B for my broken rib


One of my photos from the Crocodile Cafe show. More photos to come.

My friends and I have said our farewells and parted ways after a fabulous Beastified weekend. Everyone has returned home except for me. I'm back in Seattle, ordered to rest after the injuries I received at the Beastie Boys show Sunday night. My friend's husband here in Seattle (he's a doctor) tells me I have a broken rib and sprained ankle. Yipee. What a wonderful present and memory.

I never expected to be seriously injured at a Beastie Boys show. Get bad bruises and bumps: Yes. Knocked in the head: Yes. Broken bones from being crushed: No.

What a disappointment that final Beastie Boys set at the Sasquatch Music Festival was. My friend Paul and I stood and held primo spots on the barrier for nine hours so we could enjoy the Beastie Boys like we wanted to (i.e., up close). We didn't eat, drink, or do anything else for those nine hours except watch the other bands on the stage and maintain our spots. For two hours, we were forced to leave our precious spots and move back when the festival organizers deemed the main stage area too dangerous to stand in because of strong wind. When they decided to let people back in the area, there was a mad rush to the stage. Paul and I managed to regain our primo spots again, but we were quickly surrounded by many aggressive people who wanted those same spots. I guess I was easy pickings, being perhaps the oldest person attending the festival. (I ain't jokin'. Where were the old rockers?) Over the course of several other bands' sets, I was separated from my friend and edged out of my barrier spot by boys who were at least half my age and a foot taller than I am.

In my 25+ years of concert-going, I've never not been able to maintain a barrier position. I am normally a rock at the barrier. I can take whatever crap is going on down there. The biggest obstacle of maintaining my spot at the Sasquatch main stage was the barrier itself. It was almost 5 feet high. At 5' 3", I could barely see over it. Not being able to hold onto the rail comfortably because it was so high made it easy for those youngsters to crowd me out.

The crush during the Beastie Boys final set was worst than at Rage Against the Machine at Coachella a few weeks ago. (See the Coachella message board for descriptions of how truly horrible that was.) What the hell is wrong with those pushy Sasquatch Fest-going youths? They were crushing before the Beastie Boys were even on stage.

The only other time in my life I was crushed as badly was in 1986 at the Werchter Rock Festival in Belgium. The artist on stage came to my rescue and pulled me out of the crush in the pit. Although I don't expect the Beastie Boys to be as gallant as my Werchter hero and save me from disaster, I do expect them to notice what is going on in the pit and to try to do something about it. They did nothing. They said nothing. They knew what was going on. Bands see everything that is happening in the pit.

After I decided I had to bail the barrier and let security pull me out of the crush (the first time in my life I've ever made that decision!), I crawled to a VIP area and hopped the fence to catch my breath and recover. The mental anguish was almost worse than the physical pain. I couldn't believe after all the work I had put in to see the Beastie Boys up close, I was sitting so far from the stage. I cried for a half an hour -- not because I was in horrible pain (which I was), but because the band had let me down. When a man approached me and asked me if I was okay, I cried harder, thinking a stranger cares more about me than the band I devote so much of my heart and time to.

When I let go of my anguish and regained my composure, I became aware of what was happening on stage. The Beastie Boys were performing an odd set that had no flow. The night before, the band had performed a fantastic set on the Wookie Stage at the festival. Adam Horovitz told the audience to expect a different kind of set on Sunday -- one that was more hip hop-oriented. But for unknown reasons, when Sunday came, the Beastie Boys decided to stage another Gala set on the main stage. The addition of a few more of their hip-hop songs created a set that had a very "start-stop, start-stop" feel to it. (I know they're trying to figure it out for the European tour, so I'm trying not to be too critical. Truthfully, I am happy to see them perform any songs.)

After the show, my friends and I talked to people who had seen both of the Beastie Boys' sets at Sasquatch and everyone said the same thing: the Saturday set was fantastic; the Sunday set was mediocre. Still, a mediocre Beastie Boys set is better than an average or good set by most bands.

