BY CHARISSA CHE
As a first-time Hoodie Allen concert-goer with only his past albums and an accidental encore walk-in to go off of, I had no clue what to expect at the Complex on Monday, October 22 besides goofiness and gimmicks (in the best of ways). To my pleasant surprise, the show was a substantive, much-needed reprieve from the tumult of today’s current events.
Yes, as promised, there was cake (three, to be precise) thrown at the audience, an inflatable raft stage dive, and a bra jump rope to top off the night. Hoodie’s stage banter with his bandmates and the occasional front-row fan was a breath of fresh air: here was a self-deprecating, endearingly vulgar rapper, decked out in a Mustangs Jersey and shades, quipping about “meat shavers” and how much he hated Jeff (part of the crew? Not too clear who he was but the audience happily obliged Hoodie’s instructions to chant “I hate Jeff! I hate Jeff!”). The rapper moved his way from new tracks off The Hype to “the bangers portion of the show,” which is when the Snapchatters really came to life.
Hoodie is more than just a white kid from New York who rhymes about pop culture, staying humble, the All-American life, and how your girl would rather be with him. He is an all-around talent and showman who has clearly built a tight rapport with his fanbase (even providing them with a number so they could text him directly). The music itself is a genre-bending feat that doesn’t overreach, as though Hoodie is trying on different shoes just for the hell of it. He performs his emo-rockish tracks with the same conviction as his ciphers about heartbreak (check out “Ain’t Ready” if you want goosebumps).
Notably, opener Luke Christopher was a breath of fresh air, in all his dimple-smiled, tie-dye glory. His set was made even more special when he gave a shout-out to his mother in the audience. Given his upbeat lyrics, deft and often unexpected sampling of top 40 and indie hits and utter charm, the rapper will no doubt be making greater national and international waves in the near future.
To view more photos from the show, go here.