My youngest brother is six years my junior. During the years when I was out most nights either playing or attending shows, he was home building Legos on his bedroom floor; when I left for college, he was still in the first stages of intermediate school. Most of the time, our lives didn’t really overlap. That is, until I came home for a break from school and we drove together to get pizza one night.
In the car, I asked him what kind of music he was listening to. “I like music where there’s kind of a lot going on,” he responded. I thought for a second, then queued up Vince Staples’ “Yeah Right” and watched out of the corner of my eye as his jaw dropped with the beat.
The next time I came home from school, he informed me that he had been listening to Big Fish Theory nonstop. By this time, Staples had announced his co-headlining tour with Tyler, The Creator, with the New York date scheduled for my spring break.
I told my brother that if he listened to and dug Tyler’s Flower Boy, I would try my best to take him to their show when I came home. I heard the first notes of Flower Boy opening track “Foreward” drifting out of his room, and then about thirty minutes later, he came bursting into my room. “This album is f***ing awesome,” he exclaimed. “It’s a date then,” I replied.
Two months laters, my brother and I dipped out of a family dinner early to make our way to the Theater at Madison Square Garden to see two of his favorite artists on their second night in town. Upon entrance to the 5,000+ capacity venue, we were greeted by a massive line that spread across the whole concourse, fans clamoring to get their hands on the latest Golf Wang and Golf le Fleur merch. We purchased a bright orange sweatshirt that read “Save The Bees” in big text on the back, and my brother took off the sweatshirt he wore to throw it right on.
We walked into the blue haze of the black-lit theater, his new sweatshirt glowing just a little brighter than his wide smile. We got to our seats just in time: The lights went down soon thereafter, and the lighting rig on the stage sprung to life to display a countdown. When the timer struck zero, Vince Staples bounded onto the stage sporting what appeared to be a bullet-proof vest, launching into the opening notes of Big Fish Theory‘s “BagBak.” The whole floor began to shake as the crowd that had amassed in general admission began to jump in unison.