My friends and I agreed that we were disappointed with Sunday's set mainly because we expected to see and hear something different. If we hadn't been told by Mr. Horovitz to expect something different, we wouldn't have had any expectations. We thought we were going to hear "Brass Monkey," "Egg Man," and the like because of his comment on Saturday. Sunday's set turned out to be a watered-down version of a Gala set -- one that saw people bored and talking through all the non-vocal, instrumental songs.

For the Sunday set, the band had Mix Master Mike with them. "Hooray!" is what I thought when I saw the DJ booth on stage. But with the setlist the band chose, my favorite DJ had little to do. It seemed a waste to have him there and not doing his thang.

All in all, the Sunday set was plain disappointing. I'm discounting the fact that I got injured. I'm no fool. I knew the risks. I'm not complaining about getting hurt. I'm disappointed because I wanted more hip-hop songs on Sunday. I wanted "No Sleep Til Brooklyn." I wanted to hear Mix Master Mike scratch on "3 MCs and 1 DJ." I wanted to see Mark do a handstand on his keyboard. I wanted what I was promised: a hip-hop set.

I loved the Gala set so much on Saturday. I have a lot of wonderful things to say about it, which I will in a future posting here. I have more than 500 photos from the weekend to upload and a billion thoughts to sort in my head before I try to describe the Gala Event and the Crocodile Cafe show. One thing I will say now: If you were considering going to a Gala Event show, consider it no more -- DO IT INSTEAD! Get your tickets now because the Gala Event is going to be the hottest ticket on the planet.


It hurts to breathe.

32 comments:

11:40 AM Kelli said...

My sister was in the pit too and got hurt from the crush. I'm glad my boyfriend and I sat on the grass. We saw on the monitors how crazy the pit was.

Sorry you got hurt. :( I look forward to seeing your photos and reading about the shows.

11:44 AM steve said...

i agree the saturday set was better - it was the audience not the beasties who made it better

11:44 AM Babs said...

Wow I can't believe all that shit happened to you! When I saw the crowd Saturday night I knew there was no way I could stand it up there so I watched from up above. It was a pretty sweet show not having to deal with idiots. I'm sorry that messed up your fest experience. I'm glad we at least go to see the sweet set on Saturday together!!

11:49 AM Hot Sauce said...

Most definitely, Steve! I agree with you. The audience on Saturday was a true Beastie Boys audience. People were kind to one another and digging the music. Sunday's audience was something altogether different.

11:50 AM klepto said...

awwww i didn't know you got hurt so badly!! i'm sorry. :(

you chose an excellent photo to start things off though. i look forward greatly to seeing/reading more, too.

11:51 AM Hot Sauce said...

I posted that photo for you, Klepto. Thanks for babysitting the blog. You're a sweetheart. :)

12:00 PM klepto said...

i liked ze power! hehe lucky for you i do not charge by the hour. ;)

and the stripey shirt is my favorite shirt everrrr! besides no shirt, i mean. i love it.

12:03 PM Hot Sauce said...

I wish I had known where you were sitting on Sunday night, Babs. I would have joined you.

The Sunday set didn't ruin my weekend because I had such a great time with you and my other friends over the weekend. It was relatively easy to write off the Sunday show because the Saturday one was so great and the Croc Cafe show so special. My injuries are a pain, but I've seen worse injuries. I've earned a lot of concert battle scars in my lifetime. I just hope that I recover in time to enjoy the European tour.

12:10 PM The Mix-Upper said...

I have read your concert reviews on BBMB. I appreciate you writing more than 'the show was awesome'.

How big was the audience?

Get well soon.

12:34 PM Hot Sauce said...

Some asshole wrote me saying that I shouldn't expect the Beastie Boys to care about my getting hurt.

I expect everyone to care about someone getting hurt and to do something to prevent it if it's in their power. You don't have to be a Beastie Boy to help someone getting hurt at a concert.

I'm not going to apologize for feeling hurt by the band. I'm a girl. I express what I feel without shame or guilt. Only a loser would try to tell someone how they should feel. Feelings are personal. Others don't get a say in my feelings.

12:42 PM Zachary said...

