NEPA Scene Staff

Rap rockers Crazy Town bring 20th anniversary tour to Stage West in Scranton on Nov. 9

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From a press release:

Rap rock band Crazy Town, best known for their No. 1 hit song “Butterfly,” will take their 20 Year Anniversary Tour celebrating their platinum-selling debut album “The Gift of Game” to Stage West in Scranton on Saturday, Nov. 9.

Hip-hop metal band AlphaAudio and rapper Lucas Hex, both from Scranton, will open the 21+ concert.

Doors at Stage West (301 N. Main Ave., Scranton) open at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets, which are $17 in advance, are on sale now via Prekindle.

When the new millennium arrived, the music industry was in the midst of a new music revolution. The free delivery via shared files online created a new “outlaw” brand that would prove instrumental in the way music would be not just delivered, but created. One of the breakout bands to not just embrace but help shift the tectonic plates of the music industry was Crazy Town. As one of the first hybrid brands of that era, they brought a new ball into the game. Equal parts urban and suburban, Chevrolet and Bentley, they rolled onto the music scene with a slow build that erupted when a “Butterfly” entered the room. The two founding members, Seth Binzer and Bret “Epic” Mazur, were introduced to each other by of the Black Eyed Peas. Binzer, a.k.a. Shifty Shellshock, brought in his longtime friend DJ AM and Crazy Town was born.

The band was all the buzz in the industry, the talk of Los Angeles. Crazy Town-mania created a classic Hollywood record label bidding war in which Columbia Records ultimately won. It was the Columbia/Sony worldwide reach which appealed the most to the band, and that reach had them touring the world and eventually garnered them a No. 1 record in more than 15 countries, selling more than six million copies of their first album, “The Gift of Game.” The success of their worldwide smash hit “Butterfly” in 2000 was inescapable and reached iconic status.

In 2002, Crazy Town released the follow-up record “Darkhorse.” Couched by record executives to deliver a harder sound, the band did not follow their instincts in the studio. “Darkhorse” was not the follow-up the band wanted to or should have delivered. The lukewarm reception by the media and lackluster sales of the sophomore effort strained the relationship between the label and the band. Whether or not Crazy Town was a victim of the changing playing field or of their own success, they found themselves without a record deal soon thereafter. Mazur and Binzer decided to take a little hiatus and re-energize for what would be Crazy Town’s third record. Binzer went on to have great success with a solo effort and Paul Oakenfold’s song “Starry Eyed Surprise.” Mazur went back to his roots as a writer/producer/remixer, working with the likes of the Plain White T’s, Julien-K, Hollywood Undead, and many more.

Months turned to years, and it wasn’t until Mazur called Binzer to discuss releasing an album of unreleased Crazy Town songs that the spark was reignited. They decided to get back into the studio and add one or two brand new songs to the mix. In Mazur’s words, “I just felt like we had all these songs that our fans would love to hear! Why let them die in my hard drive?” A few new songs turned into a complete reformation of Crazy Town. “We are taking it back to our roots, for the love of what we do,” Binzer stated.

Well-poised for reinvigorating their fans and banging out new ones, the band relaunched live with a handful of Southwest U.S. dates, including the legendary Whiskey a Go Go in Hollywood. Then it was off to Europe to own their slots at uber music fests Rock im Park and Rock am Ring in Germany, Nova Rock in Austria, and Download in the U.K.

Crazy Town released their long-awaited third studio album “The Brimstone Sluggers” on Aug. 28, 2015, their first in 13 years. While “Darkhorse” was more rock-oriented, “Brimstone Sluggers” focuses more on hip-hop and features collaborations from rappers Madchild and Bishop Lamont. Former Crazy Town member DJ AM, who died from a drug overdose in 2009, is a featured artist on the track “Born to Raise Hell,” and No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont provides guitar and vocals on the track “Ashes.”