Performing at Chicago's Metro Concert Hall with opener and Chicago native Mick Jenkins, as well as his partner in crime (these days, at least) Domo Genesis, Earl Sweatshirt gave the audience a show well worth the comparably cheap ticket price.
After a better-than-average opening set from Jenkins, Earl and Domo got the audience started with a laugh, jumping onstage to the sound of Queen's "We Are The Champions" and blaring white lights. It's fairly obvious to Odd Future fans at this point, but these guys like to circumvent the standard hip-hop dichotomy of hard gangster rapper vs. intellectual/political lyricist. They seem to be somewhere in the middle, or not even on the road between those two poles at all.
Earl is an enigma in many aspects. Visually, his performance is stunning because he looks like a 12-year-old kid with the voice of a 20-year rap veteran. It's jarring at first, to see someone like him sounding like he does. But after his first few songs you realize why the hype around him was so great before dropping his first album.
His show featured a mixture of choice cuts from his debut album "Doris" (like "Chum", "20 Wave Caps", and "Molasses") as well as hits off of his mixtapes "Earl" and "Radical". He even took some time out to play some new tracks for the audience, goading the crowd with the customary "They ain't ready for all that," taunt before launching into a long verse over a scratchy, moody beat.
Domo (who, despite the billing, is more of an equal to Earl and less of a hype-man), was just as good, even performing 1 or 2 hits off of his album "No Idols".
I was worried I wasn't even going to see him after his announcement 2 weeks ago that he was cutting his "Wearld Tour" short, citing exhaustion and his next album as reasons behind the date cancellations. But he decided to keep this show, and there are a couple thousand people very grateful for it.