Travis Scott visualized his chart-topping new album Astroworld as a homage to a defunct Six Flags amusement park in his native Houston. But the concept works even better in concert: the Texas rapper literally brought a packed and pumped TD Garden crowd on a Sunday rollercoaster ride.
Everything was writ large, spread out and highly entertaining. Flipping the usual arena routine, Scott took it to the nosebleeds: he began his 85-minute set on a B stage to spit “Stargazing” and “Carousel,” stomp and flail like he was riding a bull aside flashing pyro geysers, and strap into a seat for a 360 degree spin inside a ferris wheel (granted, Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, who’s dissed Scott on social media, did that same trick crazier in 2015, rocking his drum kit upside-down).
Yet the carnival only got more super-charged when Scott hit the main two-tier stage, firing up the crowd to “fuck the club up” in “No Bystanders.” The show’s bass-buzzingly loud sound mix made it harder to discern Scott’s lyrics throughout the night, though fans remained on top of things, shouting hooks on the breaks. And the rapper sometimes slowed down the verbal broadsides, particularly when he stretched out to Auto-Tune in “Houstonfornication” (while a screen encircled most of the floor to show him rap in mammoth video feed) or “Can’t Say,” where the crowd picked up the first verse as Scott rode a slow rollercoaster car along a snaking rail that floated over the length of the floor, making excitable fans jostle for position. A giant inflatable astronaut gazed on in Scott’s signature sneakers.
The words “Look Mom I Can Fly” scrolled in flames across the screen at one point. And by the time Scott wrapped up with the gunshot-accented “Goosebumps” (no Kendrick Lamar cameo like a recent night at New York’s Madison Square Garden) and “Sicko Mode” to fireworks, the circus environment had come full circle. Yet the night’s biggest takeaway remained Scott’s own manic energy and charisma.