Wu-Tang Clan @ Place Bell – 12th July 2019

Scroll this

Wu-Tang Clan still ain’t nothing to fuck with, it would seem.

It’s hard to believe that one of the staples of hop hip music, just turned a quarter-century old. Alas, facts are facts, and the legendary Wu-Tang Clan are currently on the road to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of their debut LP, “Enter The Wu-Tang”. Well, most of them anyway, as the Method Man remains missing in action. Like always. By this point, Wu fans are probably used to that fact and don’t so much as consider that Method Man might actually show up. And, of course, Old Dirty Bastard is no longer of this earth following an accidental overdose of cocaine and painkillers some years back.

Twenty minutes past the scheduled start time, the lights went out and the house stereo system fell to a hush; but not for the main act of the evening. Instead, a movie clip rolled. In all my days, and thousands of live shows, I have never before witnessed such blatant advertising for a related product as on this night. Smart. It has to be said. Fill stadiums and show them your movie clip, then lure the media into talking about it too. Very smart. RZA’s “Cut Throat City” is coming to a big screen near you, soon.

One by one, the many clan members filed onto the stage, spitting out a verse while the next member strolled in, mic in hand and dynamite on his tongue. The crowd was hyped up and the stadium was rocking. With the consumption of marijuana now legal in Canada; it comes as little surprise that the Place Bell was a hot box as people lit up joint after joint. I haven’t smoked in over a decade and I was high just being in the vicinity. Guilty by association. The opening track largely consisted of the crowd yelling, and it was awesome.

Suddenly, Old Dirty Bastard’s face lit up the giant screen behind the DJ – and his son, Young Dirty Bastard, strolled out to spit his ol’ man’s verses. It was poetic in a way. Touching. Sad yet inspiring at the same time. Young is the spitting image of his old man and can rap on the same levels too. It’s here that you have to wonder why Method Man is absent again. All elements are accounted for, but him. Back in 2003, Method Man and Wu-Tang Clan’s management had an altercation, and three years later, Method Man publicly disputed the rest of the group for branding their own clothing company for financial gain. He was also quite vocal on Wu-Tang Clan’s sale of an album to a private party, with the stipulation that the record couldn’t be released for 88 years. Seems to me that Method Man might have the most level head of the bunch. Perhaps these issues are what keeps the two parties apart still. But beyond all that, all the members of the group are as close today as they’ve ever been. They just don’t see each other as much as they once did.

“Music has the power to bring us all together, yo” – Rza

The show wasn’t without its technical difficulties, leading Gza to comment on the matter. “What the fuck is wrong with these mics”. Feedback issues were starting to scratch on the nerves of all in attendance. A Mohawk flag was brought out right before DJ Master Killer went off on an old school session, scratching and ripping some great old school beats. “We’ve got to save real hip hop” exclaimed Rza, adding “One love! Throw your W’s up and say Wu-Tang forever”. The crowd followed along, giving hope that real hip hop might make a comeback and wash away the trash that has infected the radio stations in recent times.

The show concluded with a few words from Rza and a brand new song. I wondered in vain if Method Man would be on the new Wu-Tang Clan album. Probably not. Make sure you get home safely,“ said Rza, “we’ve got a new documentary on Showtime. This is a new song for you to walk out to or whatever”. The fact that microphones were fixed wasn’t missed by Gza, who had a few final words too. “Hey yo, it’s funny how at the end of the show, show, the sound man can make your mic sound golden, ain’t it? Fuck you, sound man.”

Wu-Tang Forever!

Review & photos – Kieron Yates

Share this :

Submit a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.