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Wu-Tang Clan in St. Petersburg, Fla. 1/26/08


“Patience or forbearance is basically the Dhamma contrary to anger, which, in other words, is adosa – absence of anger. It is similar to the essence of metta, loving-kindness. In particular, what is said to have patience, is to be able to endure any kind of provocation and to remain calm without anger and doing evil.”

“Khanti paramam tapo titikkha”

“Patience is the highest or best devotion”

Patience was definitely the word of the night Saturday night. After the doors of Jannus Landing finally opened at 7:30 (30 minutes after the tickets said doors would open), three hours would pass before the Wu-Tang Clan finally showed up. Three hours of listening to a local St. Pete DJ spinning the same songs I could have listened to in my car. Three hours of some local MCs trying to hype the crowd. Three hours of chanting “Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang”. And three hours of standing in the rain, wondering if I wasted my 50 dollars on a band that isn’t going to show.

Yes, I was that close to walking out. I was even on my way to find someone in charge to see if I can get a refund when the Wu-Tang bus finally pulled up. Finally.

(Note: This was only my third major hip-hop show as compared to dozens of rock shows. Hip-hop fans are much more patient. Rock fans would be booing, complaining, and probably rioting if their band didn’t show. If hip-hop fans get rowdy, they are easily sedated with a old-school Biggie or Nas track. Get their heads nodding and they are good for another hour.)

So at nearly 11pm (10:50 to be exact), the Wu finally took the stage. Most of them. Unfortunately, possibly due to the inner turmoil in the group, the RZA didn’t make the tour. In his place on stage were unofficial Wu members Cappadonna and Streetlife. Not bad substitutes, as they have verses on nearly Wu album anyway.

As for the show, when it finally started, it was amazing. As mentioned in other tour reviews, Method Man was the lead MC, hyping the crowd. Apparently the show was the last on the tour, and according to Method Man, they were ready to give 110%. That they did.

Even without RZA, the Wu were on top of their game. Surprisingly, and perhaps related to the fact that RZA was not there, they didn’t perform any songs off their new album 8 Diagrams. They did songs off of Enter the 36 Chambers (Shame on a N***a, Bring the Ruckus, CREAM, Method Man, Can It Be All So Simple, Protect Ya Neck), Method Man’s Tical (Bring the Pain, What the Bloodclot), Raekwon’s Only Built for Cuban Linx (Ice Cream, Incarcerated Scarfaces), the GZA’s Liquid Swords album (Duel of the Iron Mic, Liquid Swords), No Said Date from Masta Killa, and a song with Inspecta Deck and Masta Killa (Winter Warz?). Also making a guest appearance was Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s brother 12 O’Clock to rap Shimmy Shimmy Ya and Brooklyn Zoo.

Needless to say, I was impressed by the Wu-Tang Clan. Although I had seen it in concert footage, Method Man’s trick of standing on the hands of fans is very impressive. Their overall energy is amazing and the vibe going back and forth from the group to the fans was electric.

Unfortunately, about an hour into the show, Method Man’s mic began to give out. As I was halfway back in the crowd of perhaps 600 to 1,000 people, I could barely hear him. Finally realizing his mic was out, Method Man grabbed Masta Killa’s mic, only to find out that was out as well. In turn, nearly every member of the Clan spoke into their mics and then looked at each piece of equipment with disgust. The Wu Tang Clan had been rendered silent by the evil power of St. Petersburg City Ordinance 754-G 11-64.1.b.2.c, which states:

1. Playing, using, operating or permitting to be played, used, or operated any radio, musical instrument, drum, compact disc or tape player, sound amplifier or other machine or device that produces, reproduces or amplifies musical sound within any building if such sound is for the purpose of entertainment or receiving information, or is used for that purpose and: i. In a commercial or an industrial area, Sunday through Thursday, except the day prior to a national holiday, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following morning or on Fridays, Saturdays and the day prior to a national holiday, between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 8:00 a.m. the following morning, the sound exceeds an L50 sound level limit of 60 decibels measured in accordance with Section 11-65 at a receiving land use that is legally used for residential purposes regardless of whether it is situated in a residential area, commercial area or an industrial area.

By 12:07, the mighty Wu-Tang Clan had been completely silenced. Although Method Man attempted some accapella sing-alongs with those in the front rows, the only sound audible was the repeated chant of “Wu-Tang, Wu-Tang” by those who couldn’t read Method Man’s lips.

Overall, I give my first Wu-Tang Clan experience a Incomplete Minus (I-). Incomplete in that it would have been nice to hear the whole show from start to finish. The Wu definitely had potential and things were starting to get hyped. However, had the group not waited until nearly 11pm to arrive, perhaps they could have fit more songs in before midnight. Any disappointment should be blamed as much on the Wu-Tang Clan as on the ridiculous city ordinances of St. Petersburg, Florida.


1 comment on Wu-Tang Clan in St. Petersburg, Fla. 1/26/08

  1. Yep, that’s about how the show they did up here in NYC went. But with twice the number of people, and without the mics shutting off.

    All hip hop shows start at 10ish, at the earliest, my man! That’s a fact.

    And yep, no 8 Diagrams, mostly Wu classics and everyone got their solo album moments, including the scrubbier ones (i.e. Masta Killer, Inspector Deck, Cappadonna).

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