REVIEW: Kyle at Summerfest

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On Wednesday night, the Miller Lite Oasis was, as most nights there are, packed to the gills with teens anxious to see southern California rapper and current XXL Freshman Kyle. Before he could make an appearance, it was the sort of scene that, for a moment, made you wish that the suburbs didn’t get the internet, to be frankly honest. A sea of young, mostly white kids, bouncing their arms to trap music about selling drugs and shooting guns. While I could go on an entire rant here, we’ll digress for now. The internet has been kind to Kyle, almost completely integral to the buzz surrounding him. Hell, he fell on my radar via one of the first Snapchat Discover videos. Needless to say, when he came to Summerfest IRL, he would have a supportive mob there to see him as well.

A half hour DJ set from  Super Duper Brick, Kyle’s DJ opened the set. With a maximum of approximately 45 seconds per song (if that), it was clear that Kyle and Brick could read the room, and knew to capitalize on the average attention span in the crowd.  There were also “throwbacks” as far as the 2008 Lil Wayne cut “Mrs. Officer”. That was a throwback. Feel old yet? Nevertheless, the set did what it’s supposed to; generate hype for the main attraction. Kyle made his way to the stage, lit solely by a single spotlight, and began to greet Milwaukee properly.

The night’s set list featured a span of Kyle’s budding discography, with no particular emphasis on either of his two albums. A wise move, knowing that for the most part, his entire discography has been readily available at the push of a button. In addition to his full projects, the plethora of singles that Kyle has released found their way into the live show, with kids singing along to recent release “Nothing To Lose” and “Doubt It” eagerly. A heartfelt cover of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” became a crowd singalong, followed by just a little bit of the Steve Aoki remix to wake the crowd back up. Kyle also appealed to his “day one fans” by playing cuts from 2013’s “Beautiful Loser”, most notably “Sex & Super Smash Bros.”, which got the crowd moving.

While part of the show was focused on the actual music itself, there was a considerable amount of downtime, in which Kyle talked to the fans, and along with Brick, ran through some pre-planned bits of stage banter, including Brick playing with his bomb sound effect, and playing Papa Roach’s “Last Resort” for the moms in the crowd, followed by WWE wrestler John Cena’s entrance music, and then Nelly’s “Hot In Here” when asked to play classic tracks. This was a hip hop show for the YouTube generation, make no mistake about it. That being said, the planned bits and choreographed dances were somewhat entertaining.

While it felt like there was some energy missing as the night went on, at least for the massive amount of kids in attendance, the night managed to close on high points. This was a crowd that needed to be spoon-fed at times, and Kyle worked to make sure they were hitting the right points, occasionally counting off the bass drops in upbeat tracks to make sure the crowd was still rocking with him. A lively version of early hit “Really? Yeah!” got the Oasis bouncing, and the show closed on smash hit “iSpy”, a collaboration with Lil Yachty that, not only was run back a few times to keep the crowd entertained, but was met with the crowd singing Lil Yachty’s verse for the obviously absent star. “iSpy” was basically the only time the entire Oasis was into the show together, as many were fringe fans of Kyle that were hopefully won over by his performance. They most certainly were not day ones, though.

During one bit of addressing the crowd, Kyle described his show best. He explained that he had only one job, and that was to make everyone happy.  When your crowd consists of mainly teenagers that really only care about making sure their night is lit, that’s not an easy task. Kyle, however, did his damndest to make sure that everyone went home happy on Wednesday night.

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