When one thinks of boy bands, they normally think of flashy bands with at most five members. Brockhampton isn’t your typical boy band. Consisting of 13 members, the energetic hip-hop and rap collective returned to Boston for the fourth time throughout their career at the Agganis Arena Sunday night.
The night kicked off with two eccentric openers: bubblegum-bass duo 100 gecs, and British rapper Slowthai. After two hype-inducing performances, Brockhampton appeared, accompanied by the heavy bass of “ST. PERCY. ”
Back in October, band leader Kevin Abstract revealed that their latest album “GINGER” is going to be one of the group’s last projects together. While the exact timetable remains unclear, the number of Brockhampton shows left are numbered.
Each member of the band donned an orange jumpsuit layered on top of white shirts and hoodies. Jets of air blasted on stage through their next smooth rendition of “IF YOU PRAY RIGHT.”
During their performance of “ZIPPER,” a lone fan charged and shoved bodies at the front of the pit in a frenzied, chaotic attempt to push to the front.
The hyper-zealous mood took a sudden, dramatic shift with an emotional and nostalgic performance of “BLEACH,” another track off of “Saturation III.” Abstract and fellow band member Joba led the verses in an intense session of self-reflection as they belted out the lyrics.
The track provided an emotional reprieve from what otherwise had been an upbeat show, with some fans singing back to the group, “Everything I have is a mirror / And everywhere I stand isn’t solid ground / People don’t make sense to me anymore / I’m hiding out again, trying to figure it out.”
It was the calm before the storm as the high energy picked up at “GOLD.” The mood completely shifted once again with the track’s confrontational and empowering lyrics. The abstract delivery of the song’s hook inspired the energy of the other members, with Dom McLennon’s intoxicating and animated verse and Merlyn Wood’s captivating and snappy one-liners.
The band rode this high with the prideful “QUEER,” McLennon’s steady verses highlighting black pride and addressing social and political tensions against black stereotypes, “Fuck what you been hearing / I’m everything they’re fearing / I’m black and smart and sexy, universally appealing / Genius what I’m dealing, something they ain’t stealing.”
In a moving turn towards the end of the night, fans were asked to turn on their cellphone flashlights to set a somber ambiance for the sincere and sentimental “SUGAR” and “BIG BOY.”
Each member stood spaced apart on the stage, tenderly crooning and serenading the audience as the crowd swayed their phones back and forth, dancing lights shining around the arena.
In the past, Brockhampton has always delivered wholehearted and heady shows and this was no exception. The group’s dynamic meshes seamlessly like gears in transmission, but what makes the team special is their raw passion and pure candid emotion that they not only display on stage, but also bring out in their fans.
Brockhampton are unbelievably versatile, shining in their ability to both hype up an audience and evoke unadulterated emotions with their bare-bones, slower songs that showcase the authenticity of their creative process.