Concert Review: Yung Lean at the Altar Bar 3/18

April 30, 2016

By: Donovan Powers


Of all the concerts I have been to during my time here at CMU, Yung Lean will have been by far one of the most memorable. Yung Lean, internet meme-personified cloud rapper from Sweden, graced us all with his presence at the Altar Bar as a part of a tour promoting his new album, Warlord<i>.

The crowd really made the night. I have never before seen such a diverse group of people at the same concert. There were memesters in vaporwave brotanks, there because they thought the idea of Yung Lean was funny, but also a significant crowd decked out in s a d b o y s<b> gear and Swedish flags, and this diametric opposition would lead to conflict throughout the night. A fist fight broke out as I left the venue. One attendee demanded another give him his parents phone number so he could tell them what a terrible person their son was. He was completely serious, and when denied, attacked the other concert-goer until cops broke up the fight. Gold.

Ahead of me in line to get into the Altar Bar was a group of scruffy looking college kids shouting lyrics at each other while figuring out how to best hide the weed they planned to smuggle into the venue. I couldn’t peel my eyes away as we waited, it was as if I was watching a Discovery Channel documentary on a strange foreign land whose customs were completely alien to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not pulling the “I’m white and rap culture is weird” card. It just feels like a weird contrast to everything Yung Lean is. At one point, I witnessed one of their group calling an Uber while waiting in line, promising his friends he would be back for the show after he “banged this chick real quick.” As he opened the door to his carriage, he turned to the line and shouted “Wait for me Fam, I’ll be right back.” It was performance art unlike any I had seen before.

The show itself had highs and lows. The opener was comically bad and listening to his set was a chore. Then he was gone. Yung Lean came out covered in fake blood for some reason, played all his hits, and kept repeating what a beautiful night it was. If you like Yung Lean, it was a good show, if you don’t, it wasn’t.

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