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LIVE: Beastie Boys

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Tuesday, March 4
New York, NY
Terminal 5

Moby was billed as the host of last night’s Institute for Music and Neurologic Function benefit concert. I didn’t know what that exactly entailed–was he going to perform? Spin some records? Or just introduce the Beastie Boys? If you chose option number three, you’re correct. You’d also be right if you chose option number one (kind of).

Moby gave a brief summary on the work of IMNF–basically, when brain functions decrease or one goes through certain life-altering tragedies, one surefire way to get the brain feeling optimistic again is through the power and therapy of music. Moby then introduced someone who benefited from the institute’s work, a young man named Jeremy, who had lost both of his hands in an arson fire. With Moby on guitar, and another friend on keyboard, the three performed a cover of “I Can See Clearly Now.”

Moby thanked Jeremy and said the Beastie Boys would be on in 10 minutes–he was thirty minutes off.

When it was finally time for the Beastie Boys’ set, Mixmaster Mike arrived on stage first and warmed the crowd up with a little cuttin’-and’-stracthin’. His casual wear suggested that the Beastie Boys were not enforcing a strict pageant dress code. Soon after his intro, Mike D, MCA, and Adrock appeared on stage kicking into the opening chorus of “Root Down.” Though pageant-wear was optional, Mike D decided to wear a powder blue, 1950’s double-breasted sweater, while Adrock was decked out in a khaki green collared-shirt and gentleman’s dress-cap. MCA went more casual with an un-tucked red polo shirt.

The Beastie Boys followed with “Flute Loop” and “Sure Shot”. MCA then dedicated “Shake Your Rump” to a guy who had Paul’s Boutique stuck in his stereo for an entire road trip. Mike D interrupted, “Was it a tape or a CD stuck in the stereo?”

Following “Shake Your Rump”, the Beastie Boys headed for their instruments and began playing “Time For Livin'”. This is where the show hit the first snag of the night–something went wrong with Adrock’s guitar set-up. Good thing this was just a “tune-up” show for the Langerado Festival this weekend (stop a festival show for ten minutes and a riot could break out). Mike D tried to smooth out the situation by claiming, “Hey, we had to travel a long way tonight. We were downtown and we came all the way uptown.”

After brining out another amplifier and a new batch of cords, Money Mark and a guitar tech deduced that Adrock’s sunburst guitar had puttered out. Adrock brought out his backup ax and the game was back on. The Beasties launched into “Remote Control” and then slowed things up with “Ricky’s Theme.” Before the song Adrock asked the crowd, “How much were tickets tonight? $75? Hey–it’s live entertainment.”

Later in the set, per request by Moby, the Beastie Boys performed “Egg Raid on Mojo.” The Beastie Boys didn’t stray from their comfort tracks last night (“Root Down”, “Sure Shot”, “Shake Your Rump”, “Pass the Mic”, “Body Movin'”, “Three MCs and One DJ”), but they did throw in a couple of treats: Money Mark appropriately taking lead on “Mark on the Bus” and a MMM beat-treated version of “Rhymin’ and Stealin'”.

The funniest moment of the night came during the “fresh” stop-down in “Ch-Check it Out”, when a homemade poster of Mike D was passed to the front of the stage. The sign read: “Watch the Finger” (a reference in which Mike D instructs the crowd to watch his finger fall just as Mixmaster Mike drops in a beat on his turntable). It also featured a nude drawing of Mike D (ala Michelangelo’s painting on the Sistine Chapel ceiling) with a bagel covering up his nether region.

MCA and Adrock told Mike to explain himself. Mike collected his thoughts for a moment and said, “New York’s a very fashionable town. When I’m not performing, I got a family to feed. So sometimes to get a little extra cash, I pose for artwork like this.” After a lengthy stop down (which has developed into a new tradition during “Ch-Check it Out”), the Beasties kicked back into the tune and finished strong. A tech-hand took the poster off of the stage as MCA instructed, “Keep that one for the files. I’m going to hang it up with all the other naked pictures I have of Mike.”

“What?!” questioned Mike D.

MCA replied, “Yo, just go to imdb to see all of Mike’s work.”

The Beasties closed their set with a strong rendition of “So What’cha Want””–probably their tightest song of the night.

The Beastie Boys encored with “Intergalactic”, “Heart Attack Man”, and “Sabotage.” The highlight of the encore was Money Mark randomly finding his way to the front of the stage and frantically leaping throughout the duration of “Heart Attack Man” (he still got mad hops).

Not too many Beastie surprises tonight, but it looks like they’ll be in game form come Friday’s headlining performance at Langerado. This was also a good little warm-up for me as well–I needed to get my concert-legs back for next week’s SXSW festival. You just can’t go into four days of non-stop music cold.

Root Down
Flute Loop
Sure Shot
Shake Your Rump

Time For Livin’
Remote Control
Ricky’s Theme
B Is For My Name
Egg Raid on Mojo

Triple Trouble
Pass the Mic
Body Movin’
Rhymin’ & Stealin’

Off the Grid
Tough Guy
Lighten Up
Mark on the Bus
Sabrosa (w/ Alright Hear This bass interlude)

Super Disco Breakin’
Three MCs and One DJ
Ch-Check It Out
So What’chat Want?

Heart Attack Man

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