The line outside Myth extended well beyond the parking lot and down the street. As fans belted "whoop whoop" and call-and-response tests to see how devoted of followers others were, the show made a scene even before the doors opened. A number of people sounded like they'd made long trips to be there. Once inside, the floor and balconies above were crammed with people. Local openers Absent played to a pretty receptive crowd, some of whom were moshing already. Folded into an otherwise label showcase concert, it was nice to see an audience give a fair listen to something they were likely unfamiliar with.
I was mostly unfamiliar with the Strange Music roster that followed, but their sonic similarity to Tech N9ne's output was evident. The balconies were lined with posters showing release dates for each artist's record. Ces Cru brought a slight old-school vibe with their tag-team vocals and classic breakbeats, but were every bit as hardcore in sound and tone as everyone else. Mayday offered up a live element, with a DJ/bassist and percussionist backing up a few MCs. The band's pop-lock stage antics were one of their strong suits and the energy level in the room was rising. As Stevie Stone took the stage, I started to feel a bit of the fatigue of an overstuffed bill, and though the set was as energetic as you'd hope an opener to be, the lack of variety was showing. When they closed out on a lighter vigil while sitting and rapping, it was actually a powerful moment, and a fitting precursor to Tech N9ne's set.
There was a banner change for each group that opened. But Tech N9ne, not to be outdone, arrived behind a graveyard gate, with the letters E.B.A.H. above. It was dark and dramatic as anything the hardcore rapper has done musically, as was his trademark white facepaint which matched his all-white prison jumpsuit outfit. There's a definite flair for the theatric in his performance, not only in his rapid-fire chop flow but in his menacing stance, stage acrobatics, and chemistry with backing rapper Krizz Kaliko. He dedicated the night's set to Adrian Peterson and the tragic loss of his son. He also talked about how incredibly drunk he got at the TGI Fridays earlier in the evening. Tech flew through a long set and used his flippant stage banter to good effect. The Midwestern fast-raps are somewhat difficult to parse out but there is a persistent energy behind every song, and fans responded in kind.
Tech praised Minnesota as one of his favorite places to play and shouted out Atmosphere, whose rise to independent fame is parallel to his own. The rapper has made himself impossible to ignore through years of dropping albums and touring the country, and the night was a testament to the lane he's built by showcasing a whole movement of artists under his wing. His sidekick Krizz Kaliko got a number of opportunities to play his own music during Tech's set, and many of his hardcore crooning anthems played well alongside. The pair are impressive together, with a tightness in delivery and synchronized dance moves that was consistently fun to watch.
Tech puts on a gigantic show, and closed out his set with a long barrage of acapella tracks from his back catalog as a test to see who the real fans were. They were certainly loyal, and upwards of ten different women proved it by flashing their breasts on command to the tune of Tech's standard tit-ode medley of "Titties" and "Areola."
Tech N9ne's impressive technical ability and range of material make him an entertaining performer even if you're less into the horrorcore aspect. The whole crew joined onstage as Tech closed out on the immense "I'm a Playa" and his customary gun salute. He was visibly excited by the fan's response, who filed out of Myth still yelling and stomping around like the show was still happening. There's very few rappers who have such a stronghold on an audience and this is certainly going to be a show they'll remember.
Personal Bias: I came in much more on the bystander end of the spectrum in comparison to Tech's rabid fanbase.
Overheard In The Crowd: One person in particular thought it very important that I turn up, coaxing me at least four different times. "Dude, turn up! Do some cocaine, drink some booze, just turn up!"
The Crowd: Tech's song "B.I.T.C.H." alludes to his predominantly white audience gradually crossing over to include more non-white fans. The crowd definitely leaned white, young, and rowdy, but his assessment of his audience growing in a number of directions was accurate. One girl's boyfriend seemed exceptionally upset that she decided to flash her breasts to Tech N9ne, and was seen in the parking lot after the show still yelling at her.
Random Notebook Dump: One fan in the corner of the venue slowly threw seven dollars into the air one at a time in the saddest display of making it rain I've ever seen.
Straight Out The Gate
Am I A Psycho?
Who Do I Catch
He's A Mental Giant
Midwest Choppers II
So Dope (They Wanna)
Blackened The Sun
- Acapella Portion :
I'm A Playa