Formerly of the legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, original member Ghostface Killah has been the most successful in his solo work and is still up there with the best. Last year’s Apollo Kids, a confident answer to Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, harked back to the old school sound of the Clan’s 36 Chambers and Ghostface’s 1996 solo debut Ironman. With classic beats and 60s soul sampling at its core, tonight was about keeping that spirit alive.
Bursting onto stage, self-proclaiming himself both Ironman and Tony Stark, Ghostface Killah dives straight in. Immediately it's clear the night is going to be much more Wu-Tang than Ghostface Killah, because it's the classic 90s tunes like 'C.R.E.A.M.' and 'Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuttin' to F*ck Wit', along with a surprise appearance from Killah Priest, that really get the crowd going.
Despite slight awkwardness in addressing the city as Edmonton, Ghostface seems comfortable and sincere when talking about his love of soul music, in particular Marvin Gaye. The bizarrely eclectic audience, from indie kids to middle-aged hip-hop heads, reaches a frenzy as 'Protect Ya Neck' kicks in. As two fans were invited up on stage for ODP's and Method Man’s verses, a real love for Wu-Tang warms the room. The Liquid Room’s small size felt a little unsuitable at first, but it gives a real intensity to Ghostface’s rapid delivery. The crowd involvement is energetic, to the point where several girls began manically grinding up on stage, desperate for a moment with the main man who seems not to notice them (Killah Priest, however, very much enjoys their presence.)
Though brought to an end far too early at 10:30, it's a very solid, nostalgic and satisfying performance. More material off his superb last album would have been appreciated, but the crowd came for Wu-Tang Clan and Ghostface delivered exactly that.