COUNCIL BLUFFS — Nobody wanted them to leave.
Wu-Tang Clan couldn’t exit the stage without one more song. One more message of thanks. One more chant of “Wu-Tang Forever.”
After an hour of blistering tracks from the iconic hip-hop group, fans just didn’t want to leave Stir Cove.
So the group — RZA, GZA, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Raekwon, Masta Killa and Cappadonna — did one more verse of “C.R.E.A.M.” and gave their thanks and praise to the nearly capacity crowd
“We really wanna thank y’all for supporting us for so long,” RZA said. “We wanna thank y’all for letting us rock the world with you.”
Wu-Tang got its start more than two decades ago in Staten Island and quickly became one of the most influential hip-hop groups around.
Why? Because their debut album was — and still very much is — incredible.
On Thursday night, the entire Wu-Tang crew arrived in Iowa to pay tribute to “Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)” by performing the album (plus a few other favorites) in its entirety.
And the late Ol’ Diry Bastard was replaced by his son, Young Dirty Bastard, to round out the 10-member group. (Special props to YDB, who admirably replaced his father’s electricity with a massive amount of fire and vigor. It was quite something to see him spit ODB’s words with such strength.)
It’s hard to give every member of a group that large time to shine, but that’s the beauty of Wu-Tang. It’s entire operation depends on every member, and if one was missing, it wouldn’t be the same. Luckily, “Enter the Wu-Tang” gives everyone plenty of moments.
Wu-Tang took the stage to “Bring Da Ruckus,” and more members walked onstage through the set’s first half, continually delighting fans with each subsequent appearance.
They very quickly worked through the record, hitting “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit” as fans chanted every word and “Protect Ya Neck” while the entire audience bounced up and down like rolling waves.
At every turn, members of the group pushed the energy as high as they could.
“If Wu-Tang came to my town, I’d want to act a fool just to make sure they came back to my town cuz we was a brilliant … audience,” Method Man told the crowd. “If we jump, you jump. And if you’re in a wheelchair, I’ll jump for you.”
It was quite a show, not least of which because of the talent assembled.
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Each member of the group is a talent, and many of them are famous in their own right. But no one left the stage. No one declined to participate when they weren’t in the spotlight. They backed each other up. They pumped each other up. And when it was time for one to take center stage, he would explode out with lyrical guns blazing.
And hearing the group perform the iconic album — it’s among Rolling Stone’s top 30 albums of all time — with such precision and energy was a treat. It still packs a punch more than 25 years later, and I venture to say if it were released anew these days, it would blow a lot of popular hip-hop out of the water.
It’s all the more impressive for it connect with fans from the Midwest, and RZA acknowledged as much.
“When we formed in the streets of Staten Island, we never imagined we’d come down to Nebraska or to the plains of Iowa,” RZA said. “It’s a pleasure to rock with y’all.”
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