By Kristina Charania
June 21, 2014
VANCOUVER — “I want the attention, I want all the cash. I want all the ass. Is it too much to ask?
For his 17th album’s headlining tour, rapper Lil’ Wayne is coming back, better than ever and —
— just kidding. Welcome to the Neighbourhood, lyrics from the darkly grim “Lurk”, and their first pitstop on the El Blanco Tour.
Starting off the evening, first opener White Arrows was nondescript. The band – a tropi-psychedelic pop reincarnation of Friendly Fires – had a few ears perk up mid-set as their vocalist adopted a shock blue wig, posed, and goofily announced, “Okay. You can take a picture now.” Though all smiley-face sunny vibes and catchy choruses, their charm was squelched by an all-encompassing rigidity that kept them glued to their spots.
This, however, was not an issue for hip-hop rap hooligan Travis Scott and his hypeman DJ Scott, a.k.a. La Flame, was an Energizer Bunny on cocaine who, as he aptly put, was “here to rage, motherfucker.” His set appeared mostly unplanned: he chugged an audience member’s booze, held the crowd at a standstill to take selfies, drenched everyone, ignored stage security, and climbed up thirty foot tall stage rigging on a whim. Did Scott get through a single full song in his forty minute long set? Good question.
Once onstage, the Neighbourhood had barely finished the demonic “Female Robbery” before a bra was pelted at the band. Really, though, it’s hard to blame the bra-brandishing ladies: heavily tattooed frontman Jesse Rutherford’s charisma was palpable and balanced by the band’s dark and lusty neo-rock rap meld, their mysterious allure, and an entirely monochromatic set. With Rutherford’s crisper-than-expected vocals and a solid rhythm section leading the way, the band shone on tunes like the melancholic anthem “Sweater Weather,” saxophone-jazzy “Jealousy,” and the sultry and lusty “A Little Death.” With rousing and rebellious choruses of “I don’t like you, fuck you anyway” from fans during final song “Afraid,” the band tossed a few haphazard middle fingers before sauntering off stage to the triumphant smirks of the audience.BC, British Columbia, The Neighbourhood