This article was originally published via Speaker TV and is available here
An ominous public service announcement voice welcomed the masses into the arena, “all those here for the Wutang Clan, please proceed towards the stairs.” While nothing could have sounded stranger than an invisible monotone man directing mobs of eager rap fans uniformly – nothing could compare or dampen the electric sense of anticipation that riddled the venue.
After stupidly fumbling through rows in search of my seat, Ivan Oooze took to the stage in a performance demanding all those in attendance to keep him on their radar; his song ‘Bring The Fire’ causing a certain concert goer in a camo bucket hat (which, of course, was straight from a local army disposals) to begin to dance uncontrollably in similar fashion to what I can only compare to a T-Rex. Concluding his set with his latest track written in collaboration with Ghost Face Killah, the Ringwood alumni showcased his meticulously fast flow; his hooks swirled together with heavy track layering to form a final single that perfectly pumped up those in attendance for the ruckus that laid ahead.
As masses began to migrate into the arena a dense sea of fans eagerly shifted their weight in overwhelming anticipation for the long awaited performance that laid ahead. Hundreds piled back into the standing area with beer and other assorted paraphernalia on hand, because, well, enter the Wu’ motherfuckers. Waiting proved too much for one fan as I played witness to one of the most impressive displays of parkour I have ever seen. The eagerness proving too much, the individual cleared the barrier into the sound platform where he whipped the speediest head check and jumped once more before darting off into the sea of faces all illuminated by the almighty yellow “W”. A sea of “W’s” were now thrown up, Wu-Tang Clan victoriously took to the stage; the night shifting to peace signs, singular fingers and an illuminated sea of lighters and phone torches.
People’s passion – noted in their phone lights that ignited from the first bar – were rising rapidly. Vastly unsure if the drunk patron next to me realised that no matter how high you stand or no matter how close you get to jumping upon my shoulders, the venue was only just illuminated and no makeshift bandana banner would get you noticed. (I commend your efforts though!) Amid a sea the crowd-generated smoke, songs like ‘C.R.E.A.M’, ‘Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta Fuck Wit’ and ‘You Can’t Stop Me Now’ roared through the arena, emphasising that a band who was active well before my own conception had lost none of their ability to captivate audiences across the globe.
From executing their anthems with ease through to meticulous DJing that utilised all appendages including the ‘Clan members feet, the night was a well-rounded reiteration of their constant ability to “bring the ruckus”. Flowing on to include a dedication to their fellow musical comrades that have fallen, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ echoed through the arena as an appreciative mosh pit formed in response. Thanking in passing the phenomenal impact of David Bowie and an end-all rendition of The Notorious BIG, the covers saw already hyped up fans excitement levels skyrocket.
Through a perfect balance of between audience interaction and passionate executions of songs, their past 24 years as a collective offered forward one last tribute to their fallen brother Biggie; a parting note to the sea of faces looking on in awe of them, “Hip hop is the strength to the men.” With one audience member managing to escape the heavy security, jumping on stage and proceeding to execute one of the most insane performances of breakdancing I have ever seen, the final song was unforgettable. Through a final unified atmosphere, everyone was doomed to internally sing “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta Fuck With” on the long way home.