In 2010, Tech N9ne brought the Strange Days Tour to the House Of Blues in downtown Chicago. The tour stop marked Tech N9ne’s first sold out show in Chicago in his decade long career with Strange Music.
When he returned with the All 6’s And 7’s Tour on July 15, the 1,300 capacity venue was once again packed as Tech N9ne fans, new and old, filled several levels of the House Of Blues, all in hopes of getting the best seat in the house. The energy surrounding the venue was electric, with this being the first time for many young fans. Tech’s recent success with All 6’s And 7’s was no doubt a contributing factor to the change in audience. Built to accommodate performances of all kinds, the House of Blues gave fans perfect views from nearly all four levels. Even after doors had opened, a line of fans continued to pour in, and it quickly became apparent that the House of Blues would be home to one of the largest gatherings of Tech N9ne fans in the Midwest.
As the large crowd settled, a quiet lull seeped in throughout the venue. It was the calm before the storm, so to speak. It was at that moment that the host for the evening, Scenario, picked up a microphone and saluted the crowd with a roaring “CHICAAAAAGO!” The crowd responded with a roar, and it was obvious to everyone in attendance that the show was about to begin. As the house lights dimmed, several LED light columns lit up on stage and flashed a familiar logo. Armed with a mean growl in his voice and enough energy to move a stadium, Stevie Stone hit the stage to open with hits from his debut album, New Kid Comin. Moving in choreographed steps with his hypeman, Stevie Stone displayed influences from Tech N9ne, but also carried his own exciting stage presence. The highlight of Stevie Stone’s set came when he performed a perfect acapella rendition of his hit single, “Midwest Explosion”. By the time Stevie Stone left the stage, he had already set the bar high for the night’s performances.
Fans in attendance did not know what to expect when the stage lights once again dimmed in a purple haze and six individuals took their spots behind several instruments. Sporting skull masks that covered their faces, ¡Mayday! had stormed the stage like a scene from a Hollywood heist. Opening with an instrumental medley, the band quickly charged up the crowd with hits from their Lords Of The Fly mixtape and Stuck On An Island LP. The Miami menace received their biggest reaction when resident b-boy NonMS showcased his superstar dance skills during a thrilling pop and lock routine.
Serving up a double dose of street bangers, Jay Rock and Kutt Calhoun each dropped solo sets on the Windy City crowd. Jay Rock attacked the stage with his mean streak on tracks from Follow Me Home and Black Friday. He called back to the West Coast with tributes to Tupac and Luniz, which incited overwhelming cheers from the crowd. Hitting his now signature backflip during “Hood Gone Love It”, Jay Rock impressed the fans and left them wanting more hits. Following a short break, Kutt Calhoun appeared on stage and was welcomed by the Chicago crowd with one of the loudest reactions of the night. Dressed in a custom jumpsuit, Kutt went into full gangster mode and ran through hits from his B.L.E.V.E. album, and even his Flamez mixtape. Veterans of the Strange Music world were caught by surprise once they heard the classic Kutt Calhoun hits. Taking complete control of the crowd, Kutt once again proved that he was more than capable of going solo on the stage.
With an already unforgettable night, there was still more to come. It was time for the Kansas City King to take to the stage and lead every fan inside the House Of Blues into Strangeland. With a theatrical opening featuring a countdown from All 6’s And 7’s, Tech N9ne appeared before the massive crowd and launched into a full out assault with “Worldwide Choppers”. Before the crowd could even grasp all of the happenings on stage, Tech had already run through his biggest hits from Everready and Anghellic. In a moment that could really only be described as stunning, the LED light colums lit up in pure white with blood stains as Tech recited an acapella performance of “Alucard”. Like a monster on stage, he ate up everything in sight. With Krizz Kaliko and Kutt Calhoun at his side, Tech rose the energy levels to unimaginable proportions, rivaling any other date on the All 6’s And 7’s Tour, including his hometown performance in Kansas City. By the time Tech reached his “I’m A Playa” finale, the Chicago crowd had been driven to an absolute frenzy. Mosh pits were visible from nearly everywhere on the main floor. This was officially Tech’s house.
After the smoke cleared and the House Of Blues had experienced a Strange Music takeover, fans reluctantly filed out of the venue. The truth is, no one was ready to leave. The All 6’s And 7’s Tour felt just a bit more special on this night, something that even the artists would later admit to. Downtown Chicago had just played host to the hottest tour of the summer, and only hours later, fans were already anticipating the next time they would see the best in the game.
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