Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys were in town last night, touring in support of their latest album, To the 5 Boroughs, which, if you haven’t yet, you should make an effort to hear – it’s pretty damn good.

I’m not a big fan of stadium shows anymore: too big, poor sound, lots of yahoos, etc. However, I’d never seen the Beasties before, so I was determined not to miss them this time. Leah couldn’t come, so I went with Brahm

So was the show good? Well, no, not really. Did I enjoy it? Yes, 100%, absolutely, I’m totally glad I went. Why wasn’t the show good? Well, first and foremost, the sound quality was shit, as it always is at the Pacific Coliseum. I’ve probably seen 20 or 30 shows there, and I can only remember 1 show that sounded good – Oasis, who’d brought their own sound equipment and layed what I’m guessing are sound dampeners on the concrete floor (of course, they also walked off after 2 songs, so it still sucked). Second, the Beasties themselves seemed ‘off’. Adam Yauch, in particular, seemed like he was either stoned out of skull, or just asleep. He missed numerous cues, kept disapearing off-stage, and was kindof mumbly. They actually stopped ‘Brass Monkey’ part way through, tried to continue, then finally decided to try it again from the top.

After a fairly high-energy opening set, they switched to this kind of latin lounge act set, doing some low-key instrumentals. Which was fine, but well, the Beasties Boys are not a great lounge act and it really cut into the energy of the show, I felt. Another short intermission where Mix Master Miked hyped it up with yet more over-the-top fantastic DJing, and they came back for more ‘traditional’ Beasties material.

For an encore, they performed from the second deck, right in the crowd, which was nice. The floor lights came on, and I thought it was over (I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a show where there was another encore after the lights went up), but indeed, they raced back down to the stage, and played ‘Sabotage’, a nice ending for the show.

Of note, Talib Kweli opened for the Beasties, and was great – high energy, good mixes, solid all round. His new album sounds like it might be well worth checking out.