Holding true to the spirit of their name, N.E.R.D. graced the stage at Odd Future’s festival, rejoining forces on one of their most popular songs.
No-One Every Really Dies, known as N*E*R*D*, released their first studio album, ‘In Search Of…’ in 2001. The group, which started with a deal through Teddy Riley in 1992, was a performance duo consisting of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, until the two brought Shay Haley into the mix. In 2004, they released their second album, ‘Fly or Die’. For the supporting tour, the group learned to play the tracks from this album with live instrumentation. They took a hiatus in 2005 after a label dispute with Virgin records, and later released an independently financed album called ‘Seeing Sounds’ in 2008, which they toured extensively, performing at SXSW and as the opening acts for a 2008 Kanye West tour. In 2010, they released ‘Nothing’, and although there were rumors of a follow up album, it has not yet been released, and they had not done a live performance together since the supporting tour for ‘Seeing Sounds’, until they got together for a surprise set at Odd Future’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival.
Pharrell, who is no stranger to featuring big name guests on stage, surprised the audience by bringing out Chad and Shay, and their performance of Rockstar was enlivened by the crowd’s response to seeing the group back on stage together. The live instrumentation is great, and follows the precedent set by their earlier show styles. The crowd gets rowdy with the “Hell Yeah” refrain, and Tyler the Creator in the front row almost on the stage lets his emotions get the best of him, and can be seen holding his face in his hands as the tears flow. He verified his moment later on his twitter.
The song that they chose, Rockstar, was released as a second single of sorts, from their second album ‘Fly or Die’, as the first single was a leaked track called Lapdance. It employs a heavy electronic feeling, and depends on the keyboard tones for the repetitive beat. Check out Pitchfork’s coverage of the awesome performance, and watch the video below.