There are shows that are just a magical coming together of musicians. They have artists that when you list dream shows, you put them together. When it gets announced, it is hard to contain that excitement. The Mt. Nerdcore tour is that magical dream show of artists coming together. For the first time on the West Coast, it brings together four of the biggest names in Nerdcore with MC Lars, Mega Ran, Mc Frontalot, and Schaffer the Darklord plus one local surprise.
That surprise was Teek Hall opening up the Phoenix stop. When it started, Mega Ran grabbed the microphone and my first thought was, guess he is opening. However, he went on with introducing this year’s New Times winner of best rapper,” Teek Hall. If you haven’t seen him yet, his set goes down the nerdy topics like Mr. T and along with his favorite topic of wrestling.
The latter one more obvious once you know he is one half of the Mat Mania Podcast with Mega Ran. Plus I can always love someone who has a song about my favorite wrestler, Mick Foley. He was great at getting the audience involved in repeating raps back. Once you see that engagement, it makes it pretty obvious Teek Hall was the perfect opener.
Then we rolled into the one guy I had only started listening to about a week before, Schaffer the Darklord. Based on the enjoyment I had digging into his albums, I should have discovered him sooner. Regardless, his fantastic stage presence hits you from the first song. He is animated and into the darklord character. Schaffer brings humor to a character that is “evil” in nature. He got serious for a part too when he performed “Do Sex.” While the song funny, it lead into an excellent moment speaking about consent and how strong women are.
One concurrent theme through the night would be the rotation of members of this tour stepping onto the stage for song team ups. For Schaffer’s set, we had Frontalot and two audience members up for an entertaining reenactment of the new song “Overruled.” The crowd played the judge shouting “Overruled!” Schaffer the Darklord’s performance was stellar and only reinforced that he one of the best in the genre.
MC Frontalot was tasked with following him. One of the things to make this special, was over all the years I have listened to him this would be my first time watching him live. With his trademark headlamp he was everything I was hoping for. Frontalot was full of character as he rapped the familiar lyrics. He had technical issues with his Surface that created hiccups, including while performing two of his new songs.
It leads to him freestyling “Internet Sucks” triumphantly without the backup track. Schaffer came up and performed one of my favorites, “Final Boss.” They used his computer while rebooting Frontalot’s Surface. Another wish fulfilled was seeing MC Lars jump up to perform “Captains of Industry” live. Despite the few technical hurdles, it put no damper on my enjoyment. MC Frontalot’s performance only reinforced why I have loved listening to his music all these years.
Following that up was our favorite local Nerdcore resident, Mega Ran. His songs tend to cover a lot of topics, from “Your Favorite Song” to wresting and video games. This is where Teek Hall came back up to perform one of their wrestling raps. After that, MC Lars joined on stage to go into two tracks of their upcoming team up album. This taste of the album only increased my anticipation. Lars stayed up there to help with a Mega Ran tradition, his freestyle with objects from the crowd.
He ended his set in usual form, adorning his Mega Buster and helmet while performing a fan favorite, “Splash Woman.” With each show I find I have learned more and more of his lyrics as sing along more. So, of course, it will come as no surprise that I recommend you make it out to one of his next shows.
Last up is one of the first Nerdcore artists I ever listened to, MC Lars. I found him through my punk interests. It was with his song “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock” that played on our local Ska Punk Show. I took the plunge from there, delving deeper into his tunes. It turned into the revelation there was a form of hip hop with lyrics I related most to. His broad music influences dipping into other alternative rock, punk, and ska brought me in more. That has turned into over a decade of me listening and watching him perform live.
Tonight’s set was like shining up an already excellent gem to a brighter sparkle, because this time he was joined by the other three marvelous rappers. We had Schaffer the Darklord up there doing a back and forth zombie-like walk for “Do the Bruce Campbell.” There was Frontalot up there doing another favorite, “O.G. Original Gamer,” before my eyes. Mega Ran up there for multiple songs. Then to close on a song with all four of our Mt. Nerdcore rappers would be the icing on the cake of a superb show. Still, they managed to add one more song from Lars with “Mr. Raven” after all of that as an encore. This show, with the stellar lineup, sits with ease at the top of my favorite concerts.