In classic keen-teen fashion, I marched into the Warfield a great, grand sixty-minutes before Lil Yachty took stage. Thankfully, an already formed crowd of eager concert-goers kept me amused through the layover. Oh, what a sight! A sea of b-ball-jersey-garbed white teenage boys filled the ornate venue. Their far-from-precious dance moves maintained a chaotic locomotive presence that lasted the night. The non-taxpaying limbs flopped and waddled and flailed and wailed in uninspired conversation with the opener’s trap treats. Aye, these pseudo-athletic fish were an awkward, hormonal, and irremediably teen-aged bunch.
The teen-fested waters roared when Lil Yachty made his entrance with “Harley.” At the sight of Yachty, my “I’m older than you, I’m better than you” persona melted off. I merged with the crowd and reemerged with a new enthusiasm for adolescence. The king of teens had me, Camilia, age nineteen, feeling teenage again.
The 20-year-old Atlantan star filled his setlist with a diverse array of tracks. He thrilled the audience with bangers from his latest releases, Teenage Emotions (2017) and Lil Boat (2016). And Yachty made sure to reward his day one fans with a sizable lineup of earlier SoundCloud tracks.
Though the jersey-clad crowd only knew the hits, they had fun with it. The flow and throw of the moshpit drank from Yachty’s infectious, irreverent energy. Aye, literally. Onstage, Yachty brought out a table stacked with cases of plastic Crystal Geyser water bottles, probably a hundred-fifty total. As he performed, the red-haired sailor and his onstage crew tossed bottles into the crowd, dressing each toss with a simultaneous shrug towards the environment and the infatuated crowd. It was so cool.
The keen teen crowd tried to match Yachty crew’s saucy swagger but fell unfortunately, and predictably, short. As Lil Yachty tossed and trapped, the teens flopped and, well, fell — which they earnestly shrugged off with a “Yuh,” “Unh,” or “Lil Boat.”
My truly transcendental teen moment came during Yachty’s performance of “Minnesota.” When the song opened, I punched away a couple of boys to readjust my view of the teen king. Those around me barely noticed the song even changed. I further prepared myself for the sonic bliss by maniacally staring into Yachty’s braid-covered eyes. Keeping unflinching eye contact, I called to my hands, curled them into mirrored C-shapes and joined them together to create a heart. I lifted my heart above the teenage sea, called to the boat man onstage and mouthed “I LOVE YOU.”
He caught it. His smile was sympathetic and he gestured and mouthed back. I screamed with shock and melted into the crowd.
“You have no idea who I am, do you, Yachty?”
But I know you.
Oh, classic teenage love.
Written by Camilia Kacimi