As with most shows put on by members of the Wu, who are largely moving about solo these days, whether it's Raekwon, or Ghostface, or the always touring Method Man, you expect them to bring the ruckus like it's 1997. Last night's Raekwon show at Summit Music Hall did not disappoint, and proves more than anything that timeless rap outlasts the bubble gum fuckery in a lot of today's music.
DJ Image, Rae's touring deejay spun a bunch of grooves that kept the party going throughout the night. There were b-boys and b-girls dancing in several different parts of the huge venue. Denver's resident rhyme smith and rhythm spitter, Dent was on hand toasting it up on the microphone behind Image.
An interesting component to this show is that it came with a contest to determine, "Denver's Best Band" and was a part of the jurassic snow events that were taking over Colorado this weekend. The participants all competed up at Echo Mountain to win the prize of opening up for Raekwon and win the cash prize.
Wheelchair Sports Camp was the band that took home the cash, and the coveted opening spot as opener. Their set only lasted ten minutes so it having come and gone by the time I got there, there wasn't much more to do than watch the dance floor goodness and wait for Raekwon.
Next to the sound booth, I noticed the most interesting thing. There was a young lady controlling the lights and, it seemed, to me, using the same percussive movements I could hear in the deejay's scratching, in perfect synchronization.
By this time the crowd was well and warm, Dent came back on and stoked the fires even more, before Raekwon, in typical Wu-tang style invaded the stage with no less than twelve people. Each standing around with big jackets, some holding cameras, others playing their posse position, the tone was perfect. For the most part, The Chef handled all vocals on his own and of course was buoyed by the dedicated Wu ambassadors in the audience. There was no shortage of hands in the air when he performed classics like, "Clan in Da Front," "Can It All Be So Simple" and many others.
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Taking on each member of the Wu-Tang, his ability to rap his fellow lyrical masters' lyrics on tracks like, "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin to Fuck With" he brought his own edge to a RZA personality, for example. He wasn't too shabby with the words, either. Although, at some points, he was almost drowned out by the enthusiastic chanting of the audience.
On the solo tip, he stepped right into Lex Diamonds and represented for everything cool and icy with on the Only Built 4 Cuban Linx tracks. "Incarcerated Scarfaces" is such a grimy track and he got right down in the dirt with it, amongst the herb smoke and it sounded spectacular. I'm sure there was a little bit of "Glaciers of Ice" mixed in, and of course he did "Ice Cream."
In similarity to Ghostface, his good friend, Raekwon's stage show doesn't change, and that is a good thing. He exuded grace and real gratitude for the devotion of the fans.
Taking the time out to thank everyone in the building on several occasions, he joked around where appropriate and ultimately facilitated the show like it was his own birthday party and everyone in attendance was there for the cake.