NES in the West Tour, Trunk Space, 2/6/13

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NES in the West Tour with Mega Ran and The Writer's Guild @ Trunk Space | 2/6/13

Local rapper Mega Ran a.k.a Random completed the Phoenix stop of his latest tour at the Trunk Space and made it a point to drive home the old saying: "You're only as strong as your crew." With solid supporting acts, as well as an appearance by his rap collective The Writer's Guild, Mega Ran proved he's in good company last night.

The NES in the West Tour is sure to wow plenty of folks during its 14-city stop thanks in large part to the upbeat and playful musings of fellow nerd emcee Dr. Awkward and some serious theatrics by Texas-based electro-metal troupe Urizen.

Awkward set a fun tone with his strong delivery, melodic verses and comical lyrics. "I wrote this song about picking up cougars -- some of you will be offended," he joked. He bragged about his "geekilibrium" on "My Kung Fu" saying, "I'm like Seagal with a little less grey/Mixed with Van Damme with a little less gay/Mixed with Stallone with a little less lisp/Mixed with Vin Diesel with a lot more dick." A small group gathered early to catch the set, and stayed late to watch the whole lineup.

Urizen took a while to set up and had a few of us wondering exactly what they had in store for their segment since their van and trailer took up most of the small parking space allocated outside of Trunk Space. They meandered about in their motocross-inspired space ranger outfits and random accessories and props for some time, but made the wait worthwhile with an exciting and interactive set. The theatrical quartet describe themselves as having, "The balls of Rammstein strapped to the bodies of DEVO with the brains of Type O Negative performing the live show of GWAR... with a robot." And that just about sums it up right. Sporting monster Zangief-like beards, guitarist Thomas Drinnen dished out grinding heavy metal riffs, Daniel Drinnen laid down 8-bit Nintendo-style synth strokes, and Rustin Luther and Julio Escamilla held down a speedy rhythm section. They riled up the crowd with their outlandish personas, sci-fi gear, and a snake pit of electrical extension cords, lighting up the stage with strange PVC pipe brain-zappers and lit-up eye goggles. Their set took on epic proportions when Dr. Awkward climbed into an inflatable one-eyed-blob-monster-get-up to square off against an 8-foot-tall robot man.

Mega Ran and beat partner DJ DN3 closed out the show in storyteller circle fashion with DN3 laying down classic old-school cuts and video-game scores. Mega led chorus chants and belted out emphatic "yeah's" as he delved into his catalogue of autobiographical tracks inspired by his inner geek. Highlights of his set included an unrehearsed, impromptu freestyle rap and appearances by his Writer's Guild brothers Roknowledge, Mr. Miranda, and RoQy TyRaiD. For the freestyle Mega Ran had everyone in the crowd pull out a random item from their pockets, and he included each one in a rhyme. Missing only MC Pennywise, the four friends also got down on a wicked cypher before calling it a night.

If the lineup can maintain the same energy throughout the month, the tour should be a surprising treat for anyone lucky enough to catch these geeky goofballs.

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