On October 21st, I saw Brockhampton for the second time at Terminal 5 on their "i'll be there" tour. I’ve seen them before on their Love Your Parents Tour in January at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia, which was truly amazing. However, since that concert, they have lost a member and released a new album I wasn't totally enthused about. Anyone who knows me knows I stan Brockhampton so much. When the whole thing with Ameer Vann happened, I was worried. Ameer had been one of my favorites and I couldn't decide if I would like their new music without him. I take sexual assault very seriously, though, so I support their decision to remove Vann from the group. Since he left, Brockhampton scrapped two albums and a ton of tracks, which was hard to watch. However, they got it together and released a new album, iridescence.
I listened through it and was not that impressed initially, but the album grew on me the more I listened to it. As a standalone album, it is super amazing and really holds its own, but compared to the Saturation Trilogy, it falls flat. However, I still bought merch and preordered the album to support the greatest boyband ever. I was so excited for this tour, I bought my tickets before the album dropped and made plans to go as soon as the tour was announced. I knew what to expect - a far too warm pit full of high schoolers thrashing about to our favorite band. I don't usually go to shows in NYC and had never been to Terminal 5. I woke up in the morning exhausted, thinking about selling my ticket. I got to NYC and felt how cold it was and wanted to go home. We got there too early and as I was waiting in line, I wanted to go home even more. But I stuck with it and in the end, I was so glad that I didn't sell my ticket.
The show was absolutely amazing! Terminal 5 has balconies wrapping around the pit on the second and third floor, and from the third floor we had a great view, without having to suffer in the pit. At the Love Your Parents Tour, I almost passed out in the pit because I was dehydrated. I was so happy to not have to deal with that. The stage was amazing as well. The stage floor was a shiny, almost iridescent black, with a ramp of the same material leading up to a massive screen. On the screen they were showing a variety of videos - from live edits of the band performing, to roller-coaster first-person videos, to old music videos. They performed a range of their songs from Saturation I to iridescence. Without Ameer Vann, they skipped some verses and other members covered some, but they still held up. Saturation still sounded great even without Vann, which confirmed for me that they still have the talent and originality they started with. With Vann gone, Dom McLennon rose to the top, from my perspective.
Kevin Abstract is still the clear leader, rapping and singing sweet hooks, but McLennon added the edge that I always liked from the group. Joba and Matt Champion have always been good and while Joba has definitely grown into his own voice lately, Champion has always been a backbone for the group. His verse on “ZIPPER”, where he rhymes ‘fossil’, ‘possum’, and ‘castle’ really emphasizes his skill and is one of my favorites from him. I was so happy to see it performed, they sounded excellent, and Merlyn Wood also shone on that track. Seeing Bearface more involved was heartwarming too. In the Saturation Era, he really only added hooks and verses where he was singing, but he has rap verses on Iridescence. Seeing all of the members involved was amazing, it is clear they are all still growing and improving, and that was made evident in the production quality of the concert as well.
Their short, sticky raps were punctuated with staccato, flashing lights and lasers which shone through a dense fog hovering over the pit. The video screen added a lot to the show, while the six performing members were dancing around and screaming, there was also a constant stream of visually appealing video to watch. It made the whole experience far more interesting and fun. The live video editing was reminiscent of Frank Ocean's Blonde-era tour, which included live visuals from the likes of Spike Jonze. It had their own twist, including the saturated filter that resembles a heatmap, as seen in Brockhampton's promotional images from before iridescence. They also frequently showed the crowd, which was lovely because it was clearly obvious how happy the kids at the barricade were. They were truly having the time of their lives, and I was living vicariously through them. Overall, this show was absolutely spectacular. They played a ton of songs, my favorites being the ones off of Saturation I, II, and III, like "STAR", "GOLD", "GUMMY", and "SISTER", and the encore songs, "1998 TRUMAN" and "1999 WILDFIRE", and of course "BOOGIE". Seeing them perform these old songs with the same pizzazz as before made me excited for what they still have coming, especially considering their RCA deal means more albums on the way. Finishing with "BOOGIE" felt especially like a good touch to me because it was the song they opened with when I saw them in January. It was a great ending to a great concert and I'm so happy I had the chance to see Brockhampton again!