Concert Review: BROCKHAMPTON is redefining what we mean when we say “underdog.”

Brockhampton proves that in 2018, you don’t need a record deal to become a household name. Formed in 2015 in San Marcos, Texas, the rap collective is essentially a crew of fifteen friends who work together to write and record music, shoot videos, and promote their brand. The first members actually met in the comments of a Kanye West fan forum. Now, Brockhampton lives together in Los Angeles and churns out albums faster than you can squeak an ad-lib.

Over the course of 2017, Brockhampton produced three LPs to comprise the SATURATION trilogy, each release more dialed than the last. Their sound is fresh but familiar, like a sonic lovechild of Missy Elliot and Dr. Dre. The group’s six rapping members cover a great deal of lyrical ground, touching on themes like faith, drug use and homosexuality. Their latest tour wrapped up last night with a show in Phoenix, AZ.

When I first saw the title of Brockhampton’s latest tour – Love Your Parents: A Live Experience by BROCKHAMPTON – I assumed it was some kind of inside joke. Almost everything the group had put out to date had been tinged with mockery, like the fishy announcement that Saturation III was “Brockhampton’s final studio album.” Loving one’s parents is by no means an offensive practice to promote, but the lyrics of songs like “JUNKY” suggest a bit of tongue-in-cheek there. Calling it “A Live Experience” seemed like a similar stunt to the announcement that the group’s “last studio album” announcement: an act of facetious grandeur.

Brockhampton’s visit to Denver’s Ogden Theater on February 22nd was no gimmick. The show was sold out weeks in advance, with scalpers peddling their wares in the triple digits. The “live experience” had no opener, and so by showtime the venue as packed with anxious fans. The atmosphere before the show was not unlike that of other boybands – anxious fans rushing to get past the security metal detectors, people standing on their tiptoes to see any Brockhampton members lurking in the wings. Every time a sound guy crossed the stage, the crowd erupted into cheers. Some enthusiastic fans in the front tried to summon the boyband three separate times with a “BROCK-HAMP-TON!” chant.

Suddenly, the house went dark. A pedestrian crossing light shone brightly on one end of the stage, and a stoplight illuminated the other. There was a moment of tense silence and anticipation; the calm before the storm. No music just yet. Then, the main lights came up to reveal the makings of a living room – sofa, some chairs, and an ambiguously vintage television set – inhabited by America’s Favorite Boyband, all in matching orange jumpsuits.

Image courtesy of @daddys.shotgun on Instagram

Unsurprisingly, Brockhampton opened with “BOOGIE”, a track that marked a sharp upturn in their popularity. Each verse brought a new member downstage, until all but one were in full formation. By the end of the song, each member was downstage and fully vertical – except for Bearface, who spent the entirety of the show lounging in various positions on the furniture.

Kevin Abstract, the group’s leader, did not give the audience much time to breathe after their raucous introduction. For the next hour and a half, Brockhampton blasted through what seemed like all of the Saturation trilogy. The kept small talk between songs to a minimum, but that’s not to say Brockhampton shirked the crowd. Kevin was the primary voice of the group between songs, and he thanked and taunted the crowd. There was even a point in which Kevin engaged the audience in a call-and-response cheer of “I’m gay!”

At one notable moment, they played Star. After Kevin’s verse, he stopped and had the entire crowd rap the lyrics back to him. A bold decision, yet somehow everyone knew all the words. The show maintained its energy on the audience’s knowledge alone. This wasn’t just a hit-song phenomenon, either. Audience members were consistently rapping along to every word. Hilariously, everyone screamed the loudest during the parts with lyrics referencing Kevin’s gayness. Hearing the audience of a sold-out venue shout about giving men oral sex was a special experience indeed.

About an hour into the show, Kevin shut down the party to host a brief Q&A. This lead to a divine moment in which a girl in the crowd held the mic and earnestly asked Matt Champion if he would like to hit her JUUL–he politely declined. Another audience member asked about a certain synth line, which briefly brought DJ Romil into the spotlight. An intergral part of Brockhampton’s music, Romil was the silent hero of the night. He nailed the live autotuning, and made sure there wasn’t a moment of dead air to spoil the energy.

