Earl Sweatshirt/XXYYXX/Cities Aviv
Or: How the Stage Felt Against My Cheek
By Sophia Abbey
I made a huge mistake going to Cambridge at 6. My friends had gone at 4 to wait in line because admission wasn’t guaranteed even if you RSVPed (this was a free show). I couldn’t fathom getting to the Middle East four hours early so I compromised on 6, which was a mistake. I was under the impression that doors opened at 7, so I was prepared to wait outside for an hour, but at 6:50, someone who put a lot more forethought into this than I did broke the bad news. DOORS AT 8. It had been a relatively nice day in comparison to the rest of the week. That means temperatures were only in the 30s and there was just 2 feet of slush on the ground. During the two hour wait I died inside a few times, overcame frostbite 7 times and realized I was going to be front row. I had NEVER been front row at a concert, I usually tried to get there early but still ended up in the second or third row. Needless to say, I was stoked. And separated from anyone I knew.
I got into Cities Aviv a couple weeks before I heard about the show, so when the lineup was announced, I felt that new-artist-giddiness. Gavin Mays (the man behind Cities Aviv) put on… well a weird ass show. He came out quietly, I didn’t even notice he was onstage for about 30 seconds. He set down a laptop and a MIDI controller then picked up the mic. No one else was on stage with him, except for some intimidating men with Dumbledore on their shirts.
This dude accessorized well. This guy has some serious muscles.
Gavin was constantly stopping. Sometimes he just stood there and listened to his own music, swaying back and forth. At one point he did this for two minutes and it was awkward. He was also very intent on getting the crowd to mosh. He kept hopping off the stage not to crowd surf, but to start a mosh pit. I think he started to give up and just kept throwing the peace sign at us instead. At other points he would just get so caught up in the beat that he would dance like he was possessed or having a seizure, throwing himself all over stage. Cities Aviv was so high energy, but in a way that was a bit off. He couldn’t read the crowd very well and came off of it seeming more crazy than anything. Overall, I think I prefer listening to Cities Aviv at home.
photo credit to Ben Stas of bdcwire.com
It wasn’t until after the show that I realized XXYYXX was younger than me, but uh wow. My boy Marcel Everett came in with a bang and left me wanting more. He sauntered on stage, wearing sweats and dress shoes. The first thing he did was bring one of the security guards onstage to beatbox while he recorded it on photobooth. Then he quickly threw off his shoes. Nothing more important than comfort of course.
He sang the praises of Cities Aviv: “I didn’t know who that the guy before me was but now I know. That shit was fucking amazing.”
As XXYYXX started up his set, I finally smell weed. Why did that take so long?? The crowd response to XXYYXX was incredible. Of course Marcel was putting on an incredible show. Of course it was slower and more relaxed compared to the hectic nature of Cities Aviv, but no one was just sitting by. XXYYXX was getting into it (he makes a strange sex face when he DJs, but it only adds to the feeling really) the bouncer was getting into it, the crowd behind me was REALLY getting into it. At this point I notice that the moshing in the crowd is getting insane and I begin to wonder whether the crowd may be too hyped up?
The crowd was too hyped up, I was pinned between a speaker, two 6’ dudes and the insane crowd. I was no longer getting into it because I simply could not move. In my notes: “My body will be a giant bruise tomorrow” (read: it is.)
photo credit to Ben Stas of bdcwire.com
Then he said the magic words. “Who knows 05 Fuck Em?”
Oh yeah, we know 05 Fuck Em.
XXYYXX rapped Prayin 4 a Brick. Live. Watch part of it below:
Photo Credit to Ben Stas of bdcwire.com
One of the only things I remember from the Earl Sweatshirt concert is hearing someone say “marijuana is my favorite vegetable after carrots.” After that, some wasted lacrosse dude from Emerson accidentally hit my head against a speaker and a lot of things started getting fuzzy. From what I do remember, Earl and Vince Staples put on an amazing show, and left the crowd ready to wreck the town. There’s no denying Odd Future’s great strength of its members is putting on an insane show. I’d love to see it again, possibly at a more welcoming venue, and I’d encourage everyone to go experience it as well.