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“The Rodeo” Is The Best Tour Of The Year

by on March 25, 2015
 

For weeks, the internet has been clamoring about The Rodeo tour, headlined by Travi$ Scott and Young Thug. They conquer each city like wrecking balls, doing physical and emotional damage to anyone that crosses their path. From the over-sold out shows in major cities like New York and Houston and guest appearances from Birdman to Andre 3000–– to the universal 3M poncho, The Rodeo tour is genuinely the best tour of the year.

Prior to the tour’s embarkment, the loved and hated chatroom KTT had been a place of solace for Rodeo disciples––kids who clung to any and all details of the tour, like rumored set-lists and possible variations of the sage design. When it finally came to New York City, Rodeo fever set in like a cold sweat. The back-to-back shows at Webster Hall were sold out and hopeful fans of scoring a last minute ticket were turned away, their bodies pale and ill-stricken because they could feel the infectious Rodeo just a few feet above them.

Travis Scott and Young Thug
[Photo via David Stromberg]

We collected into the venue as spirited Rodeo-warriors, ready to watch our valiant vaqueros take the stage. It’s a performance, but also an intense bonding experience of ricocheting tears, sweat and pouring emotions. Chase B and Metro Boomin’ partnered for a brilliant back-to-back set, further proving they are a formidable duo like Thug and Travis. Chase Boomin’ (working power-duo title) shared affirmative glances before they dropped records from Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” and Future’s “Beast Mode” mixtapes. The producer drops of “We got London on the track” and “Metro Boomin’ want some more” rolled our heads back in oxymoronic anguish, before a note was even rapped. The floor was buoyant, forcing you to capitulate to it. Even if you didn’t want to participate, you had to or get the fuck out. That’s how the Rodeo goes: you’re either all in or all out.

Video: Metro Boomin currently has the NYC Travis Scott show on tilt. #Drake #KnowYourself

A video posted by Word On Road (@wordonrd) on

A show like this is extremely intimate, even with an over-sold venue with a 1000-person capacity. Both Thug and Travis aren’t sanctified “mainstream,” as the special bond of “finding them on the internet before radio” relationship with their fans still exists. They’re not just fans: they’re warriors who take pride in knowing every lyric to every song, as if we were the A&R/booking agents that put this shit together. Although the neon cowboy that Virgil Abloh had a hand in designing was noticeably absent, Thug and Travis could have performed with the lights completely off and it still would have burned Webster Hall down, metaphorically speaking.

The show started with Thug and had back to back blitzes alternating with Travis, ultimately ending the show together with their songs including “Skyfall” and “Nothing But Net.” The pair’s chemistry is undeniable in both the music and performance elements. On stage they were privately amused, with adoring gazes and unchoreographed moments like when Thug shared his 3M poncho with Trav. They were natural and seamless, like the most functional relationship 2015 has to offer. This wasn’t my first time seeing Travis, but it was my first seeing Thug. While his Rich Gang relationship has yielded him certain guest appearances at uptown New York City night clubs, this was his first headlining show in the city and his first formal tour. New York is a tough audience, but he won not only our hearts, but our souls. Travis is undoubtedly the stronger performer, while Thug is about as lethargic as his raps. They perfectly balance each other out, never stealing each other’s thunder.

Travis Scott and Young ThugThe cowboy
[Photos via SnappsNY]

Be forewarned––there is absolutely no down-time during the show. No songs to skip over or lengthy breaks in-between sets. The Rodeo Tour is the Barry’s Bootcamp of concerts. You go in expecting to kick ass and instead get your ass kicked. It wasn’t surprising that during the show there was a fight in the mosh pit and a kid passed out. The negative press around the show with the viral video of Travis fighting has only proved that we have become myopic about hip-hop, never having experienced a true rock concert before. This is the only time where you can have this kind of cathartic release, with the remedy being an open floor and electrifying sounds. You can be completely ignorant for the purpose of having no purpose.

Despite the social chaos in the audience and the guest appearances by Birdman and Wale, tour photographer Cam Kirk, claimed it still wasn’t the “craziest” show they’ve had, but that this might be the most passionate tour on the planet right now. Each night they perform, my social media timeline is soaked with updates, trending in each city The Rodeo occupies. Usually the climax of a tour is New York. Because when New York watches, the world watches. However, the The Rodeo’s boiling-point was reached at the Houston show a few days ago, which was livestreamed, courtesy of Yahoo. The entire world was finally able to see what brought Andre 3000 to the Rodeo that night.

This tour has been a fortuitous one for the team. Metro is exploring new sonic levels of his sound, releasing “No Sleep 4 The Youth” via Soundcloud while being on the road; Thug finally announced the name of his debut album, Carter VI, amidst the tyranny of Cash Money. And FINALLY, The corporate world caught up with reality and Hot 97 finally booked Travis to perform at Summer Jam’s festival stage. There are only a few days left, saddle up while there’s still time. You won’t experience it like this again.

Young Thug
[Photo via Trillectro]

Travis Scott
[Photo via Trillectro]

Travis Scott and Andree 3000
[Photo via Cam Kirk]

The Rodeo
[Photo via Cam Kirk]

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[Photo via Cam Kirk]