Your post reminds me of the crush at the Beastie Boys show at Coachella a few years back. I was parked in front of the stage all day for my favorite band, Ben Harper, and got jammed into the rail leading from the stage to the soundboard, by all of the a-hole b-boys fans pushing to get in front. By the time Ben Harper was done, my feet were off the ground and I was being crushed amongst people taller than me. My girl and I made an escape before we got hurt and watched the Beastie Boys from behind all of the idiots.

1:23 PM Anonymous said...

i'm sorry you got hurt at the show, my post wasn't supposed to be about your feelings at all. i was just saying i like the sets, and those crowds always suck....i'v been hurt at shows, and its the worst thing. i wasn't trying to be an asshole. the bb now is so negative toward the beasties...anyways
i really like this site and i'm sorry about that post.

3:34 PM Anonymous said...

Hey sorry to hear you got hurt.
Hope your broken ribs does not hamper the ability for you to update your blog. That would be disasterous! Let me tell you...I would sacrafice some rib bones to see the beasties 3 times in one weekend. Thanks for everything you do and your dedication to your blog is a great benefit to us.

Let me ask...there is a picture on Flickr of
a girl with a green dress by a fence looking out at the people by the main stage. Is that you? Because that person is wearing heels and that opens up a whole new set of questions? Just wondering.

Thanks again.
Hope you feel better.

-Dieverse

5:16 PM Matt said...

I'm very sorry you were hurt at the show on sunday. Festival shows do bring out a rowdier less fan based crowd. I was in the middle of the second pit on Sunday and I didn't have that experience, Me & my small crew of friends and evryone around us wer going nuts and having a good ole time enjoying the show. At one point my crew got cut in half by another group of people next to us and when I asked if we could re- connect (like voltron) they were more than happy to help us out. I'm just saying it wasn't like that everywhere. As for being "disappointed" by the Sunday show, I was not. I was really into their gala set Saturday and I thought they did manage to deliver more hip-hop into Sundays show while maintaining the new gala style performance. I really dug it and its clearly a preference thing but I wanted the pagent to be more like this but when it was clear it was gonna be their ol school rap tour I got behind it and loved it. I love the dirction the boys are taking this tour. This instrumental re-working of classics, the busting out dusty CYH & IC era instrumental jams (as well as the truelu old school punk), I could not of been happier with both days performances. I just felt like I needed to post how awesome I thought both shows were, I think it would be really hard for you NOT to feel the way you do giving the truely misfortunate circumstances of your a-re-ah. Sorry again, and I hope you feel better.
Mathcart

5:17 PM Hot Sauce said...

No, I wasn't wearing a dress and high heels to a festival. I'm crazy but not stupid. :P I had sneakers on both days.

Yes, Doc, I listened to you about not wearing flip-flops. :D

5:25 PM Hot Sauce said...

I would have critiqued the Sunday show the same way even if I hadn't been hurt. It's true, though, that I believe it's the AUDIENCE, not the band, that makes a show great.

5:37 PM klepto said...

yeah, 'cause the beastie boys are always going to be great. :D

5:53 PM Anonymous said...

I was in the front pit with two friends - we got crushed too. We wanted to get out of there but we couldn't move. It was too tight. We yelled at security to help us out but they didn't see us. One of my friends was kicked in the head by an idiot crowdsurfing. I almost fell down when the crowd began to sway. We were happy when the show ended so we could get out of there.

Gillian

7:21 PM Lisa said...

I am so sorry you got hurt -- and impressed that you are a trooper in the pit at all (I feel my age just looking at the crowd pix). On beastieboys.com, Mike says that he has a harsh rant, and maybe that is about the crowd.

Thanks for all of the info and looking forward to Paris!

8:56 PM Saber said...

they should have two pits - one for girls and one for guys

9:09 PM Anonymous said...

^ Hey Saber, for the '95 Quadrophonic Tour they actually had kind of weird barricade set up to reduce the size of the pit.

In addition, the had signs up and an article in the Tourzine about no moshing and crowd surfing.

-Laver

9:14 PM Hot Sauce said...

^ Ha! I would want to be in the penis pit. :D

Thanks for all the well wishes. I appreciate it.

10:27 PM Anonymous said...

Oh yeah...wishes of well to you.

-Laver

10:29 PM pshabi said...

