Wu-Tang Clan and Run The Jewels were tapped as co-headliners for a show in Denver, Colorado on Friday night (September 8). But Hip-Hop fans were also treated to a special reunion between Del The Funky Homosapien, Kid Koala and Dan The Automator—collectively known as Deltron 3030. Taking the stage at 6:30 p.m. local time, the trio sailed through several of their most celebrated singles, including “Virus” and “3030.” Del, rocking sunglasses, Nike blazers, a Nike t-shirt and a yellow Nike t-shirt wrapped around his head, ended the reunion set with the Gorillaz’s 2005 single “Clint Eastwood,” which initially came together with the help of Dan The Automator.
Speaking to SPIN in July, Del recalled how he was brought onboard in the eleventh hour. As he explained, “Dan the Automator and I were finishing up the first Deltron album, so I was aware of Gorillaz’s production like halfway through that. I also knew Jamie [Hewlett] from Tank Girl, and as soon as I seen some of the concept art, I was like, ‘Okay, this gonna be the s###.’
“Dan was supposed to be taking me back to the house from San Francisco. He just busted out on me like, ‘Yo, I got this song for Gorillaz. You think you could clean it up, write a song real quick?’ And I had been studying songwriting at that time, and he knew it. I guess he figured I could just whip up a song in like 30 minutes, which I could. He kept needling me, and I said, ‘Alright, I’ll do it.’”
Run The Jewels—comprised of Killer Mike, El-P and DJ Trackstar—took the stage next and proceeded to light up the Colorado venue stage. They performed more than a dozen songs from their catalog, including “Ooh La La,” “JU$T” and “walkin’ in the snow” from their latest album, Run The Jewels 4. Par for the course, the unrelenting bass hit the audience in the chest as both MCs rattled off their verses like the seasoned vets they are.
Meanwhile, members of the Wu-Tang Clan started trickling in backstage. Raekwon The Chef sat stoically on top of a monitor smoking a blunt, U-God stood around laughing with RZA and Ghostface Killah, GZA hung out in the dressing room while Inspectah Deck quietly meandered through the maze of people hanging in the back. Method Man, who was supposed to be there, wound up being a no-show after his plane sat on the tarmac for more than four hours. When it was time for Wu-Tang’s set, RZA warmed up the crowd as each member—one by one—stepped onstage for “Bring Da Ruckus.” Also on deck was Young Dirty Bastard, who routinely fills in for his late father and OG Wu-Tang member Ol’ Dirty Bastard. His unbridled energy rippled through the crowd as the legendary Hip-Hop group went into “Shame On A N####, “Da Mystery of Chessboxin’” and other Wu-Tang hits.
There were several other memorable moments that stood out. Shortly after Del the Funky Homosapien wrapped up his setlist, he and Killer Mike were able to meet in-person for the first time. There was so much mutual admiration and respect between the two, it was palpable and truly set the tone for the evening. All three groups get to do it again on Saturday night (September 9), when they head up to Dillon, Colorado for another performance at the Dillon Amphitheater.