Wu-Tang Clan Rebel, Toronto ON, September 30
Published Oct 01, 2018At an earlier time in history, the odds of getting every member of Wu-Tang Clan together on a single stage outweighed those of a countrywide legalization of cannabis. These past few years, in-fighting between the hip-hop icons has meant reunions are few and far between, but fans in Toronto were treated to an appearance from all nine members in celebration of Canada's own impending pot legalization.
On Sunday evening, cannabis company Hexo assembled the Clan for a free show at Toronto's Rebel, and the nine Clan members put enough work in onstage to make it feel like the reunion wasn't solely to collect the corporate bag. As RZA told the soldout crowd, "the energy you give to us, we give back to you."
After filing out onstage while performing "Bring Da Ruckus," RZA announced that the group would perform their iconic debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) from front to back, subsequently pushing through some squealing microphones on "Shame On a N***a" and "Clan In Da Front."
Capturing the crowd's attention early on was Young Dirty Bastard, the son of late Clan co-founder Ol' Dirty Bastard, who was on hand to perform his father's verses. Braids askew as he flailed about the stage, YDB channelled ODB in spirit, exaggerating every gesture and even working in a high kick while doing his dad's words justice in his own shaky vocal delivery.
Equally as expressive was Ghostface Killah, hamming it up singing the hooks of "Can It Be All So Simple" and "Tearz" before letting loose on Raekwon's "Ice Cream" and GZA's "4th Chamber." Those eyeing Ghost got a sense of how much he puts into every word as he danced in place, moving in time with his own cadence as if he were doing it subconsciously.
With mic problems behind them, the Clan's members seamlessly traded off turns at the stage front in between shouting ad-libs for one another and mixing up drinks from the onstage bar. Raekwon led off "C.R.E.A.M." with the cool confidence his opening verse demands, while Method Man leapt from the stage to rile up the crowd for his titular 36 Chambers track.
The mood only got lighter as the set wore on. At one point, a pair of cakes shaped like the Clan's iconic "W" were brought out from the stage wings to celebrate the 25th anniversary of 36 Chambers. RZA sprayed the audience with three bottles worth of Moet, passing around handles of Grey Goose and Patron to fans in front. YDB jumped from the stage to make a seated section standing room only.
After midnight rolled around, the Clan had some trouble deciding how they were going to shut the show down. With RZA laughing off Method Man's suggestion that the evening was finished, the room filled with shouts of what record to play next from Clan and audience members alike. While talented in their own rights, there was little dispute come the end of the evening that Wu-Tang Clan are better together.