You know what they say:

If you can't stand the heat, start punching motherfuckers in the face!!!! Just kidding. I'll pile on and say sorry to hear about your misfortune. I've had experiences where crowd members have taken my focus off the band I came to see and it's such a buzzkill.

I posted something similar on the boards and I'll say it here too. I'm not entirely sure the beastie boys have figured out what they're doing with this tour. What they said all along and what was delivered were very different. I don't wanna wait, but it's almost worth it because they'll have everything worked out by the time they get back around to the states. Can't wait for that.

10:44 PM Hot Sauce said...

I'm not sure they have figured out what they're going to do this tour either. They mislead us when they used "all-instrumental" to describe the Gala Event shows. Everybody took that to mean "no vocals." They should have just said they were mixing it up -- doin' a bit of everything (except Country Mike and BS 2000).

Speaking of Country Mike...at the Croc Cafe show, Jenny yelled out a request of "Sloppy Drunks." You should have seen Mike's smile!

10:47 PM klepto said...

that's so sweeeeet! i love country mike. :)

10:49 PM Hot Sauce said...

Everybody loves Country Mike.

11:26 PM doc said...

Ouch. I'm glad you had the sense to get out when you did. I will testify that you're a rock when it comes to hanging on to the barricade but you have to leave when it's not worth it. I'm afraid of losing a tooth. That's my big fear. (I'm glad you were just teasing me about the flip flops.)

Festival crowds suck! There are too many people who have just a casual interest in the bands and they get drunk and sloppy and then people do things they wouldn't have the courage to do in smaller crowds.

I think that any band as popular as Beasties shouldn't mess around testing out new stuff with a crowd of over 5,000. You've got to give the great unwashed masses the upbeat hits they expect to hear or unpleasantness will ensue.

(And I simply can't believe that you're capable of going that long without a toilet. Holy cow.)

11:50 PM Hot Sauce said...

It's a matter of mind over body. The not eating nor drinking anything helps with the not needing the toilet.

Paul and I survived on Willy Wonka Bottlecaps (a gift from Pooty). Sugary goodness.

The standing all day wasn't completely in vain. I got to see Bad Brains from my primo spot. Daryl Jenifer stood in front of me the entire set and smiled at me as he played. Bad Brains were sooo good! The audience behaved for their set. I expected some asses to ruin Bad Brains' set, but it never happened. The good people enjoyed the Bad Brains. :)

Paul and I will probably appear in the new Bad Brains video. They shot it at the show. The cameras were on us a lot.

I felt bad about missing Money Mark's set for Bad Brains' set, but I had to see them.

5:06 PM Jeremy said...

i feel what you are saying about $ Mark... it was either stand ground in the pit all day or risk losing a prime spot for the headline event... but once they cleared the pit, I didnt have the patience to wait until they opened it back up... fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it... we got back in during the stampede... it wasnt pretty, or fun, but we managed to go with the sea of people and protect ourselves and some others who were clearly frightened... good job on Rusty's part...

I saw you as you left the pit on sunday night and knew something must have been wrong for you to actually ask to leave your spot... I hope the overall feeling after the weekend was a positive one for you, and I enjoyed hanging with this crew during the short time i was there... thank you for your hospitality and offerings- place to crash, food and water- and beastie boys- the necessities in life...

4:07 PM paulbonardelli said...

the stampede must happen every year, it happened to me last year trying to get into the 1st pit for Beck. you just move with the crowd. its kinda nuts...and fun.

2:38 PM b-grrrlie said...

Sorry to hear you got hurt there, M (sorry about a late reply, been without internet for almost 10 days and have an awful lot of catching up to do...).
I'm totally surprised BBoys didn't do anything about the crowd situation! I thought they were well into calming down a rowdy audience. In Manchester back in 1995 when I had to be pulled out the audience (it's happened to me twice, the first time was for Iggy Pop, I wouldn't let them pull me out at Radiohead at Roskilde...) I saw Yauch asking someone from their crew to keep an eye on me while I lay on the floor on the side of the stage... oh coolness of the floor was so soothing! And a few minutes later the sound of Flute Loop got me up and bouncing again! :D

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