Method Man + Aerias + Klaww at Double Door | Photos and review
Seasoned hip-hop fans know a live show’s official start time is just one element of a complex formula applied to figure out an ideal arrival time: Get there too early and you’ll endure hours of upstart bravado during the opening acts; overestimate the headliner’s expected late start, and you’ll miss crucial parts of the show. But what happens when that headliner is Method Man, a forty-something industry vet and father of four? And what happens when a big chunk of his support base is just a few years behind, fans locked in for life since making 1993’s legendary Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) their infinitely-looped party soundtrack back in college?
When the ex Wu-Tang Clan member took the stage close to 1am at Double Door’s sold out show Friday, the crowd’s uproarious welcome indicated fans thought he was worth the wait. Even the handful of tired-looking professionals who’d been hanging around since 8pm perked up when the MZA hopped on stage. The energy in the roam soared instantly and Method Man wasted no time from there, launching into crowd-stoking tracks like "Release Yo Delf," and blending some of his other top joints, including "Shame on a Nigga," "Ice Cream" and "Bring the Pain." Not surprisingly, Meth also took a turn at honoring deceased Wu-Tang member Old Dirty Bastard with the track "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."
As the night went on, the rapper peeled off layers, including vest and sweatshirt, until he looked fully loosened up in a T-shirt, jeans and Yankees cap. He dove into the crowd to surf stage-side fans while the rest of the house clapped along for “Clap Your Hands.” Then when “All I Need” came up, Method Man ended with a compliment for locals: “Yo, Chi-town, I love your weed and I love your style.” Meth’s eponymous anthem “M.E.T.H.O.D. Man” proved to be a show highlight, as Meth, grinning throughout the tune, seemed to genuinely enjoy amping up the room as he bounced around for a fast and strong rendition of the Wu-Tang classic.
The intimate setting of Double Door helped Method Man shine. As a performer, he’s at his best when he’s working the crowd, and stoking and feeding off their energy. And the fact that—age and industry-vet status aside—he can keep that energy loop going until the wee, wee hours, is as much a testament to his skills as a performer as it is to his fans’ dedication.