Tech N9ne
Apollo Theater
Belvidere, IL

The Apollo Theater is a fantastic venue for any genre of music. As you walk into the main room from the street, the stage is straight ahead. The all hardwood floor is spacious. The stage is surrounded by metal barricades up front to cut off the stage from the patrons. By purchasing a different ticket package, you will have gained access to the balcony seats. The balcony rests above the entrance to the venue and at the back of the room. Additionally, the sound is also killer. You will not miss anything up there. You won’t blow your ears out on the main floor either you will hear everything coming from the stage very crisply. The lighting has improved over the years as well. Now it is a great place to watch a show. Regardless of where you watch from, you will have a clear view of the stage. The venue is just a fantastic place to catch a show. I am never disappointed leaving it.

With the uniqueness of Strange Music and Tech N9ne’s creations, I knew I was in for one epic night. Tech has released twenty-three full-length albums, which include eight collaborative albums. The man is the definition of a workhorse with no signs of ever slowing down either. His consistency is something to marvel at. Currently, he is touring on his October 2021 release, “Asin9ne”. The album itself is an absolute banger. The man doesn’t miss. If his status and self-made independent force weren’t enough, he manufactured a way to blend multiple genres of music within each album. Heck, even within some individual tracks. For me, that is a huge attraction to his discography. I am obviously not the only one since he is the top independent selling rapper of all time. 

His stage setup was extremely simple. Nothing but a massive backdrop of a television. The actual screen portion projected every correlating visual to each track being performed. Each track ended with the audibly classic explosion. Tech N9ne spared no time. He came onto the stage through a door on the side of the television and started to amp the crowd up. With his hand flying through the air, swaying from side to side, he jumped into his set. From the onset, it was business. Tech N9ne delivered an onslaught of quick-lipped verses. The room was bounced. The floor shook. The lights flashed overhead. Nothing could touch the artistry and the moment. 

This show had everything. The banter between songs was at its best. Serenading a few ladies in the front row with 7 words and Arriola. The man knew how to charm from the stage. The Killer Clown alter persona even made an appearance. The Killer Clown is actually from Tech’s youth. A story of child abduction and the terrors of being a kid involving urban mythology. The mask fit the mood during “Heightened” and “Demon”. In fact, it was enough for the Killer Clown to stop and point out a fight that broke out. He then proceeded to ask people to help each other and get rid of the offenders ruining the good time. With a finger point, attention was brought to a patron’s hat that read, “Kill All Pedos”. This saying was repeated multiple times by Tech and he also added that it was “words to live by”.

The most impressive part of the performance was the “request” portion. Tech N9ne had the crowd yell songs that they wanted to hear and he performed them without any backing tracks. Standing there with nothing but himself he dished out Acapella versions of “Beasts”, “This Ring”, and a freestyle. Also of note, a bra flew up on stage and he announced it was time to collect bras from the audience. Newly packaged bras flew up on stage. These bras were going to be donated to women’s shelters across Kansas City. The amount of charitable work Strange Music has performed for the KC area is well documented, but also notable that it extends from generosity from across the country.

All in all, this show had it all. Killer music, visuals, and honest banter about life. Charitable contributions and an overall good vibe. It is hard to not enjoy a rap legend who’s track record of hard work and consistency is so well documented. I am extremely grateful I was able to cover it and am hoping to do so again in the near future.

Using Format