Words by John-Robert Torres
Who is the best boy band in the world? According to a performance that took place at Austin’s Emo’s on January 20th, it would appear that a little group by the name BROCKHAMPTON would fit the description.
Just a little over six months ago BROCKHAMPTON was nowhere to be seen on my music radar, yet over the last few months my appreciation and respect for this new boy band has grown faster than I would ever have expected. To say the least, the idea of another boy band taking America and probably the world by storm again didn’t appeal to me at first. The last time a boy band came about we were graced with a second British invasion by the name of One Direction (and also the wonderful gift of Harry Styles), along with a plethora of adoring and at times frenzied waves of fandom. So hesitantly I decided to avoid the pleas of my good friends to listen to this new group's music. However it wasn’t until I saw the group's creative visuals and heard the smooth verses of group members Matt Champion and Ameer Vann on their music video for GOLD, that I realized this new boy band was no One Direction.
Over the last few months my everyday music playlists slowly became riddled with tracks off of the groups SATURATION trilogy and seeped into my top songs of the year. So when the early bird tickets went on sale for their Love Your Parents Tour, I was sure to buy myself and a friend a pair of tickets to see their performance. Fast forward to the night of the concert and the months of anticipation about to come to fruition, I was ready to see what BROCKHAMPTON had in store for Austin. The concert started off like the firing of starting pistol with the group's Kevin Abstract inciting the crowd to chant “F*** PITCHFORK,” followed by the group launching into the setlist that rattled the walls and the crowd like a college house party. The raw energy that was being showcased on stage was unlike any other performance energy I had felt in some time; the seemingly enthusiastic stage presence; the crowd being invigorated by the groups banging stage antics; and a whole music venue ready to explode to the tracks of BROCKHAMPTON.
The show's 90 minute run time was filled with over twenty songs from all three of their SATURATION albums, which made for a show that was driving at full speed for the majority of its duration. The crowd that had come out that night brought great energy and vibes amongst one another, finding myself in the middle of the crowd and separated from my friends, everywhere I ventured I was found in the company of a crowd as eager as I was to party and jam out to the show. With each song pounding out through the house speakers, an undoubtable resonance filled the crowd that seemed to only trigger more and more dancing and flailing of bodies. It was honestly impressive to see this kind of attitude being displayed at a show for a group that had only recently stepped into the spotlight, and that was the sticking impression that I left with that night. Through the pounding performances of song favorites like GUMMY, JUNKY, and SWEET, and the cascading ballads featuring group member Bearface’s sway-inducing, guitar shredding SUMMER, BROCKHAMPTON put on a performance that made for a truly fun and rowdy concert going experience.
All that being said, it just feels right for me to say that this boy band is unlike any other that has preceded it and with a group consisting of talented vocal leads like Kevin Abstract, Ameer Vann, Matt Champion, Merlyn Wood, Dom McLennon, Joba, and Bearface, it wouldn’t be a surprise to one day see BROCKHAMPTON going down in the books for the reinterpretation and domination of the category of BOY BAND.