i slayed emcees back in the rec room era
The GZA could have hit the stage on Wednesday and gone through the motions, and frankly, I still would've considered it money well spent. I mean, he was performing the best Wu solo record in its entirety. And while he wasn't David Banner (and it would be weird if he performed like that), he was energetic, charismatic, and most importantly, his flow was impeccable.
The crowd was also awesome. Made up almost entirely of hardcore Wu-Tang fans, it seemed like everyone there showed up to witness an amazing show, shout along with the Genius, and have a good time. The security guards were packing metal detectors at the door, but the negative stereotypes about hip hop fans that sort of equipment suggests certainly weren't on display inside. But back to the performance...
The many guests on Liquid Swords obviously weren't in attendance, but the GZA, who, rather refreshingly, didn't even have a hype man with him, did a pretty good job of reworking tracks or rapping the verses of his missing Clan members himself. The highlight for me came right off the bat, when the most familiar lines of dialogue from Shogun Assassin for any rap fan gave way to the title track from the Genius' debut, but there weren't exactly any lowlights to speak of.
After he finished a full run through of Liquid Swords he dipped a little further into his catalogue, focusing on Pro Tools (which was out this week), but also pulling from his other releases, including an awesome, impromptu, acapella version of "Fame."
Tonight, Featherwolf, Lord Beginner, and A Pale Blue are at Pat's.
Also tonight, Howlin' Rain is at the Media Club with Small Fame (feat. Dan from Bend Sinister) are at the Media Club.
Tomorrow, Half Alive helps the Biltmore celebrate its reopening with Reflektionss (Jesse from Twin Crystals/etc) and Vapid.
I was going to comment on the whole Biltmore thing, but, fuck it, it's the long weekend soon.
Also on Saturday, Le Gem is at the Astoria for Better than Nothing.
On Monday, if you need more music after the Vic Square Block Party, you can head to the Bourbon for the after party with Bison and Sorcerers. $5 at the door and sure to be slammed.
On September 4th, if you happen to be back at UBC for school, you can check out Leah Abramson for free outside the SUB at noon. You can also grab the podcast of her performance/interview on Thunderbird Radio Hell last night right here.
The Good News celebrate their album release at the Bourbon on September 21st. Terror Bird and the Blastramp! DJs join them.
now playing: the Walkmen (who I should have gone to see last night) - the Blue Route
Have to say that I had a rather different experience of the GZA show. I found him phoning in most of his verses, watched him slouch drunkenly across the stage, forgetting many verses and letting the crowd fill in the last half of most songs due to being out of breath. For someone who has performed this album numerous times over the last few months, the set should have been flawless. Also, the lack of a proper DJ was pretty disappointing. Instead we had some dude with headphones on who did nothing but rock a fader that was probably hooked up to the fucking CD. After seeing the RZA at Richards give it his all with a live band, and watching Ghost and Rae tear it up at the Pitchfork fest, the GZA was pretty disappointing.