A Lesson In How Not To Do It As A Music Festival: Two thirds an act
In the week leading up to Northside there has been many discussions among hip hop fans – many of whom bought their Northside ticket only to watch one act Wu-Tang Clan – about whether or not first Method Man and later also RZA and Raekwon would be coming at all.
It all started with a tweet from Method Man about him not being on the European tour and everyone being told back in January. It would later be corrected to the powers that be being informed but not passing the information on . Later tweets and posts would come rolling in from their other European concerts about Raekwon and RZA missing in actions as well and Method Man writing it was too bad those two didn’t come out either.
This prompted people to ask Northside on their Twitter . The first response from Northside was that they had no idea who was coming on the tour, which was a big contrast to all the press and writings from Northside that even mentioned all nine rappers coming. Wu-Tang Clan had been announced as the full group and not as often as a “we don’t know who’s coming act”. Later it was changed to that they had confirmed that everyone was coming. Confronted with the fact that Method Man, RZA and Raekwon would have to take a plane directly to Northside and back home again later for this to happen they stood firm. Everyone is coming. When asked how they could be so sure and if they had a clause in the contract about everyone having to perform Northside was suddenly weirdly quiet. They did promise to post a picture of everyone when they arrived. Something they also never did. The first post was when they were on stage and even then Northside didn’t even know which of the rappers were there, just that there was seven rappers and two DJ’s. It is apparently too complicated to compare to a picture of the group.
As it would turn out they were all there – except for Method Man, RZA and Raekwon. So we got two thirds of the Wu-Tang and hype man Streetlife.
They started out with “Bring The Ruckus” the first track on their first album. The delivery didn’t start out well with the microphones feeding – something that would make a constant comeback throughout the concert when the sound weren’t so muddy that you couldn’t hear a word they were rapping – even though you know the words in your head. They also encountered another problem – a lot of their songs feature some of the missing rappers. This would mean that you would often only get to hear one verse from a song. Or even worse, that Streetlife would try to rap the others rappers verse. When Ghostface wasn’t the one doing it like he did on “Can It Be All So Simple”, which actually worked pretty well.
RZA’s productions sounds amazing blasted through the large speakers and all of the Wu-members are good live rappers that can reach a big crowd as the one in Ådalen. Ghostface Killah and GZA did well with Cappadonna surprisingly outshining the others even though his microphone was way too low though the whole concert. There was a great energy from the stage and from some of the crowd, though it was very obvious that many didn’t know any of the songs at all. A sharp contrast to when all of them played at Vanguard two years ago.
They went through all the hits. There were even some of the solo tracks from especially Ghostface and for some reason “Ice Cream” from Raekwon’s first album just to hear half of the features. It is a banger and Cappadonna’s verse is legendary, so no hating on that. Unfortunately we also got a lot of sing back to Ol’ Dirty Bastard verses. Something that seemed to please the non-hiphop audience and annoy the dedicated fans that could tell the difference. Doing a tribute to a dead member is cool but this was too much.
All in all the rappers did well, the sound was seriously shitty – though not even close to the disaster at FKA Twigs – and the track list was very depleted. Three of the four most prominent members were missing and that showed. A lot.
The concert was mainly a disappointment.
And Northside’s handling of the whole affair has left me to wonder why they don’t hire someone to do their communication. And why the fuck they would announce the group as a whole if they didn’t have a contract clearly stating every member would show up. It is selling something under a false pretense and they should be forced to compensate all the people who bought a ticket just to see the whole Wu-Tang Clan! Shame on a N*******.
"All in all the rappers did well, the sound was seriously shitty - though not even close to the disaster at FKA Twigs – and the track list was very depleted. Three of the four most prominent members were missing and that showed. A lot." (2/6)