Image courtesy of @bearfacington on Instagram.

The show came to a close with a soulful solo performance of Waste by Bearface, who had remained draped across the living room set up until that point. Naturally, the performance wasn’t really the end of the show, and it was obvious that the boyband was simply baiting the audience for an encore. Upon Bearface’s exit, the stage went dark. For about ten hopeful minutes the crowd chanted and churned. Kevin took a mic from backstage and teased the crowd with lines from various songs, taunting his fans with a vast portfolio of potential reprises. Finally, the lights came up and Brockhampton came out to perform the pleasant pop track “HOTTIE”.

Brockhampton’s show at The Ogden proves that there is strength in numbers. With six spitters to cover every dropped syllable, the group enjoyed a large margin for error. The group dynamic is forgiving. It doesn’t matter that no single member could carry a performance like that on their own – that’s just part of the deal. They wear the same orange jumpsuits and often paint their faces blue, a cheeky nod to the fact that Brockhampton is totally a team effort.

Brockhampton’s achievements over the last six months could be enough to satisfy a young rap group’s ambitions, but America’s Favorite Boyband is nowhere near slowing down. Now that the “Love Your Parents” tour has come to a close, Brockhampton will return home to Los Angeles for a few months, before playing major festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Reading & Leeds. I tremble for any act who has to follow them.

Watch the video for “SWEET” below:


Song of the Week: Valentine – Soloq ft. Clairo

Soloq is a go-getter. This 17-year-old chillwave producer sells beats for money in addition to working on his own stuff, and while he’s not exactly widely established yet, he’s already got some dank collaborations on lock . Soloq’s latest project features a track with vocals by Clairo, the bedroom pop internet darling that everyone seems to love. The lovely tune is full of satisfying pops and guitar strums, the perfect soundtrack to an early spring day. Listen below.



INTERVIEW: Easy, baby takes Colorado College

We sat down with psych-pop dream-trap group Easy, baby after their SOCC performance in December to chat about new music, old friends and the pitfalls of Rocket League. Based in Montreal, the band was started by CC alumni Gabe & Eli Sashihara and their childhood friend Lucas Hamren. Listen to the conversation below:


CONCERT PREVIEW: BROCKHAMPTON @ The Ogden Theater, February 22

Brockhampton, stylized as BROCKHAMPTON, is a California-based American hip-hop collective formed in San Marcos, Texas in 2015. Brockhampton was founded on Internet forum KanyeToThe, leading them to be described as ‘The Internet’s first boy band’. They released their first mixtape All-American Trash in 2016, their first album Saturation in June 2017, and their second album Saturation II in August 2017.

No one could have predicted a year ago the height Brockhampton has reached. The boyband shot to superstardom somewhere between the releases of Saturation II and III. In just the last few weeks, Brockhampton has been featured on TRL, Fantano, and in Converse’s “Rated One Star” campaign.

America’s favorite boyband will be coming to Denver as a part of their LOVE YOUR PARENTS tour . The show is next Thursday February 22 at The Ogden Theater. Based on tour footage from their recent shows and the members’ respective Instagram stories, this not one to miss.

Be sure to check out CC’s Concerts and Shows Facebook group for carpool opportunities to the show. We hope to see you there.

LISTEN: “Boogie”

CONCERT PREVIEW: Keys N Krates @ Boulder Theater, February 9

Welcome back to school and reality, everyone! With the new year comes a host of dope concerts. The SOCC will be posting previews of shows we think are worth checking out. If you’re looking to enjoy a good night off campus, you can catch Keys N Krates with NYC’s DJ Jubilee at the Boulder Theater on Friday, February 9th.

