(Hodgy Beats, in one of few moments he was actually performing on the stage. He spent most of the set performing while surfing the crowd.)
One of my favorite photographers, introduced to me by one of my photography professors, is Glen Friedman. During the late ‘80s/early ‘90s Friedman documented tons of punk rock and hip hop shows. I immediately fell in love with the raw emotion he captured in these artists. The first time I saw live footage from an
show, I noticed that same intensity that Friedman captured years ago and I knew I had to find a way to document it. Several months and failed attempts later, I finally got my chance at Washington D.C.'s Rock 'n Roll Hotel.
Experiencing a live Odd Future show met some of my expectations and failed some others. I expected it to be full of teenage angst and anti-establishment sentiments—it was. I expected it to be hot and sweaty and fully of mosh-pitting, crowd-surfing teens—it was. I expected raw emotion to ooze from their pores—it did. I also expected the possibility of having to defend myself from bodily and/or camera harm—I didn’t. I expected them to have an anti-media, anti-photographer attitude so I established mental boundaries for when/what I would take pictures of—they weren’t necessary. I expected someone to have a bloody nose by the end of the night—I saw people giving high fives instead of punches.
Regardless of what exactly your feelings are about Odd Future, I encourage everyone to go a little deeper than surface discussions of their music. What I witnessed in DC was a group of intelligent, passionate young people in the midst of watching their dreams come true.
(Tyler exuded leadership qualities. He knew exactly when to take a seat in the back of the stage and let some of the other group members have a moment in the spotlight.)
(Tyler and Left Brain. Left Brain was by far the most animated of all the Odd Future members. I don’t think I have one photo of him where some part of his body isn’t completely blurred out from thrashing around so fast!)
(Mike G, just before taking the stage.)
(Hodgy Beats preparing to dive into the crowd.)
(Tyler and the crowd. Need I say more?)
(The crowd swelled towards the stage so many times during the show that the monitors ended up being pushed back about 5 feet into the middle of the stage. Security would jump in, push the crowd back, and jump out only to have the same thing happen again.)