The line to get into the Armory on Tuesday night stretched around the block of the giant venue. Although it took me a second to see it as my glasses fogged up the second I stepped out of my car and into the hot summer air, you could feel the excitement in the air and, although I was going into the show a bit blind (both literally and figuratively), it was impossible to not get lost in the excitement as I made my way into the hangar-styled building.
The first act of the night was ericdoa (pronounced Eric-D-O-A). Although you may not recognize his name, if you are a fan of the HBO drama series ‘Euphoria’, you know his music as it was featured on the second season’s soundtrack. I, for one, have yet to see the show so I knew nothing about this kid as he took the stage but it didn’t take long for me to get into it. His quick twenty-five-minute set was full of energy and crowd participation and he found himself spending most of his time on the small peninsula part of the stage that jutted out closer to the packed audience. ericdoa’s style is distinct as it has a very hyperpop vibe to it but it’s not quite straight-up hyperpop. With rap and hip-hop elements blended into a more digicore vibe, I found his sound to be interesting, and, although it wasn’t quite for me, I found myself craving more from him by the time his quick set was over and the stage was getting turned over.
Typically I spend set changes scrolling social media to catch up with the friends that I don’t get to see because I do this night after night but not on Tuesday night. I spent the thirty minutes between sets just watching the people around me. The crowd was young and very eager to party. The constant stream of paramedics running past me and people walking around with medical gloves filled with water and ice to help cool them down was more than enough to watch and keep me off of my phone. It was hot outside and seemed to be even hotter inside. Mix that with a youthful crowd that assumingly doesn’t know how to handle their liquor and drugs when in such a hot environment and you have yourself a bit of a mess. Part of me felt really bad for the young fans being ushered out of the venue due to medical emergencies while the other part of me was reminiscing back to the days when that used to be me. Going hard without much food in my system and without a drop of water– we have all been there and this show landing on the eve of my 33rd birthday (holy crap I’m old) gave me a moment to sit back and reflect.
That moment was interrupted as the lights went down and the fabric concealing the stage fell to the ground and gave the audience a glimpse of The Kid LAROI. Australian-born Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard is the real name behind The Kid LAROI and to say he has made a name for himself quickly over the past four years in the industry would be an understatement. He has worked with some of the greats such as Miley Cyrus and, a personal favorite of mine for no apparent reason, Justin Bieber. I loved the fact that although he has worked with huge stars, his performance on Tuesday night kept his individual talent and drive front and center. He didn’t rely on those other people and, although he played some of the songs and gave many nods to the people that helped him become what he is today, he really kept the spotlight on himself which is where it should have been.
Tuesday night was the first night of The Kid LAROI’s ‘End of the World Tour’ but I honestly wouldn’t have known that had he not mentioned it. The set felt flawless and although I have no clue what songs he performed or even how many he gave the audience, every track felt polished and every moment had a purpose and really got the crowd going. He mentioned that this was really the first time he had played through the entire set with a full band and that was honestly shocking to me just because of how perfectly all of the pieces fit together. Although the spotlight was consistently on Charlton, his band did a great job of backing him up and keeping the energy throughout the packed audience high.
There wasn’t a moment that the audience wasn’t going crazy for The Kid LAROI. Although I don’t quite get the hype behind his SoundCloud-styled rapping, witnessing the way the audience was responding to it was more than enough to have me completely enamored by the performer. I think that’s why I keep going back to shows like this where the music isn’t quite for me and I feel like the oldest person (outside of parents) in attendance. There’s just something about the effect that music and performances from people like The Kid LAROI have on their audience and it’s a phenomenon that, although I don’t know that I will ever understand, will always keep me coming back for more.
As mentioned, Tuesday night was the first night of this massive tour and even if this isn’t quite your jam, I highly suggest you check out this tour if comes near you. I promise it is worth your time!