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Beastie Boys @ The Greek, 8/19/07
When Licensed to Ill came out in 1986 I was selling car stereos at the Federated Group in West LA. I sold so many good speakers and subwoofers thanks to "Brass Monkey" and "Slow & Low" that oftentimes my favorite demo tape would go "missing". I bought at least six of those tapes within a year. Only a few had been stolen, the rest had gotten worn out.
So when the Beasties played the Palladium the winter of 87 with Fishbone opening, I was all over it, and when they joined Run DMC on the Together Forever tour, I was even closer to the stage when they slid across the beer-soaked Greek that summer.
Twenty-one summers later the three bad brothers you know so well have returned, older, richer, and dressed way sharper.
Photo essay of love after the jump of the summer concert you'd expect from the Beasties as they support their funky smooth all instrumental cd, The Mix Up.
I've seen the Beasties all over LA. They returned to the Palladium in the early 90s to do a benefit with the Red Hots and Pornos for Pyros, they played the Universal with Cypress Hill and the Rollins Band, they were part of that unforgettable Lollapalooza that made it through Cal State Dominguez Hills where Smashing Pumpkins and George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars were part of the bill. Green Day opened.
I've seen them at the Forum in-the-Round, and I even saw them at the Tibetan Freedom Concert up in Frisco. Last night I was in front of the front row so I took a picture of the Greek crowd, who were supportive, prepared, and ready to rock.
The Beasties took the stage with their fine threads, strapped on their instruments and commenced to give the audience a hearty helping of that whiteboy fuzzy funk.
MCA had this see-thru bass amp that tried its best not to look so damn cool, but failed.
Ad Rock and Mike D switched off taking the lead vocals for the first few non-hip hop tunes, simply showing off how they can weave in and out of any genre that they like: rock, punk, hip hop, funky jazz, and the crowd will grove just as happily to whatever is played.
Mike D rocked the afro, and unlike the last time they were in town at the Universal, there were no costume changes last night. Just the suits. Which was fine. We in the audience had no costume changes either.
How was the show? Pretty good. Not spectacular. Not amazing. But really good music played by hip hop pioneers and legends.
The new stuff was played just as you'd expect, mellow. The 'Boys are now men, after all. When Mike D raps the line "you say I'm thirtysomething..." you wonder, "is he thirtysomething or somethingelsesomething now?" But you let it slide cuz youre somethingelsesomething now too.
My favorite moments were the punk rock tunes, "Brass Monkey", and earlier in the day when LAist Music Editor called me and asked, "you really don't have tickets to the show? How would you like to go for free and take pictures for me?"
So even though the show might not have been the debauchery of the '80s when the Beasties had a girl in the cage, others on the stage, beer being sprayed everywhere, and DJ Hurricane spinning from atop a Budweiser six pack, it was still way better than most of the shows from your favorite bands 20 years after you first got into them.
The Beasties play another show at the Greek tonight. They did not play "Fight For Your Right to Party", and they also didn't play "Shake Your Rump", "Shadrach", or "Girls", so tonight's crowd might be treated to those hits.
Tuesday they play The Wiltern in one of those mysterious Gala Events the Beasties are putting on in random spots around the world. From what we understand a Gala Event is like a dress-up concert, and all of the songs they play are instrumental. So rad.
And if that's not enough chances to see the Beastie Boys, on Thursday they take their sweet ass time getting up to Santa Barbara to play the County Bowl up there at the end of Milpas. If you've never been to the County Bowl, get Friday off, and make a long weekend out of it.
OK now we come to the pending question of the day.
Money Mark had a halfway decent and sorta successful solo record last year. And as far as I know Mix Master Mike's records never did as well as Money Mark's, so how come Mark had a sorta simple, basic, synthesizer stand...
But the Mix Master has the super sweet MMM supporting his turntables?
Sorta makes you think.
We interrupt this photo essay review with this urgent question
What sort of freaky ass fugly shoes were the Beasties wearing last night? Here they go off on Cargo Shorts, saying that they don't wanna see any at their Gala Event, but here they appear to be sporting Loafers up in the hallowed grounds of the Greek:
Are these loafers?
OK they have laces, so technically they're not loafers but aren't these the fellas who brought us X-Large, the badass clothing store on Vermont in Los Feliz? Who do they think they're kidding with these faux loafers, or faufers?
LAist says no to loafers tomorrow at the Greek, and hells no if you were considering wearing them at the Gala Event at the Wiltern.
Money Mark says hi.
all photos by Tony Pierce for LAist