To be honest, I’ve only been listening to Brockhampton just a few months before Iridescence came out. I had heard about them prior, but there was a lot of drama going on with Ameer and the rest of the boys, so I kept my distance at first. However, a couple of friends convinced me to listen to the Saturation trilogy, and I fell in love with their production while listening to SISTER/NATION. Now, they’re in my regular rotation.
Then, when Iridescence came out, I became obsessed with the entire album for months. One of my favourite memories was when I was visiting Slow Hours for the first time in Paris, and we played all of Iridescence as we were just hanging out. Ginger is Brockhampton’s most recent album, and it’s a masterpiece as well. Honestly, it took a little longer for me to appreciate compared to Iridescence, but it is absolutely gorgeous.
I was torn about quitting my job early to travel up to Salt Lake City for the Brockhampton show. However, Richard told me he was thinking about visiting all the way from California. Eventually, I thought I might as well. We met a little over a year ago at the Virtual Self show, so I really wanted to see him again!
My sister was also torn about going, but she eventually decided to tag along. I showed her Brockhampton right after Iridescence came out, and I’m always very happy when she likes the music I like.
We were also hanging out with his friends Blake, Jill, and Jamie (sorry, my Instagram detective skills aren’t that great). They were all very kind, but Blake requested we get to the line at around 3 PM. Keep in mind, the doors wouldn’t open until 7 PM.
Freezing In Line
When we got in line at about 3:30 pm, we realised the line wasn’t even that bad. We brought blankets, and Richard brought a deck of cards. However, we were still underprepared compared to the batch of people in front of us who brought a tent and stayed overnight.
It was cold. My sister and I had just traveled up from warmer weathers, and I was missing it already. The high that day was around 34ºF, and I was in a thin mesh cat onesie for Halloween. At least we got a couple of cute pictures before my nose fell off.
Luckily, Brockhampton security decided to let us all inside the building an hour before doors were supposed to open. We flew through security, then had to wait just a little longer in front of the actual doors. Once we were inside, we shuffled our way to the front of the crowd. At this point, I could already start to feel my anxiety creeping in on me, but I was hoping it would pass by the time the concert actually started.
Richard noticed the guy right behind us was playing a mobile game called Clash Royale. So, he whipped out his phone and they played together for a little bit. It was really wholesome and made me smile.
Anxiety Attack #1
After waiting for a little longer, I could feel my breath shorten and I started to panic. I looked over at Richard and told him I was going to head out for a second. He offered to come out with me. At first, I didn’t want him to tag along because I could feel tears welling up. I didn’t want him to see me cry, but I also didn’t want to lose the group. So, he pushed our way out.
We decided to hit the merch line to see if we wanted anything, so we waited in line. We overheard a couple of people behind us talking about how 100 Gecs supposedly wouldn’t perform at this show, and would instead start their tour in Arizona. That sounded wrong, since we were literally right by their merch table. The people in front of us assured us that 100 Gecs would definitely be playing that night.
Regardless, all of the merchandise seemed too expensive to justify, so we started heading back toward the crowd. Richard asked if I was sure I wanted to try going back in, and I said I’d be fine. Spoiler: I was not fine.
Please note: I would not recommend reading this section if you are sensitive to anxiety attacks. Reliving it through writing kind of brought tears again.
Finally, 100 Gecs was ready to perform. To be honest, I couldn’t even pay attention to whatever was the first song they were playing. The crowd was insane, in the worst possible way. Definitely the rudest clump of people I’ve ever experienced at a show. I’m not sure where we were in relation to the stage, but we were pretty close up, so maybe it’s to be expected of the location. But I seriously cannot imagine anyone having a good time with a crowd like this.
Anxiety Attack #2
Everyone was centimeters apart. I only heard roaring in my ears. I was quite literally picked up off the floor and held up only by the people around me, who were all swaying from one side of the room to the other in a horrible game of Jello.
