Stir Cove does it again!
Thursday night (8/1) was packed as the Wu-Tang Clan smashed the stage on their Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) 25th Anniversary tour.
Before I hit you with all the show details, I have to mention my brush with greatness. Before the show, my editor/amazing wife, Virginia and I had dinner at the diner inside the casino at Harrah’s.
The guy in the booth right behind us looked familiar when we sat down, but I didn’t think much of it. Some folks next to us were really excited, but I just chalked it up to pre-show talk. I asked if they were going to the show and we talked Wu-Tang albums and hip-hop shows for a bit.
After he was finished eating, the guy in the booth behind us posed for pictures with the group next to us. It turned out to be Wu-Tang member GZA! I said hi really quick but as Jamey Jasta would say, “I didn’t want to be a punisher.” We were in the presence of a hip-hop legend!
So with the night already on a high note, we made our way inside the concert cove. Virginia settled in on the lawn, and I met up with my photographer buddies in the photo pit.
Unlike the majority of shows I’ve covered, there were no instruments set up, just a backlit sign with a DJ table.
DJ J Saki appeared on the backlit stage sign and the beats started pumping. DJ J Saki hyped the crowd playing a mix of mostly 80s and 90s hip-hop with a few current tracks thrown in. My favorite part of the set was when DJ J Saki said “Everyone turn to your left and say something nice to the person next to you.” You could feel the awesome energy of unity flowing through the audience.
DJ J Saki then brought out Philadelphia rapper Scholito. He played about four songs, but the best part of the set was a killer freestyle that went on for a long time. The crowd chanted with excitement “go, go, go!”
After Scholito’s set, I mingled among the crowd. All around, old friends were reuniting and new friends were being made. Nothing brings people together like a shared love of music. You can be a complete stranger, but someone next to you in a Wu-Tang shirt could be your new best friend!
There was one more act before the legends of hip-hop, Wu-Tang Clan. King Kahli lit up the stage with a fierce flow, and kept the people moving.
As the sun went down, the air filled with steam and a dank skunk smell (wink). The crowd was ready for a hip-hop takeover.
I made my way into the photo pit one last time and DJ J Saki was pumping out 90s hits. He had Montel Jordan going, N.W.A, and Busta Rhymes, but the crowd went crazy when he played the DMX classic “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem.” Like a wave, all across the front row hands were swaying to the beat.
After a short intermission it was time for the mighty Wu-Tang Clan! The lights went out and a movie trailer started playing on the screen behind the DJ table.
The film which is being produced by Wu-Tang leader RZA, is called Cut Throat City, and it depicts a heist on a FEMA office during the height of the hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans.
Following the Cut Throat City trailer was yet another Wu-Tang project that will be debuting on Hulu this year entitled Wu-Tang: Enter the Saga, which shows Wu-Tang’s beginnings in New York with young actors playing the members of the group. Both projects look really interesting and judging by the crowd reaction, I’m sure they will do very well.
After the trailers RZA, the leader of the Wild-Tang Clan stepped forth. The crowd lit up as he started his verse from the track “Bring Da Ruckus.”
One by one, more Wu-Tang members stepped out, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, GZA, Ghostface Killah, U-god, Masta Killa, and finally, arguably one of the most recognizable members, Method Man. Side note: Method Man has been hitting the gym! Dude is looking great. In one of his Instagram videos he dead lifts 400 pounds.
During the second song a picture of Ol’ Dirty Bastard who passed away in 2004, appeared on the screen behind the DJ table.
RZA said “Shout out to ODB! His parts are going to be filled by you, the crowd, and a very special guest, his first born son, the Young Dirty Bastard!!”
Young Dirty Bastard stepped right in and ripped his verse with no hesitation. The crowd responded with cheers, heart shaped hands, and Wu-Tang Ws.
RZA told the crowd they would be performing the full 36 Chambers record and the fans wooed with excitement.
All night, Wu-Tang rocked the house with hit after hit as accompanying videos played in the background. It was a welcomed trip back to the 90s.
Though the majority of the crowd was in their mid-30s and 40s, there were plenty of young kids, showing Wu-Tang has a fairly wide audience. After all:
“Wu-Tang is for the children” – Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers has been named as one of the top hip-hop albums of all time on several lists, and it continues to influence hip-hop that is being made today. It was awesome to see these songs live with all the original members, minus ODB. It’s not very often that you get the opportunity to see a Wu-Tang show, let alone in your home city!
A huge thanks to Stir Concert Cove for bringing this incredible show and setting up photo access.
There are still plenty of great shows left on Stir Cove’s summer lineup. Stir is one of the best places to see a show in Omaha/Council Bluffs. It has top-notch sound and every seat in the house is a good one. Make sure to check out what’s coming up and we’ll see you out there!