The crowd during Wu-Tang in 2013
80/35 day 2 blog: Bringing da ruckus
Published on July 7th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler
The sixth annual 80/35 Music Festival ended Saturday with around 9,000 fans showing up to see Wu-Tang Clan, on par with the festival’s largest day to date (Death Cab had around the same number last year). Early estimates put the festival at 15,000 paid attendees for the weekend, 30,000 when you count attendance at the two free stages.
I think the acts on Friday were more complimentary to each other; Saturday was more eclectic. There was hip hop, there was alt. country, indie, pop, jam and more. If you liked just one style of music, you could probably find something to satisfy you moving between the stages.
Some of the bigger moments:
Mumford’s Nate Logsdon proposing to Trouble Lights’ Adrien Daller at the close of Mumford’s set. Last year Logsdon married the Des Moines and Ames music scenes to each other during his show; this year he made things more personal, but no less memorable. The couple were swarmed by well wishers after the show ended. I’m calling it now (because I’ll be the one to call it later), this was a Mixies Award-worthy moment.
The show closed out with two acts that mentioned never having played Iowa before, Deerhunter and Wu-Tang Clan. Deerhunter got off to something of a late start, with Bradford Cox going through a lot of sound checking before the show started. Looking back it was only around 15 minutes, which seems quaint compared to Wu-Tang. More on that later.
Deerhunter was the festival’s largest pure indie act, featuring less spectacle than the two headliners, but lots of musical talent and some great harmonies. Lockett Pundt took lead on “Desire Lines,” with Cox seemingly setting it up by just saying “Do you want to sing this one?” Cox also dedicated “Blue Agent” to Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to catch the complete set, I had to duck out a little early to work on a print story and to thankfully catch the last minute of the Mumford’s show.
And then there was Wu-Tang Clan. The show was scheduled to start at 9 p.m., and the crowd gathered promptly and then waited. And waited. At 9:54 the group took the stage, and any worries of a rerun of when Flavor Flav didn’t show in 2009 were erased. On stage was The RZA, The GZA, Method Man, U-God, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killah, Cappadonna and DJ Mathematics. They brought it late, but they did bring da ruckus.
There were bottles of champagne and white towels piled up and the Clan went non-stop for the next 75 minutes. “Bring Da Ruckus,” “Shame on a N***a,” “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Gravel Pit,” the group hit all the right notes, trading off lyrics and seeming like they were having a great time.”
“Yo Des Moines, I love your weed and I love your style,” Method Man said. Maybe that’s why they were late.
RZA, GZA and Method Man did a lot of the heavy lifting on the show, but everyone got their moment to shine. The group took a moment to get the crowd to wish Inspectah Deck a happy birthday (he turned 43 Saturday) and payed tribute to the deceased ODB, getting the crowd to sing along to “Shimmy Shimmy Ya,” “Brooklyn Zoo” and “Got Your Money.”
“For this to be our first time in Iowa, you made it a perfect f***in’ experience,” Method Man said toward the end of the show. “When we get back to Shaolin, New York (Staten Island), we’re going to let them know Iowa’s got it goin’ on.”