Simon Says [Editorial]

Mar 6 2011

The power to command a crowd is not something you learn overnight. Performers spend years crafting their on stage persona, and never stop improving. That on stage persona is an extension of the artist, and is a critical part of how the fans will perceive them. Elvis Presley was notorious for being an amazing showman, especially in his later years. Michael Jackson is hailed as one of the best performers of all time. His grand scale stage sets and out of this world choreography helped elevate him to another level of stage presence. Bruce Springsteen is still delivering stunning performances despite being older than most of his audience. What is it then that makes an individual a great performer? It all depends on what the artist can pull from within. A performer must be charismatic, likeable, over the top, and have great timing. Knowing your audience can help you control them in anyway you desire. Tech N9ne called it Absolute Power. Now, his longtime peer, Krizz Kaliko, is stepping out on his own to take over audiences everywhere. He embarks on the Strange Noize Tour 2011 this week, and if his years on the road have taught him well, Krizz is going to shock fans and critics alike.

Life on the stage is familiar territory for Krizz Kaliko. Having spent years touring with Tech N9ne, Krizz has had considerable experience. One look at Tech’s live show and it is pretty apparent that a lot work and study went into the final product. His timing and choreographed movements make for great visuals, while Krizz’s antics on the mic allow the audience to connect with him. In recent years, Tech’s live show has allowed for both Kutt Calhoun and Krizz Kaliko to shine with short solo sets. The MC’s would each take turns rocking out to crowd favorites from their respective solo records. This was the first time fans were able to gauge Krizz’s capabilities without Tech N9ne.

With the spectacular ability to belt out clean, smooth vocals live, Krizz’s larger than life voice gives him an edge over most run of the mill performers. Watching Krizz burst out on stage in an explosion of energy, it’s clear that he knows the importance of using his body to convey a message. For being the size he is, Krizz can move like the best of them. In the last year or so, Krizz also began implementing live back up dancers to enhance his stage show. The masked dancers hit the stage and captivate the audience with their eerie appearance. Krizz wasn’t done yet though. Adding even more energy to his show, Krizz enlisted the help of local Kansas City artist Irv Da Phenom. Irv, who’s talents closely resemble Krizz’s own, has been able to go tit for tat with the performer. The duo electrify audiences with harmonizing duets, and still manage to keep it rugged enough for the hip hop heads in attendance. Slamming down some serious hits like “Hunterish” and “Anxiety”, Krizz and Irv bring entire albums to life.

The Strange Noize tour marks the first time Krizz will headline a major nationwide tour. In preparation, Krizz has been playing several solo shows leading up to the week of the first tour date. In an unexpected twist, Krizz even used a live band for his first solo show in Kansas City. The live band has given Krizz Kaliko’s music the natural organic feel that you would normally only expect to hear at rock concert. Perhaps feeling out the band for Kabosh season, Krizz seemed to be right at home as a front man. Having learned from the best, Krizz Kaliko has taken his love for performing and perfected the art. An artist is at his most vulnerable when on stage, and Krizz lays it all out for the fans. The Strange Noize tour will open new doors for Krizz Kaliko’s solo excursion. Remember, when Krizz says move, you move…like Simon says so.

-Victor Sandoval, Strange Music Blogs Contributor