Rating: 3. Rating scale: 0 to 5.
Wu-Tang Clan and Nas
Stage: Avicii Arena, Stockholm.
The persistence still impresses. The live drummer Wu-Tang Clan and Nas brought along “The NY state of mind” tour takes its mission seriously. Bravely, hard-handed and ear-piercingly loud, he pounds his way through every single song during the two and a quarter hours the concert lasts.
It’s not something that elevates the songs, more something you reluctantly have to accept and get used to. The hockey globe Avicii is played in half-baked acoustic conditions right from the start, and an otherwise mediocre sound does not help.
The drummer, and his client, are saved by one thing – a song material that can withstand almost any treatment. Although he is undeniably testing the limit of how mildly one can treat, for example, Wu-Tang Clan’s more soulfully graceful songs.
The audio challenges unfortunately take focus from what you can otherwise like about how the two nineties legends approach the evening. Not least, the concert is structurally smart. Wu-Tang Clan opens with an introduction of the members and a run through of a handful of classics from the era-defining debut album. Raekwon and Nas’ collaboration in Mobb Deep’s “Eye for an eye” becomes a natural bridge to Nas’ first part of the concert. Raekwon’s “Verbal intercourse” (guest by Nas) in turn becomes a perfect transition to Wu-Tang Clan’s second part, and so it continues until everything finally ends in Nas’ “One mic”, a tribute to the rap craft both he himself and several, though not all, of the clan’s members have full command.
Both acts get about the same amount of space, no one needs to feel like a heater, everyone gets bags. It adds a dynamic to the concert, where the clan’s chaos is contrasted with Nas’ more controlled hit pairing and elegant rap flow.
During the nineties nostalgia party, the difference between the artists’ careers from then to now is also made clear. Wu-Tang Clan was a bomb that, in the middle of that decade, blew up fast and big, and that you can try to light the fuse again without expecting the same gigantic explosion. Nas is more of a bright burning fire that flares up sometimes, but never really goes out either.
Read more from DN’s concert reviews and more of Mattias Dahlström.