Wu-Tang Clan @ House Of Blues
I’d been waiting quite a long time to finally get my chance to see Wu-Tang Clan for the first time way back in 2006 when they were one of the bigger acts performing at Voodoo Festival, but upon arrival to the festival, they’d backed out only to be replaced by New Orleans rapper Juvenile. They were one of the main reasons I attended my first Voodoo, and although I had a great time, them backing out always kinda pissed me off. Fast forward 5 and a half years, and Wu-Tang Clan were finally about to be on a stage in front of me at Downtown Houston’s House Of Blues, and from what I could tell, they were not backing out this time.
Read all about the show and check out a ton of pictures after the jump.
Words and photos by Jim “Eggs” Bricker
Advertised start time of the show was 9pm, so knowing that, we arrived at about 10:15 as all hip hop shows run about an hour and a half later than posted. After securing a cocktail and a spot towards the front of the stage, the DJ ended his opening set which paved the way for a couple different opening rappers. I’m not exactly sure who they all were, someone out there might be able to help me out with that, but I’m pretty sure they were all apart of the Wu-Tang family and probably just a couple guys that were just chilling in the back smoking and decided to hop on stage to spit a few lyrics. The first duo were good, the next guy to come up wasn’t really doing it for me though. Finally, after about 20 or 30 minutes of being there, the curtain dropped and soon opened up again with the members of Wu-Tang Clan streaming out from both sides of the stage.
Immediately making his presence known, Method Man took center stage and started to hype up the crowd. After scanning the group, noticeably missing was Raekwon whom was apparently skipping the show to celebrate his birthday which was the same night. Also not attending was Ghostface Killah. Both really bummed me out, but on hand you still had Meth, RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, U-God and Cappadona. I was more than alright with that. Ghost and Raekwon would have made for a complete evening, but its better than the first time I tried to see them when not even one of them showed.
The crowd, in general, seemed a bit tired and lackluster, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time as we bobbed our heads and threw up our hands throughout the show. People just needed to start drinking whiskey with us – if that were the case, the party would have been, as they say, off the hook. The hits were all there, starting out with “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta Fuck Wit” leading right into “Bring da Ruckus.” While some key verses were missing, they were all still pretty great to hear live for the first time. What was absent with the crowds energy and the lack of the two MC’s was more than made up with by both Method Man and the RZA’s unbridled energy. Even though the whole group seemed as if they might have partied a bit too hard in New Orleans the night before, and had a hefty diet of nothing but weed all day, Meth and RZA still gave the crowd what they paid for.
After one brief rant from Meth about the crowds lack of participation, and some shouts from the stage that they wanted to see mosh pits, finally the crowd started to get hype throughout rather than just in chunks like it was. They were a little over an hour into their set, and after GZA took center stage for his own “Liquid Swords,” and a tribute to their fallen compadre Ol’ Dirty Bastard with a take on his own “Brooklyn Zoo,” the encore portion of the evening began with a brief tribute to Pimp C which found Bun B taking center stage for a bro-hug with Meth. It seemed as with the growing energy of the crowd, that Wu-Tang didn’t really want to stop. Knowing they had a midnight stage curfew, and not really caring, they ended their set abruptly in the middle of “Gravel Pit” as the staff threw on the lights and turned off the microphones. I’m not really sure why anyone would stop a performer mid song, I feel as if that says a lot of bad thing the venue and unfortunately the city as well. Kind of rude if you ask me, House Of Blues.
I had a great time at the show despite everything seemingly going wrong. It seems as if this might be their last stop in Houston for quite some time, and seeing their ages all eclipsing the 40 year old mark, maybe ever. Hopefully I’ll land upon a Wu-Tang show with a great crowd and all existing members, but that seems to be somewhat of a holy grail in the hip-hop world these days. I guess I’ll just have to take this as the best I can get until then. Thankfully it kicked a whole bunch of ass.