REVIEW: Brockhampton at The Rave
Hip hop boy-band BROCKHAMPTON came to Milwaukee for the second time Wednesday night, once again at The Rave. I missed them the first time they came in February 2018 and have been determined to make it to their show since. I unfortunately missed the openers because I had to take a long bus ride getting there, and I stood in the back for the show. I must say…if a show can get you going crazy and jumping in delight when you are separate from the main crowd, it’s a show definitely worth it.
BROCKHAMPTON consists of creative direction leader and vocalist Kevin Abstract, vocalist Matt Champion, vocalist Merlyn Wood, vocalist Dom McLennon, vocalist Joba, and vocalist Bearface. Production artists include Romil Hemnani, Jabari Manwa and Kiko Merley. Their graphic design artists are HK and Roberto, their manager is Jon Nunes, and their photographer is Ashlan Grey. Lauded for their diversity and inclusiveness, the group gained critical traction in 2017 when they dropped their “Saturation” trilogy, bringing a unique and collectivist approach to hip hop music while simultaneously redefining what it means to be a “boy band.” They dropped their fourth album “Iridescence” last year, and dropped their fifth album “Ginger” this past August.
Bringing rambunctious and fun demeanor to a crowd of young alternative music lovers, Brockhampton’s show was a perfect example of what it means to be young and confident in one’s differences from others. I would imagine a better half of everyone there was a teenager, and I found it empowering how the young rap group’s inclusive nature combined with confrontational vocal deliveries likely made so many kids feel represented. At one point, the group welcomed various concert-goers onto the stage, who were allowed to dance, cheer, take selfies, and have the time of their lives for their song “QUEER.” Just imagining how a simple acknowledgement of their fans like this probably changed these kids’ lives and made them feel more seen and heard than ever puts me in awe. Not many groups I know of have that sort of fan interaction, so I commend Brockhampton a ton for giving an exciting hopefulness to their young fans.
The group’s set included a vast selection of their discography, although eighth of the twenty songs performed had been off their most recent record. Four were off SATURATION III, three from Iridescence, two from SATURATION II, and one from SATURATION I. Additionally, they did their “1999 WILDFIRE” single and opened with a cover of Rihanna’s “Stay.”
BROCKHAMPTON is an immensely talented fixture of young artists that do what they do to represent the misunderstood youth. They do a damn good job at it. Go see them, support them, and pay heed to how much they make everyone smile!