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I think Friday will go down as one of the best live shows I have ever seen . Tech N9ne did a stellar job stacking the line-up for the It Goes Up Tour and little did I know I was in for a killer show. Add in the bonus of being able to sample Tech N9ne’s new craft beer, Bou Lou (A collaboration with KC's Boulevard Brewing Company), and I knew it was about to be a  very good night. 

On Friday May 24th, Tech N9ne rocked the Gas Monkey in Dallas with special guests, UBI (of Ces Cru), Dax, ¡Mayday!, and Krizz Kaliko. Every act built on one another and audience gave it their all the whole time. I’ll preface this whole article with the fact that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I’m used to shooting rock shows and this one threw me for a loop, but a positive one. Having been following Tech N9ne for the better part of the last 10 years due to my dad being his biggest fan, I have always enjoyed his music. And it was even more special because I got to take my dad to meet Tech that night which made for a great memory that I will never forget.

Up first was one of Kansas City’s finest, UBI from Ces Cru, and boy did he pop off quick. My first reaction as he hit the stage was whether or not I was watching UBI or Eminem. Never have I seen him before but, what a ton of energy he brought to the performance. I really enjoyed watching UBI bouncing all over the stage and his interaction with the crowd throughout the set. He definitely set the tone for what was about to come next.

Following UBI’s energetic performance was Los Angeles based rapper, Dax. What I appreciated about Dax was that you got to see glimpse's of his life unfold within each song. He mentioned between songs that he one time played college basketball, but  then decided to chase his dream of being an artist. With 872,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, Dax came, he saw, and he definitely conquered. Again, I loved the way each song was about his life because not only did I connect with him, but the crowd did as well. He took the stage with fire and flames and ended his set in similar fashion. It was a great performance.

Up next was another fan favorite, ¡Mayday!, who is led by Bernz and Wrekonize along with their percussionist NonMS. Take Bob Marley, modernize it, speed it up just a little, add some live drums, and that is the trio in a nutshell. Their tunes had such a unique sound, and I was really impressed with the way it all blended together. It’s always sweet hearing new artists and gaining a new few songs to add to my playlist. If I remember correctly, they played one of their hits called “New Blessings” off their latest album, South of 5th, and it was probably one of my favorites from their set.

Finally, the highly anticipated icon of rap music, Tech N9ne,  was about to take the stage. He opened his set with what looked like a short documentary starring Krizz Kaliko, which was pretty sweet. The film cut and red lights overran the stage with Tech finally making his way out to a now insane crowd.  You could feel the packed house surge forward and I quickly turned around to make sure the barrier didn’t break. I don’t think I was ready for that, but braced myself as the show jumped to warp speed in literal seconds. Tech popped the show off with “N9na” off his latest album of the same name, and immediately got the crowd engaged. A few songs later, Krizz Kaliko joins Tech on stage to perform a few songs, “Anxiety” being one of them. The two continued to bring fire to the stage and you could tell they absolutely loved performing with one another.  There’s no doubting why Tech N9ne has continued to  be a pioneer in the rap industry, and am sure the 2.7 million monthly Spotify listeners would definitely understand. He went on to perform other great hits such as “Caribou Lou”, “Einstein”, and probably one of his most famous,“Hood Go Crazy”. I was literally blown away by him and Krizz, and will not miss another Tech N9ne show moving forward.  The Dallas show was definitely a '10 out of 10' performance.

Overall this was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time, and would highly recommend to anyone who loves an amazing live performance . Tech N9ne gave it his all the whole time and I am fortunate to have been able to witness it. My dad had a great time seeing his favorite rapper kill it on stage, and now has lifelong memories he soon won't forget.  Pops was all smiles at the end and that alone should tell you we had a great time. Tech is (and will remain) one of the best in the business, bar none.  You don’t want to miss the It Goes Up Tour when it comes to a city near you.  As always, rock on my friends!

James Coffman

Photojournalist - Dallas

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