There are very few artists I’ll go out of my way to catch live, more than once a year. Tech N9ne is one of them. Even after seeing Neezle nearly two handfuls of times at this point, there was no hesitation on whether or not I should catch the Detroit stop of his current Independent Grind tour, last week.
The show was maybe the best I’ve seen from the Strange Music maven.
Opening Act Headliners
Typically, Strange starts shows with their own cast of in-house opening acts. However, since this Independent Grind tour specifically promotes the grassroots movement, Tech gave some shine to artists outside of his own umbrella. Instead of seeing openers like Brotha Lynch Hung and Kutt Calhoun, fans were treated to buzzing up & comers Jarren Benton and Freddie Gibbs. Considering I’d pay to see both of them as headliners, that’s an obvious upgrade.
Not surprisingly, Jarren and Freddie both laid down extremely energetic sets of at least ten songs each, finding fuel from the electric atmosphere Technicians always bring to the table. Since Benton delivers rapid fire shock raps, Tech’s fans were heavily into his set and the Funk Volume MC delivered, by running through his greatest hits in a Michael Jackson “Thriller” jacket.
Then there was Freddie. Channeling negative energy from just getting his tour bus spray-painted and still feeling right at home in front of a sea of crazy folk, Gibbs laid down a murderous set for both fans and adversaries. He didn’t do as much of Pinata as I would of liked, but seeing him effortlessly flow “Thuggin” acapella to 1,000 people clapping behind him was pretty amazing. Together, Gibbs and Benton unquestionably raised the bar for Tech’s opening acts.
Burning The Earth
At one point in the middle of Tech N9ne’s set with Krizz Kaliko, he yelled “Let’s keep burning the Earth!” Aside from sounding like an evil mastermind, Tech’s analysis of the situation was fairly accurate. At every point of their nearly two hour set of at least 30 songs of new and old material, the Fillmore was f*cking insanity.
As soon as the show started, some giant who looked like he was associated with Bray Wyatt shoved me out of the way and immediately started casually pushing people, feeling folks out. From there, a shove-to-the-ground mosh pit broke out and I politely moved back a bit. Then, another broke out to my right and I was directly in between two masses of crazy people, aggressively unleashing their inhibitions. I held my ground with some stern forearms and found the peripheral swarms only made tracks like “Riotmaker” and “Straight Out The Gate” that much better.
Somehow, this comfortable chaos is commanded by Tech. He’s like a face-painted and fire-breathing maestro and if he says stop, the whole crowd stops like record scratch. If Tech says show your tits, chicks get on their boyfriends shoulders and show their tits. It Tech tells the boyfriend to turn around and show the fans his girlfriend’s tits, he turns around and shares the wealth.
Tech’s fans are unquestionably the most diehard you’ll find at any rap show. Hands down. Most of us are tightly wound people, who simply let go upon hearing the Kansas City king’s empowering dedication to every aspect of his career. In an unreliable world, he’s always dependable and his fans let go, as a result.
To soak up the electric atmosphere yourself and see Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko, Freddie Gibbs and Jarren Benton tear the roof off a venue near you, cop some tickets to one of the remaining Independent Grind tour stops running through the end of June.