The line of “technicians,” peppered with fans dressed in black and red, waited hours ouside The Rialto Theatre on Tuesday night for the doors to open to Tech N9ne’s sold-out show. Tech’s following in Tucson borders on rabid, as some members of the three-block long line had been waiting since noon.
The anticipation during the four opening performances of the Strange Music crew was palpable. During the breaks between each act, the crowd began to chant “We want Tech, we want Tech.”
With a stage set that was built to look like a nuclear power plant, the mood of the concert was set even before Tech N9ne appeared from inside the center piece, a rotating nuclear reactor.
The crowd roared as Tech stepped out of the reactor and onto the stage, welcoming the motley crew before him with open arms and his trademark painted face.
Listening to Tech’s albums is one thing, but seeing him in concert is a mind-altering experience. The powerful presence he brought to the stage was captivating, and not just because of the intense light show that accompanied him.
Audience members were consumed by Tech’s energy as he spit lyrics and stomped across the stage with a liveliness that was impossible to ignore. The rapper was possessed by his sometimes sadistic persona, but instead of it being something to fear, it was frighteningly awesome. The effect was contagious and the crowd was overcome with the destructive energy that Tech himself was generating.
Tech’s set list was filled with classics such as “Am I A Psycho,” “Worldwide Choppers,” “Jellysickle” and “Caribou Lou” as well as a few new songs from his album that’s set to drop on June 25.
The Missouri-bred rapper also rewarded the audience with a special treat and preformed “Dysfunctional” live for the first time in his career, in recognition of the YouTube video having over 15 million views.
Though he had the audience completely and totally at his command, Tech was clearly humbled by the close attention that the crowd paid him and repeatedly expressed his appreciation for the packed room.
Emphasizing that the crowd was a part of one big family, Tech created an intimate and personal vibe which was a surprising contrast to the rough moshing and murderous rhymes.
The 41-year-old rap legend finished the night by sharing the stage with the rest of his Strange Music crew and performing the concert classic “Areola”. The crowd responded as a handful of girls climbed onto shoulders and flashed Tech and his crew as they sang, “Oh, areola! That shirt came off and showed a … oh, areola!”
For lifetime fans and first-time attendees alike, Tech’s performance was unforgettable. Even after Tech left the stage and the Rialto began to clear out, his loyal followers continued to chant, verifying that Tech N9ne is the king of hardcore rap.