The last-minute live appearance by the Beastie Boys, meant to whip up interest in the trio’s new Capitol album, “Ill Communication,” quickly became the hot tix over the long holiday weekend (assuming no interest in the Eagles). The Boys answered the excitement with a riveting performance.
The 85-minute show was a boisterous mix of anxious East Coast hip-hop, two-minute punk rave-ups and extended musical forays that seemingly incorporated every style and influence under the sun.
Splitting their time between serious microphone action and less-than-serious rocking, main Beasties Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA worked the packed house with the same frat-boy enthusiasm and cocky swagger that has made them favorites of both rap audiences and the college/alternative rock crowd.
D.J. Hurricane, whose scratching skills add much to the group’s efforts, was given the spotlight on “Elbow Room,” a track from his forthcoming debut.
Highlights of the night included “Lookin’ Down the Barrel of a Gun” and an updated version of “Shake Your Rump,” both from the underrated “Paul’s Boutique” album; hardcore screamer “Heart Attack Man”; the lounge-punk instrumental “Sabrosa”; old favorites “Paul Revere” and “Slow and Low”; and current alternative single “Sabotage.”
They also managed to slip in some chanting monks (the creepy “Bodhisattva Vow”) and some island-flavored funk jamming (“Ricky’s Theme”).
The Beastie Boys, scheduled for this summer’s Lollapalooza tour, have long fought to gain the respect of their peers and of a music industry that suspected the band would be a one-hit wonder. (That one hit — 1986’s insipid “You’ve Got to Fight for Your Right to Party”– was thankfully left out of this show.) Now, as they’ve been claiming all along, it seems that they have the skills to pay the bills.