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Live Review: Earlwolf

13 June 2013 | 9:58 pm | Sean McKenna

The star of the show, at least according to Tyler and Earl, was definitely Odd Future TV star Dolphin, who provided backing MC vocals and a hyped twerk performance.

Hoodies, 5-panel hats and the pervasive scent of chiba set the scene last Tuesday for the highly anticipated OFWGKTA show. The squad had been refined to just four for their latest Australian tour with poster boy's Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt frontlining collectively as Earlwolf. The tour marks Tyler's third appearance Down Under and the first for subordinate, Earl. 

It's hardly a secret that Tyler and his band of merry men have fallen out of favour in recent times. Whether it be a result of the posse's transcendence to mainstream appeal or the rise of the A$AP dynasty can only be speculated. Despite this period of sedation following the storm that was 2010-2011 which prospered a Best New Artist Award at the MTV VMAs, Goblin, 12 Odd Future Songs and a YouTube video now holding just shy of 60 million views, the group has still managed to sustain an enduring and equally hardcore fanbase which is as much a testament to their online presence as their actual beats. Given this calming period, compounded by the mixed reactions surrounding Wolf, there was definitely a hint of trepidation going into the night which was only reinforced by a last minute ticket rush on Facebook. 

Allow this reviewer to confirm, however, that any such hesitation was soon diminished with the arrival of Earl, Tyler, Jasper Dolphin and Taco Bennett just after 9:30pm on Capitol's main platform. The quartet launched headfirst into what can only be described as a hectic set, which was only heightened after a carton of Red Bull appeared on stage, inspiring what Earl labelled as the “Red Bull song” in Domo23. Undoubtedly the most impressive aspect of the night, however – beyond the beats themselves – was the way in which Tyler and Earl seemed to so effortlessly hold what was otherwise an irrational and uncontrollable mass in the palm of their hands; taunting, ridiculing and engaging them to do pretty much whatever the fuck they wanted, including explaining exactly when to “lose your shit like a retarded five-year old” on Ifhy. Getting a few hundred fucked up kids to do whatever you want deserves commendation.   

The duo pumped out a range of head bangers from the contingents growing discography ranging right across the board from unreleased material from Earl's pending Doris, all the way back to 2007's The Odd Future Tape. The result was some intense heaving from a restless mob, with crowd surfing and elbow throwing a plenty. Given all the swag that walked into Capitol only a few hours earlier it was amusing to see black eyes, torn shirts and trampled bodies walk out soon after. Yonkers was a predictable crowd favourite along with We Got Bitches and Cowboy. But the star of the show, at least according to Tyler and Earl, was definitely Odd Future TV star Dolphin, who provided backing MC vocals and a hyped twerk performance.

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All up the night provided the perfect start to the duo's Australian tour, smashing all expectations right out of the park with their iconic Odd Future brand of racist, misogynist, rape and necrophilia themed emo-rap, all the while serving up one of the most entertaining live hip hop sets Perth has seen lately (fingers crossed for BasedGod).