There are very few artists who have made a name by theatrics and turning heads more than Tyler, The Creator.
Wednesday night at Stage AE was no different.
The eclectic rapper -- sans his supergroup Odd Future -- took the stage to a sea of fans expecting the usual pandemonium from a Tyler show to get a different kind of surprise: Mac Miller.
Miller, the local rapper turned superstar, surprised the crowd by appearing on stage with Tyler, whom he's collaborated with multiple times. Miller came out halfway through the show and performed on "OK," a song off of Miller's latest album, "Watching Movies With The Sound Off."
Ultimately, though, it was Tyler's show, and he didn't disappoint. "I didn't think this many people would come out," the rapper, almost puzzled about the attendance, said. "Thank you all for coming out."
Though rap has become dominated by headliners like Miller and fellow Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa, whose lyrics are laced with copious amounts of drug references, Tyler has stayed on the scene by being the stepson of popular rap.
During "Answer," one of Tyler's slower-paced songs, he lamented about his forgotten father, the drama surrounding his peers and all of the other problems that come with fame. "I'd like to tell my grandma/but she's just nostalgia," he spewed. "I'll call her number/but she won't answer."
Since many of his songs feature collaborations, most of the tracks were cut down to be only a minute or two. When he wasn't performing his slimmed-down music, he used a large amount of time to vulgarly insult the fans and question what there is to do in Pittsburgh.
The setlist consisted almost exclusively of songs from his past two albums, "Goblin" and "Wolf," a curious move considering he made his name off of the brutally honest and refreshing tracks featured on his debut.
Still, the insults and choice of songs meant very little to the fans in attendance. The dynamic with Tyler is that because of the heavy profanity in his songs, he receives very little airplay on mainstream radio.
That led to an audience filled with passionate fans who could recite all the words as he tore through tracks like "Domo23," "Cowboy," "Tron Cat" and "Sam (Is Dead)."
No song was spared the furious pace between a seemingly endless amount of anger and depression displayed ever so prevalent in his discography.
The one song in his repertoire that was certainly well-known to everyone in attendance -- "Yonkers" -- was innocuously slipped into the middle of the set to a healthy dose of both surprise and adrenalin.
It seemed as if the most popular song might have become lost in the hoopla of another prominent rapper like Miller, but it wasn't -- sort of like Tyler, The Creator himself.
RJSchaffer: RSchaffer@post-gazette.com Twitter @rjschaffer