Toronto’s Keys N Krates have established themselves as one of the biggest names in electronic music, with their song “Dum Dee Dum” achieving RIAA gold status without radio airplay. Party-makers in their own right, KNK also throw an annual festival in their hometown Toronto booking acts like Virgil Abloh, River Tiber, AraabMuzik, and Lunice. More recently, they released “Glitter” ft. Ambré which saw them break the conventions of the dance world and explore R&B. On their forthcoming album Cura they continue to explore sounds outside of the electronic world, a genre that they have led for several years.

One of the inconvenient realities of living in Colorado Springs is that most big names tend to pass us by. While it’s not too hard to get up to Denver or Boulder for a show, most tend to fall on weeknights. Luckily, the Keys N Krates show is on a Friday night, so you don’t even have to worry about making it to class the next morning.

You can buy tickets online here. Check out their single “Glitter” below!

PLAYLIST: 4thwk x 4thblk

The end of a semester is undoubtedly an emotional roller coaster. It’s the only time of year that you can go to the library and get to see a silently weeping student juxtaposed with the jiggly scrotum of the streaker who had the foresight to take Intro to Nature Sounds and is done with finals four days before anyone else.

Much like the average Fourth Week Experience, the Perfect Study Playlist is hardly one-size-fits-all. I’ve written papers to soundtracks ranging from Death Grips to Vivaldi. Regardless, Spotify playlists are the new mixtapes, and I just want the world to know that I am your secret admirer, I made this playlist for you, and I want it to make you happy and productive.

Godspeed, my children. The end is near.

NEW MUSIC: Most Likely – “Steve”

Austin fuzz-rock outfit Most Likely has just released a new single about a cat. Formerly known as Planet Manhood, these dudes have been putting out music for a few years already. The new track is the first release off their upcoming LP, and its production blows previous work out of the water. Fans of (Sandy) Alex G. will almost certainly dig it – the first chords immediately evoke the sound of 2015’s Beach Music. Give it a listen below:


I’ve always had mixed feelings about math rock. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the genre, here’s my stripped-down definition: experimental rock made up of layered rhythms that really should not sound good together. In my experience, math rock can range from utterly abrasive to mind-blowing. Palm lands on the latter end of that spectrum.

I saw this band play at an itty bitty coffee shop up in Boulder a few weeks ago. The performance had me fully immersed – it almost becomes a game, trying to figure out when the downbeats land or when the keys change. It’s impossible to concentrate to this sort of music, yet it tickles the brain in an inspiring way.

Palm is full of contradictions. I should really stop trying to describe it, and you should really just listen to their newest track below. Enjoy.

Song of the Weekend: Ariel Pink – “Death Patrol”

I’m a big fan of the first few weeks after an album is released. No matter how famous or underground the artist is, for a glorious fortnight I can toss their music on the aux and watch as everyone in the room reacts. People will bob their heads and tap their toes, running through the iTunes libraries of their mind trying to figure out who the hell sings this song. In that moment, I feel like god, holding the power of a great song as well as the holy knowledge of its origins.

Ariel Pink’s latest album has been on the airwaves long enough wear its novelty thin, yet his music always has a similar effect on a room. Nostalgia confronts experimentalism in songs like “Death Patrol,” leaving listeners in a frustrating state of deja vu. Dreamy disco melodies combined with Pink’s eclectic vocal range make this track familiar yet uncontrived. “Death Patrol” is a perfect song for parents’ weekend, as music fans from any era can recognize something likable in it.

Song of the Day: KMD – “Peach Fuzz”

Before there was MF Doom or King Geedorah, there was Zev Love X. Rapper Daniel Dumile got his start as a part of the group KMD, which he formed with his brother in 1988. The group released their first studio album in 1991, when Dumile was only 17 years old. For longtime Doom fans, the rest is basically history.

Hearing a young Dumile spit on a track like “Peach Fuzz” is one helluva trip. Zev Love X’s raps have the same unique timbre of a typical Doom song, but the high-pitched pubescence makes it something entirely unique. You can hear the same savvy rhyme schemes, wacky references, and vintage samples on KMD’s music as you would on any of Dumile’s recent work, but with a distinctly old-school vibe. So kick back, revel in the ’90s slang and bump this blast from the past on repeat.