The Smoker's Club Tour ft. Method Man

Sunday, Oct. 23 at Old National Centre Egyptian Room

★ ★ ★ ★

"Bring da Ruckus" is the first song on Wu-Tang Clan's debut LP and precisely what Method Man did Sunday night at Old National Centre. This Wu alum gave a super-charged headlining set that nearly skittered out of control.

Meth was here with Curren$y as part of the Smokers Club Tour - certainly an appropriate name, as the marijuana smoke was so intense you could smell it from outside the building.

Opener Curren$y turned in a rather sedate set. The New Orleans native broke his ankle during a late-August performance at Rock the Bells in Los Angeles. Sporting a massive leg cast, Curren$y was relegated to rapping on a couch. The MC constructed a faux living-room set around the couch, joking, "The doctor said I can't leave home, so I brought my home on the road."

The living room backdrop was a fitting atmosphere for Curren$y's laid-back stoner rap. Despite his immobility, the rapper successfully charmed the audience with the low-key charisma that propelled him to underground fame. He ran through material from his prolific mixtape output and his recent collaboration with producer Alchemist, Covert Coup.

Around 11 p.m. Method Man took the stage with a frenzy. "It ain't packed in this motherfucker, but we still gonna have a good time," Meth announced, completely unaffected by the low turnout. The MC wasted no time getting the crowd hyped, immediately diving into the audience during a blistering performance of his Wu-era theme song "Method Man."

Meth channeled the energy and destructive power of a small hurricane; things started to spin out of control late in the set when an errant water bottle hit the stage, dousing the MC and his crew. In a fit of rage, Meth and entourage leapt into the audience to attack the perpetrator. Five minutes of chaos ensued, nearly erupting into a small riot, but the house lights came up and security quickly restored order.

  • Artur Silva
  • Method Man seconds before leaping off stage to attack an audience member.

Somewhat stunned, many assumed the show was over and began filing out. But Meth returned to the stage to finish his set with a bang, quickly getting things back on track with unruly versions of crowd favorites "Wu-Tang Clan Ain't Nuthing ta Fuck Wit" and Old Dirty Bastard's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya".

Live hip-hop can be a tough act to pull off, but Method Man made it look easy while preserving the irreverent recklessness and rebellious spirit that made the early Wu-Tang work so appealing to hip-hop fans.


Kyle Long pens A Cultural Manifesto for NUVO Newsweekly and in 2014 began broadcasting a version of his column on WFYI.

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