Concert Review: Tyler, the Creator at FTX Arena March 20, 2022

If you stepped into FTX Arena on Sunday night without any knowledge of who you were hearing, you’d never guess Tyler, the Creator made his name as part of a group, once rapping horrorcore verses as a member of Southern California hip-hop collective Odd Future. Over an hour and a half, he rocked the stage — or rather stages — entirely on his own, with even the DJ positioned offstage almost out of sight. And the fans who packed the arena couldn’t have been happier to shower all their considerable attention on the headliner.

Tyler had a trio of openers in Kali Uchis, Vince Staples, and Teezo Touchdown. While the crowd certainly dug Kali Uchis’ sultry, Spanglish-inflected R&B, as soon as she wrapped up her set, the chants for Tyler began. Homemade signs were hoisted, reading, “Miami loves Tyler.” The anticipation built up so much that a wave broke out, getting fans up and down from their seats as though this was a soccer match or college football homecoming.

click to enlarge Kali Uchis served as one of three openers during last night's show. See more photos from Tyler, the Creator at the FTX Arena here. - PHOTO BY MICHELE EVE SANDBERG

Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Finally, around 10 p.m., they were rewarded with Tyler slowly rising out of the stage in the backseat of an aqua-hued replica of a 1939 Rolls Royce. He spat lyrics from his newish track “Sir Baudelaire,” asking everyone, “Y’all ready?” They certainly were, as literal fireworks went off from the rafters and the façade of a two-story country house was revealed as the backdrop.

Out of the front seat of the Rolls stepped a chauffeur who opened the door for Tyler to come out on stage and put on a spectacle. As he performed a few more tracks from his latest album, Call Me if You Get Lost, the crowd went wild. During “Lemonhead,” as Tyler climbed up the stairs to rhyme from the country house balcony, the arena floor was shaking hard enough that you wondered whether there were shifting tectonic plates beneath Florida.

click to enlarge The crowd had the arena shaking during Tyler, the Creator's performance. See more photos from Tyler, the Creator at the FTX Arena here. - PHOTO BY MICHELE EVE SANDBERG

Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

Things chilled out a bit when Tyler addressed the crowd to roast the Magic City. “Miami is crazy. The sun is right in your face. Lightning every day at 3 p.m. You got white people with dreadlocks.” His monologue shifted when he saw something thrown on the stage. “Why did you throw your phone up here? You’re not going to get it back. You didn’t think that out. That’s what I’m talking about: Miami is fucking crazy.”

To stick with the Miami theme, he jumped on a landlocked speedboat that cruised to a second island stage as he performed “WusYaName.” The fans on the floor stopped moshing for a moment to encircle the stage, and Tyler performed in quiet-loud-quiet fashion, transitioning from mellow soul influences into hardcore metal and back into relaxation mode.

He reminisced about his first few shows in Miami and how the 305 didn’t seem to vibe with his sound. He wondered aloud if he’d have to cut Miami from his tours since he didn’t seem appreciated. “And then something clicked,” he said. “Do you mind if I do some old songs? I’ll run through them real fast just to see if you like them now.” He then went into abbreviated snippets of “She,” “Smuckers,” and “Yonkers.”

click to enlarge See more photos from Tyler, the Creator at the FTX Arena here. - PHOTO BY MICHELE EVE SANDBERG

Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

The boat went in reverse to the main stage as he performed the slow jam of “I Thought You Wanted to Dance” and a few more tricks to close the show, busting out some dance moves and even singing a little a cappella in “Earfquake.” And when it was done, he bid everyone a good night, admonishing, “Hold your dicks and get home safe. Even if you got a pussy, hold your dicks.”

Like every other syllable that came out of his mouth on this evening, the crowd loved it.

– “Sir Baudelaire”
– “Corso”
– “Lemonhead”
– “Hot Wind Blows”
– “Lumberjack”
– “Massa”
– “WusYaName”
– “Boredom”
– “911”
– “See You Again”
– “IFHY”
– “She”/”Smuckers”/”Yonkers”/”Bimmer”/”Rusty”/”Tamale”
– “I Thought You Wanted to Dance”
– “Who Dat Boy”
– “I Think”
– “Earfquake”
– “New Magic Wand”
– “RunItUp”

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