Tyler The Creator‘s first Tiny Desk Concert turned out to be one of the most ambitious of 2017, as he insisted on a nighttime show in order to utilize some spectacular lighting effects. The lighting changed for each song, from a vibrant fuschia to a glowing red, with the band and Tyler lit in a cool blue that gradually built to a warm orange.
The Flower Boy rapper-producer sang “Boredom,” “See You Again,” and “Glitter,” three of the more smooth, melodious songs from the album, with Tyler playing bandleader as well as joking on his own singing voice. “I can’t sing, but I don’t give a f*ck,” he cracks while encouraging the assembled NPR employees to participate in the show as much as possible. He even incorporates one employee’s name into an ad-libbed call-and-response section at the end of “Boredom.”
He’s also got one of the more interesting band setups of anyone to perform this year. Two keyboards, an upright bass, drums, and two backup singers are the entirety of his four-piece band, with Tyler himself playing one of the keyboards.
2017 has turned out to be a big year for Tyler. He is nominated for a Grammy, appeared on numerous year-end lists including our own, and released the most mature, personal work of his career while continuing his Camp Flog Gnaw festival for a successful fifth consecutive year.