Sunday, September 13, 2009
Review: Tech N9ne Versus Steddy P
I caught Tech N9ne at the Granada and Steddy P at the Record Bar Friday night. The two hip hop shows provided a mind-blowing study in contrast. Because I'm often accused of being Tech N9ne's most notable apologist, some haters will be shocked when I acknowledge that Steddy P's performance was far more interesting and enjoyable than that of the "Kansas City King."
I still love Tech N9ne. I'll never tire of classics like "Einstein." Having seen him perform over a dozen times, I've often said that the only missing element at Tech N9ne's otherwise outstanding concerts is the lack of a live band. That's a big part of why Steddy P bested Tech N9ne Friday. These are my notes.
Performance : Midway through his already joyous set, Steddy P was joined by a rock trio. It solidified his effort as one of my favorite performances of 2009. As always, Tech N9ne was solid. He's touring in Australia now and audiences there will see exactly the same show I witnessed Friday. Spontaneity isn't much of an option when you're working with prerecorded tracks.
Guests: Steddy P played host to many of the town's premier underground names- Approach, MilkDrop, Reach, Smoov Confusion, Royce Diamond and the Soul Servers were among the artists who were on the Record Bar's small stage. Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun was supported by Mr. Stinky and Irv Da Phenom. The highly-hyped Big Scoob didn't appear. The unexplained absence was rare for a Strange Music show. The label usually operates with refreshing precision.
Booze: Tech N9ne celebrates Caribou Lou. Steddy P sipped PBR from a can. Tech N9ne fans like to drink until they drop. I saw a beautiful woman at the Steddy P show scold a man for spilling a drop of beer on her blouse.
Fans: The Record Bar was a hipster haven. Demencha provides an representative photo gallery of the stylish scene. Conversely, many of Tech N9ne's male fans wear face paint. And a lot of his female fans wear next to nothing. A Steddy P fan is likely to have a Noam Chomsky tome on his or her bedside table. The reading material of a typical Tech N9ne fan gets no deeper than the instructions on a box of condoms.
Stacking Paper: Tech N9ne sold out the Granada. With 1,700 people at $31 a pop, the show's gross was over $50,000. Throw in t-shirts, V.I.P. packages and other merch and it was another hugely profitable night for Strange Music. On the other hand, less than 100 fans paid the $7 cover Friday at the Record Bar. And bless his heart, Steddy P told the audience that he'd give his new CD to anyone who told him that they couldn't afford it. That's not how they do it at Strange.
Kansas City Click: The Mars Volta play the Midland on Monday.
(Orginal image by There Stands the Glass. I forgot my camera Friday.)