Rock the Bells kicked off in California last weekend, with the headlining set by Wu-Tang Clan acting as both a celebration of the group’s twentieth year and the festival’s tenth, but things didn’t go exactly as planned. After making waves earlier this year by announcing that holograms of both Eazy-E and Ol’ Dirty Bastard would grace the stage alongside their respective groups Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (who Eazy worked with after his N.W.A days) and Wu-Tang, the sets were highly anticipated, but Wu-Tang’s was undermined by some extensive sound difficulties (video of which can be seen above).
With the Clan—minus the twin whirlwind of Ghostface and Raekwon, who did not make the performance—on stage performing about ten of their dozens of hits, according to multiple reports, the sound cut out for over ten minutes. Method Man, attempting to salvage the situation, began freestyling, with little to no backup from his crew members. “Two more minutes and I’m walking out of here, hologram or not,” he said, attempting to force an improvement before the long-awaited hologram appearance. When a resumption of the show was halted after sixty seconds due to tempo issues, RZA and the band and festival crew hustled the ODB hologram section of the show forward, where Dirt McGirt’s likeness came out to perform “Shame On A Nigga” and “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” running through his verses like he used to run through performances before his death ten years ago.
After the hologram section, sound issues persisted, prompting Meth to walk away, followed by many frustrated fans. Toward the end of the group’s set, he returned, telling those assembled, “I promise you,you will never see a fucking show like this again from us. Trust me.”
Wu-Tang will be headlining all three remaining stops on the Rock The Bells tour in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and New York City.