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On Saturday night, the masses flooded to the Sahara amphitheater to see one of the most unique performances of the entire festival: BROCKHAMPTON’s last ever performance. The group had announced on Jan. 14 that they would be taking an “indefinite hiatus” following their performances at Coachella this year. No reasons were cited for the split, but Kevin Abstract’s burgeoning solo career is a speculated reason.
The intro to “BUZZCUT” began, and the crowd went wild. The massive speaker setup blasted 808s into the crowd and shook the entire venue. Kevin Abstract entered with “Who let the dope boys out? Thank God you let me crash on your couch,” and the audience almost drowned out the speakers, a truly difficult feat to accomplish at any show, let alone a massive music festival.
Donned in varsity leather jackets, the rest of the boyband joined the stage and took their place among the set. The words “All good things must come to an end” were etched into the backs of the varsity jackets, serving as an homage to the band's legacy. A giant, twenty-foot tall animatronic gorilla was positioned in the very center of the stage, bouncing and bobbing its head to the beat. Jungle artwork on the massive LED screens behind the band provided its habitat. This unique and creative set only served to compound the crowd’s hype for the boys, which was through the roof.
Visually, each song was a spectacle, with rapidly flashing lights and other lighting effects. At times it felt a bit overboard, but the excitement of the light shows was by no means detrimental to the overall experience of the performance.
One of the best parts about seeing BROCKHAMPTON live is the cheeky swagger of the band. The members jump around on stage, hype each other up, and show off for the audience. In terms of crowd engagement, they had no trouble getting the audience to follow their lead. Kevin Abstract and Ciarán McDonald (who goes by the stage name bearface) led the majority of the crowd cues, directing fans to turn on their flashlights, bounce their hands back and forth, and otherwise go crazy. Repeatedly, they reminded the audience that this was their last show.
Near the end of the set, Abstract told the audience to “open the motherfucking pits.” The crowd, he noted, was not at the energy level necessary for the final performance. And so, endearing fans shoved one another apart and opened the mosh pits. The show quickly became too much, though. At one point, one fan in the audience fainted from heat exhaustion and was soon after knocked over before the crowd cleared an exit path and offered the fan water.
The best moment of the show came with the penultimate track, “SUMMER.” Bearface walked to the center of the stage while the other members quietly moved into the background. Eyes closed and head lowered, he began to sing his feature track, and the audience joined him in booming solidarity. Immediately, his face lit up with emotion, and he covered his apparently-watering eyes. His gorgeous vocals filled up the amphitheater and seemed to call out to the audience in gratitude for all their support.
As “SUMMER” closed, Kevin Abstract told the audience they had one song left, and the energy immediately flipped upside down as “BOOGIE” started. The nostalgia of “SUMMER” transformed into a pure party. Mosh Pits opened, beach balls went flying, and fans sprayed water into the air. In true BROCKHAMPTON fashion, the group’s journey came to a close with celebration and unfettered energy.
The boys came together, bowed to the crowd, and exited stage left to thundering applause. All good things must come to an end.
—Staff writer A.J. Veneziano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @aj_veneziano.
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