Preview: BROCKHAMPTON at The Anthem
BROCKHAMPTON will grace the newly one-year old Anthem stage next Tuesday, October 16, and there is not a more perfect group to usher in another year of memorable shows at one of our favorite spots in the District. For those of us that belong to the dedicated cohort of IMP fans that visit this grand venue on a regular basis, we have come to expect carefully organized stage arrangements, professionally presented band-style performances and admirably extravagant staging for some of the most legendary performers in the game. From Bob Dylan’s band adorned in silver jackets, Janelle Monae’s elevated throne, LCD Soundsystem’s massive disco ball, Jack White’s legendary show without phones and Nine Inch Nails’ recent two nights of face-melting industrial rock, you might think that this venue has already seen it all. This is where BROCKHAMPTON will shatter every expectation you may have had for this gorgeously composed venue.
Transplanted from the group’s roots in Texas, this LA-based “all-American boyband” brings the noise wherever they go. Characterized by their boundless ambition, this collective of creatives continues to barrel down their uniquely paved path to pop-star level ubiquity. Among their seemingly endless line up of group members are vocalists, rappers, guitar players, producers, beat makers, photographers, graphic designers, a stylist and many other contributors. The boyband is fronted by the charismatic Kevin Abstract, mysterious Matt Champion, elusive Merlyn Wood, crooning Bearface, lyrically intense JOBA and wildcard Dom. On their four records, particularly on the most recently released “iridescence,” verses are handed off with ease and respect, as each member seems to make space in every song for their boyband brothers. The tight-knit nature of this group of boys oozes through every single track, in a way that saws through the often toxic masculinity that underscores the precedent of many a boyband of that preceded them.
The BROCKHAMPTON experience is fiercely collaborative is fueled by the love they all have for each other. This group solidarity provides an evident base of mutual respect and a safe space for every member to explore their deepest vulnerabilities throughout “iridescence.” They tackle homophobia, racism, self-harm, imposter syndrome, newfound joy and deep-seeded anger throughout the record, taking listeners on an emotionally engaging, chaotically empowering walk through their growth as a boyband. This new record symbolizes the stylistic strides the group continues to champion, despite an extraordinarily tumultuous year and a shocking line up change earlier this summer. BROCKHAMPTON’s resiliency is perhaps one of the most impressive characteristics of their chemistry as a group, and this scrappy spirit punches through the banger-filled “iridescence.”
Above all, BROCKHAMPTON’s sound is erratic, unpredictable and earnest. Their message is inclusive and unflinchingly unapologetic. The beats on “iridescence” are some of the most challenging and complex arrangements that surfaced in 2018, which is on its own an accomplishment deserving of spotlight. The confidence of their producers and creative team is astounding yet entirely appropriate; the boys of BROCKHAMPTON know how talented they are, and they can’t wait to show the world.
Don’t miss your chance to see these rising stars ascend to the ranks of Anthem royalty on Tuesday. Grab your tickets here, and come get down to our favorite all-American boyband on one of the best stages in town.