Still Got It...

Last night the Beasties pageant took the stage at the ACC. As per usual, the Beasties drew a diverse crowd ranging from 12-year olds with their moms, to 45-year olds who grew up drinking beers while listening to cuts like "Girls" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn". In the past twenty years, the Beasties have reinvented themselves almost as many times as Madonna, while not straying from the skills that made them so popular in the first place.

The first act in the pageant was Bob Moore and his wonderful dogs. I will say this now: no one but the Beasties could get away with having a trained dog act on their tour. Not only did the fans not revolt, they actually cheered. Anyone else tries this and it is lights out.

Next up was Talib Kwali. It was a tough gig for Talib. He is an intricate lyricist and ever since his Reflection Eternal album (and his work with Mos Def as Blackstar), he has had critics hating on his albums. Reflection Eternal was an amazing record, but a man has to eat and generate a fan base. Lyrically he is still head and shoulders above most emcee's in the game today, but people keep wanting the same album again. He came out and rocked the crowd. His set included works from Blackstar and his solo albums. He also freestyled over Get Em High (Kanye West) and looped some old hip hop, Michael Jackson and Al Green tracks trying to get any reaction from the crowd. His sound was tight, and he put on a good show. Unfortunately, he had 18,000 people watching that only wanted the Beasties to take the stage.

Finally it was time. I have said before I believe this tour is the Beasties farewell tour. They are pushing 40. Simply knowing it could be the last time I'd get to see the band that influenced my life so much made the $65 price tag insignificant. As Mix Master Mike took they stage, sporting a fresh MMM mesh hat and some adidas pants, the crowd went crazy. He ripped through some Busta Rhymes and Zeppelin records and in a flash, the Beasties jumped on stage (wearing matching custom Beastie Boys adidas tracksuits). From the jump, they were performing high energy hip hop cuts and it was quite obvious that the fans were going to get their moneys worth. With each beat MMM dropped, everyone got more and more hyped up. Hearing "Eggman", "Root Down", "Super Disco Breakin", "Triple Trouble" and "Sure Shot" just helped show how long these guys have been doing it and doing it well.

The Beasties ran off stage and let MMM have the spot light. His interlude let him showcase his skills on the ones and twos. He scratched the hell out of some old classics. He even dropped Rob Base (It Takes Two) into the mix. The only thing that ruined it was that fact the b-girl crew (Shebang or something that features that super annoying and obviously uncoordinated MuchMusic VJ) was on stage attempting to break dance. I would think before you danced for 18,000 you would learn the basic skills.

The stage went dark, and as it rotated, I was awestruck. They had constructed a band space that looked like something out of Dirty Dancing. Patio lanterns and string lights decorated the wooden frame that housed the bboys (along with Money Mark and Alfredo on keys and bongos respectively. They were all in baby blue tuxedos, and it looked remarkably like an 80's movie prom. The jammed out Sambrosa, Ricky's Theme and Something's Got To Give, before the stage darkened again, and MMM resurfaced.As he scratched the intro to An Open Letter to NYC, the boys ran out again, this time in matching yellow t-shirts and dickies type worker pants. Mike D completed the look with some vintage 80's fake diamond encrusted glasses made famous by the Fatboys. This section of the show almost seemed like a tribute to the fans, as they powered through classics like "Paul Revere", "Body Movin", "Brass Monkey", "So Wat'cha Want", " and "New Style" and classics to be like "Ch-Ch-Check it Out". They played with the crowd, and MCA even jumped down in front shaking hands and letting fans yell into the mic. It should be noted that MCA was also sporting a fan's blazer (with bboys bombed on the back).

The lights shut down and the Beasties left the stage. Everyone knew what we would hear for the encore. Of course it would be Intergalactic and Sabotage. It didn't matter. Everyone wanted to hear those songs now. They had played everything else. However, as MMM dropped the beat, the Beasties were not on stage. The large overhead screens showed they had run down to a smaller stage at the opposite end of the floor and danced and rapped amongst the fans that couldn't get close enough for the rest of the set. After the song finished, they ran back to the stage. Jumping back into the jam space, MCA started the signature electric bass riff to Gratitude and the notes rocked through the stadium. Money Mark started freaking out, pulling handstands and jumps on the keys.

Finally it was time for the last song. It was dedicated to George W. being a dick. They ripped into Sabotage and the crowd went bonkers. As the last note was played, the Boys set down their instruments and walked together around the stage thanking the fans. It was a sad goodbye for people like me have taken so much from their music and their influences. These guys made Lee Perry cool again. These guys started the mullet watching trend. These guys made stoner kids everywhere give a rat's ass about Tibet. These guys also gave us 20 years on great music.

Thank you Adam, Adam and Mike.

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