Concert Review: Necro & Madchild at The Rockpile in Toronto


For the first time in about ten years, Necro has returned to Canada for a cross-country tour, and he’s bringing along Canadian Hip-Hop icon Madchild to sweeten the deal!  The Brooklyn emcee/producer is gearing up to release his first full-length solo album since 2010’s DIE!, but as the originator of the death-rap subgenre, this would be a great opportunity for fans to revisit the gruesome, graphic lyricism of his entire catalogue over the past twenty years.  The timing couldn’t be better, with Halloween right around the corner, and Necro’s style of music almost designed to fit the occasion.  Dubbed the Fuck Commercial Rap Tour, this would be a night filled with that rugged, hardcore, underground Hip-Hop sound, and what better venue to fit the vibe than The Rockpile?

With many fans paying for VIP tickets to meet Necro and Madchild before the show, the building was already packed early into the night as the local openers performed.  The lineup had some familiar artists who’ve performed at previous Rockpile concerts this year, like Tragedy and General Tazz, but the ones on stage as I got in the building were some guys I hadn’t heard of before, Nos Killah and Trouble Maker.  They had a high energy set with the emcees rapping over beats ranging from 1994 Wu-Tang to straight up heavy metal instrumentals; the blend was highly appropriate for a Necro concert.

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Hosting between performers was The Rockpile’s own Stacee Brizzle of course, who was just coming off headlining and hosting her second annual Kitty Palace event, which puts the spotlight on local female Hip-Hop artists (apologies for not being able to attend).  From that event she brought along Duch Dillinger to co-host with her, and the ladies entertained the crowd with freestyle raps and free ticket giveaways to King Of The Dot’s upcoming pay-per-view, World Domination 7.  Eventually they would bring out artists from Reel Wolf, which is a film production company that’s handled many of Necro and Madchild’s music videos, and has its own in-house artists.

Resin & Seen B rocked a dope, hardcore set for Reel Wolf, wrapping it up by bringing an entire heavy metal band on stage to play their last song with them.  After Reel Wolf was Marmel Entertainment, who had also opened for Madchild when he headlined his own show here back in January.  While only two of the six emcees in the group showed up, they still held down a solid set, covering vocals for some of their missing members.  After a short wait, DJ Dow Jones took control of the turntables, and it would be time for the first co-headliner, Vancouver’s own Madchild.

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Madchild last performed in Toronto back in January, when he headlined his own show right here at The Rockpile.  Since then, he went on to release his fourth solo album, Darkest Hour, but this set would be filled with more throwbacks than new music.  Being highly interactive with the fans last time he was here, he picked up right where he left off, jumping down into the crowd and performing the first song of his set amongst the people.

The hard-hitting beats on his songs got the crowd jumping, as he slayed his carefully constructed verses with precision.  He performed some fan favourites from his solo albums like “The Jackel,” “Prefontaine” and “Dickhead,” and even did his verse from the Swollen Members song “Night Vision.”  Calling The Rockpile his “home away from home,” Madchild felt comfortable jumping down into the mosh pit several times during his set.  His performance was shorter than last time since he was opening instead of headlining, but it was a fun, action-packed half hour set.


There would be another wait, but eventually Necro came out and started the most aggressive mosh pit I’ve ever seen at The Rockpile!  The energy was cranked from the beginning as he started his set with the 2004 song “Beautiful Music For You To Die To,” and kept things moving with “Murder Ya Life,” which has him rapping over the beat from “Forgot About Dre.”  His voice sounded hoarse, as he paused to mention he had been on the road performing damn near every night for the past two weeks on this Canadian tour, but it made for a more aggressive sounding delivery.

Necro kept things in the mid-2000’s, performing another song off his Pre-Fix For Death album, the metal flavoured “Push It To The Limit.”  He then invited almost every single lady in the building to join him on stage and dance, as he got into the kinky “Who’s Ya Daddy?,” which uses a genius sample of the classic “Time Of The Season” by The Zombies (eight years before Eminem did it).  After letting the ladies return to the mosh pit, Necro took things back to his 2001 album, Gory Days, performing the opening track, “Bury You With Satan.”  Joining Necro on stage as his hypeman was frequent collaborator Mr. Hyde, who finally got to spit a verse when they performed one of their songs together off of that same album, “Circle of Tyrants.”

After briefly touching on his 2007 work with “No Remorse,” Necro slowed things down and went all the way back to 2000, performing his LL Cool J parody “I Need Drugs.”  This served as a short break from the wild mosh pit, which got started up again when Mr. Hyde got to perform one of his own songs, and Necro brought back the heavy metal vibes with the song “The Pre-Fix For Death.”  He then switched to a groovier vibe with the title track off of his 2010 album, DIE!, before seemingly leaving the stage just to get the crowd to chant for more.

Necro would close out his set with three final songs, all from his 2000 debut album I Need Drugs.  The mosh pit went wild again as he performed the fan favourites “Rugged Shit” and “The Most Sadistic,” getting the crowd to chant along to the hooks.  Some female fans in the front row requested that the final song be “Your Fuckin’ Head Split,” and to sweeten the deal they jumped on stage and flashed their boobs at the crowd.  The titties were enough to convince Necro, as he closed out the show with the fan request, getting the whole crowd to turn up one last time and rap along to the chorus.

Overall, this was another wild night at The Rockpile, with Necro bringing a wicked blend of metal and hardcore rap.  You had spilled drinks making the floor sticky, aggressive mosh pits making it even more difficult to stand, and ladies being encouraged to flash their breasts (which they did willingly several times throughout the night).  Some would call this chaos, but it’s exactly the scenario everyone came to be a part of.

It was a trip down memory lane going through all the favourites from Necro’s discography.  The content of his music may be a turn-off for some non-hardcore Hip-Hop heads (unless it’s Halloween season), but Necro’s rhyme style has remained consistent over his soon-to-be seven solo albums, and it was cool seeing how his production has evolved over the years.  He fought through performing with an unrested voice in Toronto, and time will tell if he’ll tough it out for the rest of the Fuck Commercial Rap Tour as he heads west through Canada.


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