RZA & GZA Perform at Wakestock Festival in Toronto [Exclusive Coverage]
Toronto, ON -- A violent afternoon thunderstorm (as well as a few minor injuries due to lightning strikes) didn't discourage local heads from flocking to Toronto's Centre Island this Saturday to see RZA and GZA of the Wu Tang Clan headline the second night of the Wakestock Festival, a four-day event devoted to extreme sports competition as well as musical performances.
Though the performers were scheduled to hit the stage at 7:20 PM, impatient but loyal Wu Tang fans were left to wait until 8:00, at which time a member of event staff addressed the crowd, "Sometimes American rappers have issues at the border; good thing Killer Bees have wings, motherf*ckers!"
RZA and GZA took the stage soon after, greeted by cheers and hands raised in 'W' symbols. The show opened with RZA spitting a verse from the Clan's I Can't Go to Sleep, but the emcee abruptly cut the song short and led the crowd in a chant of "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta F*ck Wit!" before launching into an energetic rendition of the 36 Chambers track of the same name.
A blistering set followed, mixing truncated versions of Wu Tang classics such as Shadowboxing and 7th Chamber with selections from RZA's recent release, Digi Snacks. Later in the show GZA took center stage, performing several cuts off his acclaimed solo album, Liquid Swords.
Despite the long wait beforehand, festivalgoers remained enthusiastic, thanks in part to RZA's relentless energy. “Let me tell you a secret; it's the truth,” he shouted to the crowd at one point, “If you're not having a good time, you're wasting your time!”
The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly when two of Ol' Dirty Bastard's children took the stage to perform Shimmy Shimmy Ya, demonstrating their own skills on the mic as a tribute to their late father.