Quickly, I developed a fear that I would be dropped, crushed, and possibly killed. The tears from before made their return and began streaming down my face. The roaring grew louder, and I started fighting my way out, but I couldn’t move at all. I began screaming at the top of my lungs. Not the kind of scream you expect to hear at a concert, but a scream I didn’t even know I was capable of making.
My sister noticed, as did Richard. They started screaming at everyone else in the crowd, trying to get me out of there. I owe them my life at this point, honestly. Later, they told me that people were incredibly rude when they were trying to get through.
They dragged me to the side of the room, and I was shaking and crying pretty badly at that point. I remember I had my head between my legs in sitting-fetal position, and I could hear a security guard asking Kaylin and Richard what was wrong with me. Slowly, I peeked my head out and he asked me my name, and if I was okay. He took us to the medical room, flashed a light in my eyes, asked me if I was sober, and gave me some water.
“Has this ever happened before?” he asked. I told him yes, but not at a concert. He checked my pulse and said it was still going pretty quickly, and suggested that I simply go home. I suppose the look on my face seemed pretty disappointed because he blurted, “Or, you could just stand off to the side.”
We hung out there a little longer before we overheard on the security talkies that someone had passed out in the crowd. Kaylin turned to me and whispered, “Man, I thought that was going to be you.”
We left the room soon after the next girl came in, because she was clearly not sober and probably needed some privacy.
As we stepped out of Medical, we heard the rest of Money Machine, and then their closing song I can’t remember. We enjoyed the rest of the concert from the back of the crowd.
The interlude music between 100 Gecs and Brockhampton was an interesting assortment of choices. Regardless, I’m really happy with the final setlist; it felt like a great balance of everything.
The 2019 Tour Setlist
Shout out to Brendan884 for making this playlist so I can enjoy this forever.
I was going to make a list of my highlighted songs, but it was pretty much the entire setlist.
At one point they took a break to talk to the audience a little. I don’t remember who said it, but he shouted, “SALT LAKE CITY! I think this is our first time playing for you!” followed by some whispering and then, “Oh, okay nevermind. We’ve played here before. Now this is awkward.”
They also shouted out the hardcore fans who slept in the tent outside overnight.
It was really fun to hang out with Richard in the back of the crowd where we actually had enough room to dance and go crazy. Richard knew an insane amount of lyrics. I think I’ve said this before, but I’m definitely more melody-driven than lyric-driven when it comes to music. Even if I’ve listened to a song a million times, I will still struggle to remember them on the fly. But I can remember melodies even if the timing is weird. I feel like most people are like that, but then people like Richard and Kaylin make me think otherwise.
Brockhampton Going Out With A Bang
In case you were wondering, District and J’ouvert were brilliant live, and absolutely everything I was hoping for since I first listened to Iridescence last year.
For Boogie, all of the members took turns on their microphones to ask everyone to open up the pit. I felt the anxiety kind of creep up again here, but Richard looked at me to reassure me that we were going to be okay. When they started playing, everyone rushed to the center, but I took my time and stayed toward the back. It was a huge pit, though.
After dancing and singing along all night, my throat was tired and my stomach was empty. We planned in advance that we would go to the Pie Underground, which is a cool and hip place near the University of Utah. It wasn’t too far from the venue, so I’m really surprised more people didn’t go afterward.
We ordered a 23″ pizza when we probably should have ordered a 16″. It was delicious, nonetheless. We just gathered around the pizza, ate, and reminisced about the concert held just moments before.
Despite my anxiety attacks, I’m really glad I went. I’m grateful I was able to calm down in time for Brockhampton and that the crowd chilled out a bit after 100 Gecs. Now I know for sure to just chill to the side or in the back.
The show didn’t feel rushed, and it sounded like they put a lot of effort into it. Unfortunately, there were a couple of times where the mics went out or their autotune was in the wrong key. Aside from that, everything went really well!
Sorry that this blog post is more text than media, but I was really in-the-moment here. I find myself here more often than not lately.