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Wu-Tang Clan Kick Off U.S. Tour


It was anybody’s guess who would appear onstage at Portland, OR’s Roseland Theatre last night at the opening show of the Wu-Tang Clan’s U.S. tour. Method Man is currently on tour with Redman, and internal squabbling about the overly slick production on the Clan’s latest album, 8 Diagrams, elevated the possibility that RZA, who produced the release, would be a no-show.

But it was RZA who emerged first onto the stage, greeted by the familiar sea of hands forming the Wu-Tang “W.” By the time they kicked into “Bring da Ruckus,” from the brilliant Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, and GZA were also in full flow. The performance was more chaotic than the group’s albums — members occasionally cut each other off and the samples and beats were grittier — but there was a sophistication to the lively deliveries of Raekwon and GZA.

RZA provided counter-balance with his shouted rhymes, which he fired at the bouncing audience members, many of which sported Wu-Tang garb. In fact, a Wu-Tang show might be the only concert where it’s perfectly acceptable to be “that guy” who sports the group’s shirt — and the venue was filled with “those guys” and plenty of “those girls.” And the Clan didn’t disappoint their most devout fans, knocking down one song after another, including “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit” and “Ice Cream,” the latter of which appears on Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album.

Wu-Tang also served up renderings of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” as well as a clip of the most notable absentee’s eponymous “Method Man,” during which GZA accepted a “green” gift from a fan in the front row.

The controlled ambiance of the group’s recordings didn’t translate live — but who cares? It’s the chaotic, anything’s possible vibe that both the Clan and their fans thrive on.

More photos after the jump!

Ghostface Killah / Photo by Josh Elliott

Wu-Tang Clan / Photo by Josh Elliott

Wu-Tang’s GZA / Photo by Josh Elliott

RZA / Photo by Josh Elliott

Wu-Tang Clan / Photo by Josh Elliott

Wu-Tang Clan / Photo by Josh Elliott

RZA / Photo by Josh Elliott

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