Rock The Bells | 07.26.08 | Mass
Rock The Bells :: 07.26.08 :: Comcast Center :: Mansfield, MA
Unfortunately due to the draw of Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes and Sammy Hagar, who were playing at the New England Patriots’ sold out Gillette Stadium a few miles away, traffic prevented a whole lot of ticket holders from seeing early sets by Dead Prez and Immortal Technique. However, for those who managed to make it to the Comcast Center by mid-afternoon, Ghostface Killa and Raekwon The Chef gave a strong performance that brought some of that Wu-Tang energy into the atmosphere. The two work off each other better than any other two members of Wu-Tang when it comes to the live show, and their dynamic gave the audience an even closer look at their relationship than you’d get with an eight man strong Wu-Tang Clan performance. In addition to solo material, they rhymed their way through Rae’s opening verse of “C.R.E.A.M.” and then went right into their respective versus on “Bring Da Ruckus.” Since the passing of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, it has become a set staple for any member of Wu-Tang Clan to give a shout-out to their fallen Clansmen, and Ghost and Rae’s set did just that. Following an “ODB RIP” chant, they worked their way through “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.” Getting to hear one of Dirty’s tunes live was one hell of a treat, but with his vocals from the studio track pumping out of the PA system, the moment was bittersweet.
De La Soul followed Ghost and Rae on the main stage while The Cool Kids got a reasonable draw at the side stage. Following De La Soul, Method Man and Redman were scheduled to own the stage with their powerful stage dynamic and quality showmanship. Method Man has long been considered to be the best showman of the Clan, taking every opportunity he gets to crowd surf, and literally walk over the audience. Unfortunately, Method Man was a no-show, and Redman hit the stage with a substitute who never had a chance of filling Meth’s shoes.
For anyone bummed out about the absence of Method Man, the performance by The Pharcyde surely raised their spirits. One special fan was especially stoked about their presence on the bill. Guerilla Union founder Chang Weisberg commented, “For me, getting The Pharcyde and the Tribe back together is just as big a deal [as getting Rage Against The Machine on last years bill]. I know more people showed up for Rage and Wu-Tang, and I understand their significance, but I also understand the importance of a lot of other groups who are hard to compare head to head.”
Rock The Bells has developed a reputation for being a platinum level event whose name alone insinuates the best of the best. Although it was self-promoting in nature, Chang Weisberg observed, “[Rock The Bells is] a world class hip-hop event that is truly representative of real lyricism, quality beats and stinging live performances. This is not what you’re going to hear on the radio. We’ve developed a niche, in that it’s a combo of both underground and above ground talent.”
Each year the event has been further refined, working out logistical kinks that add to the credibility of Guerilla Union. Rock The Bells 2008 gave fans a day full of some of the greatest names in the history of hip-hop, and without the bells and whistles that usually come along with an event of this size. “Nothing against [Kanye West‘s] ‘Glow In The Dark’ stage, but for us, two turntables and a microphone go a long way,” said Weisberg.
Continue reading for more images from Rock The Bells in Massachusetts…
|Raekwon & Ghostface Killa|
|De La Soul|
JamBase | Mansfield
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