Concert Review: Tech N9ne - September 2018

Photo By Mark Derricutt (Courtesy of Ambient Light NZ)

Photo By Mark Derricutt (Courtesy of Ambient Light NZ)

By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Tech N9ne with Krizz Kaliko

Date / Venue: Saturday, September 7th, 2018 - The Powerstation, Auckland

*Disclaimer, I'm a big rock/metal guy but one who has always appreciated a great performance; and so it was that I first came to know of both Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko at their 2015 Auckland show where I walked away from having heard no material before to being impressed and enjoying the show, not enough to follow it up with album purchases or streams though.

Now, tonight I find myself at the last minute among the ‘technicians’ collecting my thoughts to share…

Tonight marks the first show on the current Tech N9ne with Krizz Kaliko Tour, Auckland’s Powerstation is at sold-out capacity and based on my earlier experience justifiably so.

How do you review a show where you only know one song? Thankfully, that was the first song played so I'm already slipping into the groove of familiarity. From there it was hook after hook, with enough repetition I'm unsure if I already knew the songs; or they somehow summoned an air of familiarity? I suspect more the latter and is testament to the charismatic, engaging energy of Tech N9ne and his ability to connect with the audience.

But then...

"Blah blah f**k some s**t up blah blah"…..  lyrical/vocal delivery is one of the most important and redeeming features of hip-hop and rap (as a musical style), so when there's no backing band to feed off, the ability to deliver fast-paced lyrics without faltering and moving into melodic singing is an impressive feat. Sometimes lyrical quality often lacks when it falls into repetitive calls to arms. Coming from a metal fan where the lyrics are likely to casually discuss disembowelment on a ‘date’ I can't call someone out for banal lyrics full of swearing or unsavoury content, in all honesty, both do little for me and leave me bored and tuning out of the specifics of the show/songs, so I just try to enjoy the vibe.

With a set list of something like 38 songs, tuning out is something I found myself doing. Songs blended with each other and I found myself not tracking when one song started or stopped. This was more a lack of familiarity of songs and more a reflection on me, not my ‘scene' than against either Krizz Kaliko or Tech N9ne.

Would I go again? If it didn't clash with something else, and I had the funds to spare, then yes, I would consider it. Sometimes you need to break free of your usual music to remember what you love about ‘your jams’ whilst opening yourself up to something different.

I love my technical music but I'm not yet ready to call myself a ‘technician’