On Friday, Feb. 16, everyone’s favorite boyband that you haven’t heard of (yet) played on the main stage of The Rave in Milwaukee. The long line in the cold followed by the sweaty warm theatre showed the anticipation for the self-proclaimed “best boyband since One Direction.” Although the show was scheduled for 9 p.m., BROCKHAMPTON dropped the curtain half an hour later to reveal their unique stage which was set like the living room of the house the members share together. The band wore their signature orange jumpsuits that have become symbols for the young superstars-in-the-making.
The show started and ended with an unbelievable amount of energy with the crowd dancing and singing to each song. The audience was littered with die-hard fans who have binged on the boyband’s massive collection of music that they dropped in a short span of six months from their studio home.
The group started off their set with their dance number “BOOGIE” from the third album of the SATURATION series, throwing the crowd into a frenzy. Each member took the spotlight for their individual verse with the rest often joining in, feeding off of each other’s energy. In the first hour of the show, the band played their most popular songs from all three SATURATION albums. The first 15 minutes were punctuated with songs like “STAR” and “GUMMY” that kept the crowd going wild. Not every song features all six members, so those not involved took breaks sitting on the couch of the band’s extended living room.
There were many highlights in the show with each individual member taking center-stage and stealing the show in their respective moments. Dom McLennon performed his iconic verse from “FACE.” Merlyn’s famous parts in “SWEET” and “STUPID” were great. Joba’s verses on “JOHNNY” and “ZIPPER” were some of the most brilliant moments from the boyband. Joba used his voice to play around and harmonize on the hooks and choruses of most tracks. Ameer Vann was particularly impressive and consistently showcased his talent in all his verses. Kevin Abstract, having perhaps the most experience on stage, pulled off all his hooks and verses with ease while being the most interactive with the crowd. McLennon and Abstract often changed up their voices using auto-tune to put a new twist on their contributions. Matt Champion, one of the most popular members of the band, rapped his verses with a quality not often seen in live performances, especially by someone that hasn’t been touring very long. His verses on “STUPID” and “JUNKY” were highlights of his. When the group performed songs like “BOOGIE,” “HEAT” and “STAR,” they spurred massive mosh-pits throughout the crowd, displacing more people than other tracks.
After the initial hour, a long pause took over where the members stood side by side with their heads down, the crowd going wild yelling “Brockhampton.” Bearface, the quiet and elusive guitarist and vocalist from the band, stepped up alone and performed “SUMMER” followed by “TEAM” while the rest took a break backstage. The band returned after a long pause with the crowd eagerly waiting. The band came back and quickly got back into their set by playing “BLEACH” followed by “HEAT” and multiple encores of “STAR.” The show started the way it ended: with tremendous energy.
Although the gig was a tremendous showcase of incredible talent, there were some parts that were lackluster. On a few occasions, McLennon and Joba were performing off-beat and sounded slightly awkward. The audio was strange; the vocalists’ mics were turned up too loud and the instrumentals were too soft, drowning out the melodies and beats that make BROCKHAMPTON so fascinating. The crowd could not hold its excitement when Abstract announced an encore and continued to call for another and another, totaling six repeats. However, these were minor hiccups in what was otherwise a breathtaking performance.
BROCKHAMPTON is on the cusp of mainstream success. With their songs creeping into TV advertisements, it doesn’t seem to be too far away. The Rave held their biggest performance yet and the band pulled it off with ease. If you haven’t heard any songs from BROCKHAMPTON, now is the time to scroll their Spotify page and listen to 30+ songs of fresh content and creativity from this self-made powerhouse group. Not only do they sound good recorded, they sound amazing live. Their performance is a terrific representation of the band: a young, energetic, and creative machine that has churned out such a unique and wonderful sound.