Fans of the the Wu Tang Clan are legion. Despite how hot and crowded the streets of Capitol Hill were last night, you could easily spot the people headed to Neumos to watch RZA perform -- dressed in Old Dirty Bastard t-shirts or certified Wu-wear. It was like a tribe descended upon the corner of 10th and Pike last night and although it was far from a packed house--plenty of people were content just standing outside of the club listening to the mastermind behind the Wu Tang clan hold court.
The only problem with opening up for a guy with such loyal fans is that nobody wants to see you. When I arrived at the venue around 10:30 p.m. the inside of the club was almost empty. It's not that people weren't present, they just didn't give a shit about the openers. Either that or the heat inside kept people away. But it felt like nobody even ventured inside until 11:00 p.m. at the earliest. Although local MC Scribes was on the bill, I missed him. So did most people which is sort of a shame. But we were all there to soak up a piece of Wu Tang history and when that train finally arrived, it didn't disappoint.For starters RZA likes to have lots of girls on stage dancing behind him. And at all times, he had no less than seven (and at times as many as 10) scantily clad women grinding behind him for no real reason at all. If they were at least cute, that would have made sense. But you couldn't have seen a sorrier set of girls in your life. Halfway through the show, most of them were just standing there sending text messages from their phones and not really doing anything. It's honestly not cool to objectify women like that but, for whatever reason, they didn't seem to mind.
As far as pure energy went, Wu Tang's chief architect had more of it than I expected. He was bouncing all over the stage, chucking water at people, rapping at the top of his lungs, and showing Seattle that he hasn't fallen off at all. Sure he recently turned 40, but he didn't act like it. He also had the eldest son of Old Dirty Bastard rapping along side of him and the kid (named Boy Jones) is the spitting image of his father. He's definitely not the world's greatest rapper (a gene he inherited honestly) but he can wail and moan just like his pops. He was running all over the place saying "I want to be a millionaire" one moment, then calling himself a "food stamp celebrity" the next.
As for RZA, he hit the crowd with a couple of old school 36 Chambers tunes, and a couple of gems from GZA's Liquord Swords. Since he does production for most Wu Tang members solo projects as well, he had a huge catalog of material to choose from. But he mostly stuck to Bobby Digital tunes and songs from his newest album, Wu Tang Chamber Music. I personally think he could have played more classics. But catching RZA solo is sort of like watching Q-Tip without A Tribe Called Quest. You can't help but long to see the entire group united and leave a touch disappointed knowing that it might not happen any time soon.