Denver, CO’s Mission Ballroom got taken over by Wu-Tang Clan Tuesday night, commemorating the group’s 36 Chambers 25th Anniversary Celebration Tour.
The all-star, classic hip-hop group has been on quite the touring circuit since July in support of their 25th anniversary of their first full studio release, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). The group has been performing shows across the world, including headlining sets at the X Games, Mempho Music Festival, and Desert Daze Festival, which included a sit-in by indie trio Khruangbin. It was only fitting that Denver’s newest venue managed to fill up and become packed despite the ongoing two-day blizzard going on in the area. Just another reason why Wu-Tang ain’t nuthin’ to f*** with—even in a snowstorm.
The Mission Ballroom really is one of the best venues in Denver, especially for hip-hop. The sound system is unbeatable, and fans enjoyed radiating bass all night from Wu-Tang’s touring turnabalist under the huge spinning disco ball. The night got started with Brooklyn rapper Dillon Cooper at 8 p.m. Cooper layed down his underground hip-hop rhymes as the bass backbeats surged through the venue and radiated through the fans’ bodies.
After a brief intermission, a digitalized mad face appeared on the screen on the stage getting the crowd hyped for the next set of opening performances by Onyx. Comprised of New Yorkers Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz, the duo rallied onstage, spitting out verses back and forth to each other. These guys added a different mix to the night’s lineup, leaning heavily on the loud, bellowed rap verses to get the crowd hyped, thought their style wasn’t much appreciated by the more traditional hip-hop fans in the crowd. The crowd raised their lighters and cellphone lights to pay respect to 90s hip-hop before Onyx ended their set with their mission statement to the crowd, “we come in peace but we’re prepared for war”.
Wu-Tang’s Hulu trailer jolted onstage next, turning the venue into a quick, two-minute movie theater highlighting the group’s successful rise to fame before Wu-Tang Clan jumped onstage and started into their seminal hit, “Bring Da Ruckus”. The guys announced to the crowd their excitement of returning to the “home of legalization of marijuana” before throwing it back to their first 1993 album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and honoring the group’s success over the decades and rise from the underground hip-hop scene.
The second half of the show saw Wu-Tang Clan perform perhaps their most popular track, “C.R.E.A.M.”, the guys all playing off each other’s verses that were brought up to fame from the streets. Their first-ever song released by the crew, “Protect Ya Neck”, saw a spin on the stage before the intro to The Beatles “Come Together” turned into a hip-hop remix that the whole crowd joined in on. The ending of show was marked by a touching tribute to the late original Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard, with his son Young Dirty Bastard taking the lead vocals and ending the night on touching note and tribute to true hip-hop.
Wu-Tang Clan will end their Colorado visit with a Halloween celebration at Morrison’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre Thursday night. For a full list of tour dates, visit the band’s website.
Below, you can view a full photo gallery of the night’s show courtesy of photography Andrew Rios.