Rap Basement

Wu Tang

Wu-Tang Clan Lights Up Seattle To Close Bumbershoot

Posted By on September 4, 2007

The Wu-Tang Clan provided a memorable send-off to the 2007 Bumbershoot festival last night (Sept. 3) at Seattle's Memorial Stadium, rolling out classics like "Protect Ya Neck," "C.R.E.A.M." and "Triumph" as well as a mini-tribute to late member Ol' Dirty Bastard via "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Got Your Money." Method Man jumped into the capacity crowd on several occasions and even rapped "Shame on a Nigga" a cappella.

Although it was often difficult to clearly hear each rapper, and Ghostace Killah was an unexplained no-show, the set was a crowd-pleaser thanks to cuts like "Method Man (Home Grown Version)," "Sunshower" and "Da Mystery of Chessboxin'." When not toking on blunts thrown onstage from the audience, Method Man took the opportunity to plug the group's impending comeback album, "The 8 Diagrams," and thank Seattle for its enthusiastic response. Group member RZA even led the crowd in a Wu-Tang tai chi exercise before "Gravel Pit."

The day began with standout sets in local radio station KEXP's intimate performance space by local band Fleet Foxes as well as Andrew Bird. Fleet Foxes unveiled several songs from their upcoming debut full-length, including the jaunty "Mt. Fairweather" and the hushed "Oliver James," while Bird utilized looping pedals to create a richly textured sound by himself on tracks like "Imitosis" and a cover of the Handsome Family's "The Giant of Illinois."

Guitar-playing comedian Jonathan Coulton got a huge response to his tender acoustic cover of local rap star Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" during his set at the Intiman Theatre, while John Legend warmed up the Memorial Stadium crowd with an afternoon set featuring cuts like "She Don't Have To Know," "Save Room" and "I Can Change."

Irish rock outfit the Frames dazzled during a sundown performance at the Sound Transit stage despite some early equipment issues. Frontman Glen Hansard often sounds like a gloomy guy on record, but on stage, he interjected a number of humorous stories and heartfelt thank-yous to help balance his songs' weighty topics. Highlights included the searing "Finally," "Stars Are Underground" and "Falling Slowly," which appears on the soundtrack for the buzzed-about film "Once," in which Hansard also stars. A woman from the audience was brought on stage to help sing the latter tune.
Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco warmed the Memorial Stadium crowd up for Wu-Tang Clan with hits like "Kick, Push," the sing-a-long "Daydreamin'" and a sharp rebuke of President Bush, "American Terrorist," which was introduced with some unprintable comments about him.

The event's final day also featured sets by Steve Earle, Roky Erickson, the Greyboy Allstars, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Soulive (who closed its set with a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain") and Tokyo Police Club, among many others.