard recently on the radio. The Knocks’ bright and cheery production style is what I feel continues to contribute to their overall success in the electronic music industry, and make them popular amongst electronic music fans around the world.