Sunday, May 5th, 2012
Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Brotha Lynch Hung, Kutt Kalhoun, Rittz, CES Cru, Monsta Squad
Marathon Music Works, Nashville, TN
As most Juggalos know, Tech N9ne and his crew never cease to amaze with their live performances. I was lucky enough to catch the Cinco de Mayo Nashville show of the Independent Powerhouse Tour, and of course it was amazing! The last time Tech came through Nashville was the Hostile Takeover Tour last July, which had an entirely different set of openers from the Strange Music roster. Aside from Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko and Rittz, this was my first time seeing anyone else on this tour, so I was excited to catch all of these artists live!
Just before the show, I ended up having to make a run for my local Spencers since my rhinestone Hatchetman had somehow chopped himself cleanly in half at the neck while in my purse earlier in the week. I found a blue one, so after grabbing it, I ran to pick up my friend Pamela and we headed for the venue. When we arrived at Marathon Music Works, the line was long, with VIP stretching in one direction down the building, and the regular line stretching much further in the other direction. I took a few minutes to wander around and take pics of some people in line, and everyone seemed really excited for the show. Local rapper Jellyroll was also making the rounds, handing out CDs and arm bands to the crowd.
Once the doors were opened, Pamela and I went straight up toward the stage, and ended up one person back from the barricade. Nice! The show actually started pretty quickly once everyone was inside, which was nice since there wasn't much downtime.
Check out my awesome press pass, courtesy of Faygoluvers!
The first performers on the bill were local rappers Monsta Squad. They've been making quite the name for themselves recently, opening for the likes of KMK, Twisted Insane and ABK among others. The crowd seemed very into them, and a pretty energetic mosh pit was stirred up by the end of their performance! To end their set, one of the guys stage dove into the crowd. But instead of everyone catching him and crowd surfing him around, they just dumped him straight into the mosh pit haha
The first of the Strange artists to take the stage was Ces Cru. I'm not incredibly familiar with their music, but their live performance was very good.
They started out with a fast rap with no beat, which was very impressive! I thought they did a good job with their performance, and seem to be a really good fit as an act on this bill.
Next up was Rittz. I caught Rittz last fall when he opened for Yelawolf in Nashville, and I'm more familiar with his music than some other artists. I could really tell that Rittz has stepped up his live performance game since he's been on this tour because he was really expressive and seemed to be having a lot of fun with it. And the crowd was much more into his performance this time than the last time I saw him, so you could tell that he was feeding off the crowd quite a bit.
He opened his set with White Jesus, and ended with High Five...like a musical sandwich of two of my favorite songs of his! Rittz also ended up getting a lot of love from the local rap scene during his set. Yelawolf came out with him briefly, as did Lil Wyte, Jellyroll and Haystack at different points.
Kutt Calhoun was next, and was another artist I'd never seen live. His performance was great, though I did spend a lot of time distracted by some fighting going on near me in the crowd. A guy near the front didn't want anyone touching him, but when the crowd would mosh and push people into him, he'd get in their face like he was going to fight them. Security had to keep pulling this guy off of other people, so a lot of Kutt's set was spent with security guards jumping on the barricade in front of me. Really guys, can't we all just get along? We're all here to enjoy the show. If you don't like being touched at shows, you need to stay out of the middle of the crowd.
I was really anticipating seeing Brotha Lynch Hung live. My friend Pamela has been a fan of his for the last 20 years or so but had never seen him live either, so she was very excited too! Before he came out, DJ Scenario came out and announced that Strange had arranged for Brotha Lynch Hung to be let out of jail just long enough for this show, and for everyone to keep their hands away from him since he may grab for you! When he came out, he was wheeled out in his mask and tied up in chains, then was unlocked as the show started.
He didn't do a lot of moving around the stage, and certainly didn't do any dance moves the way that Tech does! But that's not in his character. Instead, he slinked around the stage, keeping his head down and his eyes up, peering out at the crowd. He's incredibly intense, and the gore and horror of his music translated really well to his live performance. It was an excellent set, just as I'd expected.
Finally it was time for the main event...Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko! Since music was playing continuously in between sets, the show flowed really well from one artist to another (though I did think that Hostile Takeover was better in this regard, since they had a large LED screen that played artist videos in between sets). When Tech finally made his appearance, the crowd went nuts! It didn't take long for him to introduce Krizz Kaliko, and they immediately started to perform like only the two of them can!
There are LOTS of photos in this post, so brace for it!
Some songs are staples of a Tech N9ne set, like He's a Mental Giant, Worldwide Choppers, Riot Maker, Welcome to the Midwest, and Caribou Lou, but he also added some newer ones as well, like Evil Brain Angel Heart and Don't Tweet This.
Fighting was apparently a theme of this show because about halfway through the set, Tech stopped and called out some guys in the front row who were starting to fight. DJ Scenario had actually already called out these guys during his introduction of Brotha Lynch Hung, when they had a couple of security guards trying to keep them apart. Eventually Tech called over the security guards again and instructed them to pull two girls out of the audience who were getting "beaten up" by the guys who were fighting. He then directed a stage hand to set up some chairs on the side of the stage, so they could sit there and watch the rest of the show. That was pretty cool, in my opinion, and even Tech himself said that the barricade should have been filled with girls and not guys who were fighting with each other!
Anyone who has seen Tech N9ne live knows that his energy never waivers, and the show ends as energetically as it began. To close out, everyone on the bill came back out, and they all sang I'm a Playa together. After a few last rounds of applause for the artists, everyone left the stage, and the crowd slowly started to disperse. As I headed for the door, I saw Krizz Kaliko standing on a table at the merch booth with a big crowd of people around him. He had invited people over to meet him and get an autograph, but that certainly didn't look like an autograph signing to me! The crowd was too big for me to really see what was going on, so I decided to head out. On the way out the door, people were handing out copies of the Independent Powerhouse sampler, so I grabbed a copy to keep in my car.
This was a really great show. I don't think I'll ever be disappointed by a Tech N9ne set, but since this show also included great sets by Brotha Lynch Hung, Rittz and others, it was definitely one of the better shows I've been to!