Raekwon at Exit/In, 6/2/11

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Pheeew, that was a close one! There were more than a couple of moments at Thursday night's Raekwon show in which we thought we were going to have a repeat of the great MTSU-GZA-JUB Clusterfuck of 2010. Like, for serious, it was super-ooper-dooper close for a second there. The Spin will admit that we were getting antsy — nic-fitting, really — when it was nearing 1 a.m. and The Chef still hadn't taken the stage at Exit/In. Other folks bailed, many of us bitched about being too old for this shit. The weird, belly-dancing thirtysomething in the racing-stripe track pants even cut out early — she was dancing to the line check! Things were tense.

For a second. Maybe a minute. Or 10. Maybe 30.

But it only took about a verse-and-a-half before we realized that we wouldn't have left, shouldn't have — in protest or otherwise — no matter how fucking long we had to wait. This is, after all, Raekwon the Chef. We've worked in kitchens. We know that The Chef calls the shots. If The Chef says wait, we wait. We, The Spin, are merely linguistic dish-washers. Verbal floor moppers. Textual toilet scrapers. The Chef, on the other hand, runs the whole fucking joint. We're cleaning grease traps while Raekwon filets the damn mignon. Yeah, we might bitch about the boss before he comes into the office, but damned if we don't love to watch the dude work.

Basically, it was 45 minutes of the best verses from the best Wu tracks, delivered with intensity and enthusiasm, and more or less every person in the crowd — sans all the folks that gave up during the unscheduled two-hour intermission — chanting all the words right along with Raekwon. Sure, it would have been better if things had gone a little more according to schedule. But shiiiiiit, we've been going to hip-hop shows so long we know better than to complain about that shit. It also probably would have been better if the security set-up hadn't been quite so, um, paranoid. Seriously, a pat-down and no re-entry? A bit excessive for what was basically a nostalgia act with an audience filled with primarily thirtysomethings and rap-nerd-y hipsters. C'mon folks, give your customers a little credit — it's not like we went to Graham Central Station or Silverado's. We all know how to behave.

But whatever! Raekwon killed it. And by killed it, we mean our piss-poor attitude. And all the locals killed it, so we really have nothing to complain about. Well, except that the locals played mad early and we would have liked to have spent a little more time at home playing Excitebike, but again, whatever! Sam & Tre have really come into their own as live performers, and it's hard to believe that they've only been playing out for about a year. Dee Goodz got that fire flow that has, frankly, gone from good to good-gawd-damn in no time flat, and we are jonesin' to get some new material from the dude. DJ Ghost Dogg acted as narrator and tour guide on the Road to Wu-Tang and deserves a lot of credit for keeping the natives a lot less restless than they could have been. All in all, a dope evening — even if things didn't go according to schedule.

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