Tyler, the Creator + Jaden Smith + GoldLink @ Place Bell – 11th September 2019

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Tyler, the Creator


Tyler, the Creator gave a conceptual and daring performance at Place Bell on 11th September on the sixth night of his worldwide tour. 

It’s a rarity for a support act to be as highly anticipated as his headliner however tonight is an exception. D’Anthony Carlos, better known by his stage name GoldLink, rose to fame via SoundCloud back in 2013. The rapper has since collaborated with the likes of Montreal’s very own Kaytranada and singer Christina Aguilera.

GoldLink jumps onto stage right on schedule at 7pm. His energy is instantly contagious and he shouts at the crowd ‘I hate when motherfuckers come to gigs and just stand still!’

He performs almost every song from his recently released album ‘Diaspora’. It’s vastly different to his earlier work and you can tell that he’s made a conscious effort to be more experimental.

He’s playful and energetic, and I’ve never witnessed a rapper cram so many intelligent lyrics into one sentence. He’s so fast that sometimes it’s hard to catch what he says, but every minute or two an ingenious line or rhyme will hit you. 

He plays with the rhythm, building the crowd up just to bring them back down. The crowd are like his puppets as he makes them make a mosh pit before splitting them like the red sea. 

His hit single Crew is a stand out performance and sums GoldLink up as an artist. A mix of fast tempo, clever lyricism and great beats. It’s no wonder GoldLink is so critically acclaimed. 

The second support act is Jaden Smith. At just 21, Jaden has already enjoyed enormous success, both in the music and film industry. The star began rapping in 2010 with Justin Bieber and since then has focused on developing his own music career. 

Throughout the entirety of Jaden’s set, a video of a zombie-esque Jaden making his way through the city plays in the background. This is somewhat distracting and feels as though you’re watching a music video rather than a live performance. 

In spite of this, Jaden is undeniably a born performer. As he moonwalks across the stage, picks up a guitar, and switches between upbeat rap songs and softer RnB, it seems there’s nothing this boy can’t do. I can hear the influence of Kid Cudi, Drake, and Kanye West, and it seems as though Jaden is still finding his own artistic voice. 

If you haven’t heard of Tyler, the Creator in 2019, you’ve been living under a rock. This artist is everywhere. Known as a creator for a reason, Tyler has been working on pushing the boundaries of live performance. 

Tyler, the creator, real name Tylor Gregory Okonma, is no stranger to controversy. Stunts like performing a surprise set in London earlier this year which was cancelled after crowds got too rowdy, have only helped to propel the rapper into stardom. 

This tour celebrates the release of his fifth studio album Igor. Named after Tyler’s blonde-wigged alter ego, Igor is vulnerable and conceptual. He steps on stage and stands unnaturally still, wearing a striking blue suit, shades and the iconic blonde wig. ‘Hello’ he announces. A minimalistic opening which matches his bizarre entrance. 

This is the 6th night of his tour, and he admits that he’s not actually sure where he is, ’I think I’m in Montreal?’ he asks the crowd, who respond with chants of ‘MONTREAL, MONTREAL’.

‘New York is three hours away and you motherfuckers got a French accent? Montreal is crazy!’ I can’t help but agree. The whole thing is perfectly aesthetically crafted. A curtain drops in the background, showing a starry night sky, which matches the lyrics of ‘The sky’s falling but I’m trying to catch you’ in ‘IFHY’. 

It’s an intense performance, and Tyler opens up and gives his all to the crowd. So much so that he’s completely out of breath after every song. 

The thing that is most captivating about Tyler, the Creator, is that you never know what he’s going to do next. Whether that be on stage, or after, as Tyler, or as Igor. 

Review – Kate Spree
Photos – Ramy Elhoufy

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