Cloud rapper Yung Lean and his Sad Boys played Monday night to a fiercely packed room at Webster Hall. The young Swede took the stage after opening acts Gravity Boys and Goth Money Records to a smoky strobe-lit room and wore a smile bigger than life as he began to speak his hellos. Just seconds into his opening track the building floor and balconies were swaying as the electrified crowd chanted his name, yelled out “Sad Boys!” and surged forward.
A bright screen behind Yung Lean roiled with imagery from his music videos interspersed with cuts of varying animation as he spoke his patented pop-culture-reference-heavy lyrics and jumped around excitedly in Uggs and a pair of Adidas track pants. He commanded total attention with ease as the show progressed, performing tracks from old collections (Sadboys2001, Unknown Death 2002) and from the newly released album (Unknown Memory) to a group of fresh-faced, streetwear clad youths who knew nearly all the words.
The performance was Yung Lean and the Sad Boys at their best–high energy as they danced without abandon to their self-made beats, relatable as they jumped past barriers into the crowd for high fives and photo opportunities with fans, and playfully irreverent as Yung Lean himself smoked and passed around a joint handed to him by a front row audience member. Yung Lean paused toward the end of the show until the room quieted and then declared into a microphone that it was their best show yet, that it was their biggest audience yet, and then said with a level of grace beyond his years, “This is a very rare moment. This is a beautiful moment.”
Watch the visual for “Kyoto” below.