Run and DMC cranked up their usual forceful shout-raps to a screech level, plowing through the classics “My Adidas,””Peter Piper” and an abridged “It’s Like That,” the group’s debut single of 1983 when their tougher-than-leather attitude and sparse, hard-edged beats redefined the genre and heralded rap’s “new school.” The rappers’ timing was off in spots, and some of the lyrics indiscernible.
With relentless screaming and raw energy, Run-DMC bulldozed through most of the hits that made them rap’s first platinum-selling superstars in the 1980s. Despite their lack of microphone finesse, the near-full house of reverent fans, which included several “old school” rap legends, found Saturday’s show a nostalgic, head-bobbing rush. The hard-bouncing audience didn’t seem to mind, though, thunderously shouting back the choruses. Acknowledging their well-publicized “born again” status, Run reintroduced the duo as Reverend Run and Deac-MC, then closed their 40-minute barrage with their spiritually minded 1993 comeback single, “Down With the King.” Conspicuously absent from the set was the monster crossover hit “Walk This Way.”
A wearying, 2-hour opening lineup of unknown acts was highlighted by psychedelic funk band Weapon of Choice and a short, unannounced set by Ice-T and his former DJ-turned-MC, Evil E. Both caused minor ripples in the crowd, but the Run-DMC diehards were relatively uninterested.