Wu Tang Clan
December 8, 2018
Good god, I don’t even recall how many times I was supposed to witness incarnations of Wu Tang Clan, parts thereof or individual constituents performing their songs.
Needless to say that some shows never eventuated, others did and were “interesting” for everything other than performance reasons. I came close to seeing the collective in Europe at the height of their powers in the 90s, but the group decided that there were other priorities to attend to, i.e. decided to take a detour to Amsterdam where they stayed with their nightliner to partake in what the city has to offer until their return to the US.
Long story short – I was excited yet wary when I heard that the remaining nine along with ODB’s first-born were announced to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of their genre coining first album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
The fact that the actual soundcheck seemed to go on well beyond performance time and the fact that the doors to the auditorium remained closed did not bode too well, however, the Wu descended and what a joy it was.
For the few uninitiated, Wu Tang Clan’s first album is a classic not merely because of the idiosyncratic skills and complexion of the group’s constituents but also because of the underpinning unique melange that forms its foundation, i.e. the Wu philosophy which is part adoration for Motown samples, a faible for obscure kung fu flics, spirituality meeting street husting attitude and their bond as a clan.
What materialized on stage of Sydney Opera House’s stage tonight was testament to the relevance and longevity of the album and Wu Tang Clan at large and cemented that their oeuvre has arrived –from the alleys of Staten Island to the cultural canon of established popular culture.
With the resurgence of hip hop over the last decade and it pervading every facet of mainstream society, it was fantastic to see some of the OGs hitting it and having fun doing so.
An engaging performance throughout in a 360-degree setup, they transformed the Opera House into a bouncing block party with the sold-out audience lapping it up.
Wu-Tang forever – and the next three days of forever they will be continuing their residence at the Opera House.
Photos courtesy of Pru Upton and Dan Boud