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Live Photos + Review: Wu-Tang Clan - Trusts Arena, Auckland

Live Photos + Review: Wu-Tang Clan - Trusts Arena, Auckland

Photography by Knucklehead / Review by Elijah Pennington / Monday 17th December, 2018 9:24AM

Wu-Tang Clan are for the children. They're also for the mums, dads, Westies, old friends and fans limited to wheelchairs. Wu-Tang are playing the entire Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) album to commemorate the recent 25th anniversary. As well as feeling old I feel excited to see the brothers on stage together. Each paving their own careers in film, apparel, and classic solo material, this is where it all began for the legendary Staten Island rap collective.

I wasn't listening to a lot of hip hop when this album came out. I was in a heavy metal phase. It was groups like Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys and Wu-Tang Clan that got me listening to rap again. Lo-fi production, their raw and unique voices, along with stacks of imagery had me fiending for more. Before Wu-Tang I thought Vanilla Ice's 'Ninja Rap' was as far as the martial art rap thing could go.

Teasing the crowd with a collage of soundbites from kung fu films and Shaolin manifesto, DJ Mathematics is ready to roll. The familiar yellow "W" symbol illuminates the stage. That thing is as universal as the bat symbol.

RZA, Ghostface, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck and GZA are the first to kick it off with 'Bring The Ruckus'. They arrive on stage as each of their verses begin. The dusty ASR-10 tunes pound the PA as pundit fans rap along.

My wife texts me saying she can hear the bass from our house.

Stepping into his old man's shoes is Young Dirty Bastard, son of the late loose canon ODB. Filling the void left by his one of a kind father he is the spitting image. His renditions of 'Shimmy Shimmy Ya', and 'Got Your Money' are as close to the real thing as it gets. You can see that the clan are beyond happy to have him there. Live and un-cut.

Method Man is crowned the crowd favourite receiving a roar as he comes out to 'Shame On A N*gga'. "He is the Beyonce of Wu Tang" I later read in my Facebook feed. Accurate.

As the first act ends with 'Protect Your Neck' I am eager to hear what they will play next. Being the end of the Australasian tour Method Man informs us we are getting songs not heard live in Australia.

Pitting us against Australian crowds is a constant throughout, and does get tiring. Classic crowd control Meth.

Cult favourites like 'Ice Cream' from Raekwon, 'Bring The Pain' from Method Man, and 'Fish' from Ghostface Killah bring smiles to dials. With the amount of quality material they have between them they could play all night. They finish up with maybe their closest thing to a commercial hit, 'Gravel Pit'. I think about the time I bought the 12" single and stupidly left it on the bus.

As the lights come on and people are leaving RZA thanks the fans. He is sincere and appreciative. Wu Tang Muthafuc*ers rattles in my head as I figure out where to meet the Uber driver.

Click on Knucklehead's photos of Friday's show below to view the whole gallery...

Wu Tang Clan
Wu Tang Clan
Wu Tang Clan
Wu Tang Clan
Wu Tang Clan
Wu Tang Clan

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