The Wu-Tang Clan reunited Saturday in San Bernardino, California, for an eighty-minute performance that was recorded for a live album, due September 28th, and a DVD due October 12th.
The show marked the first appearance of all ten Wu-Tang members together in a decade, three thousand miles from their native New York. Prior to taking the stage with Method Man, Ghostface, Raekwon, Cappadonna, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, GZA, Inspectah Deck, U God, and Masta Killa, a hyped-up RZA spoke backstage about what it meant to have the crew back together, if only for one night.
“Everybody being so busy and so occupied that to end up here it’s a good thing,” he said. “Wu-Tang went to Europe last month, but ODB’s on parole, so he couldn’t go. Meth has a TV show, couldn’t go, wanted to go. But here it is now, there are no obstacles.”
Gathered to headline Rock the Bells — an eight-hour hip-hop festival that also featured Redman and Dilated Peoples — Wu-Tang took the stage of the National Orange Show Event Center at 11:15 p.m. before a capacity audience of 8,000, who’d started chanting Wu-Tang the moment Redman left the stage.
With the ten members bouncing back and forth between harmonious raps and solo leads, Wu-Tang drew on all four group albums, including such signature songs as “Triumph” and a sing-along version of “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing to F’ Wit,” as well as the MCs’ solo material.
As for the question of whether this show, and the group’s recent successful tour of Europe, might lead to the first Wu-Tang album since 2001’s Iron Flag, RZA seemed hopeful. “I’m gonna let time tell,” he said, “but I’m pretty sure the rush we get from tonight is gonna lead us to wanting to continue this.”