Beastie Boys take the Croc by stormP-I Photos: Horovitz // Yauch // Beastie Boys // Diamond // Beestea Bouys // Horovitz // Beazley Boys // Money Mark // Horovitz on geetar // Horovitz // Beestie Buoys // Yauch and Diamond // Diamond and Horovitz
By Travis Hay
For 90 minutes at the Crocodile Café Friday night the Beastie Boys treated an intimate, sold-out crowd of less than 500 to a show they won't soon, if ever, forget.
Maybe it was the scarcity of the tickets (the show sold out in less than a minute and tickets were selling for as much as $400 on eBay), the debut of new material, or the performance of some rarely heard songs -- either way, it was one of the more special shows Seattle has seen in the last few years.
The Boys -- guitarist Ad Rock, bass player MCA and drummer Mike D. -- were accompanied by keyboardist Money Mark and percussionist Alfredo Ortiz for a set of mostly instrumental numbers that kicked off with "B For My Name," the first song off the band's new album, "The Mix Up."
That's right, the Beastie Boys are more than a trio of adulterated, former brat rappers; they're first and foremost a band. The New York rap pioneers hammered this point home by showcasing one of the least known aspects of their arsenal -- the ability to play instruments -- and simply put, they nearly tore the roof off the Croc with their electrifying show.
Their talent with instruments is highly evident on the new record, which consists entirely of instrumentals and hits shelves June 26. Some of the new tracks performed were the fuzzy "Electric Worm" and "Off the Grid," a song that included Ortiz hitting a trash can lid with drumsticks for percussion effects.
While there's no rapping on the new album, there was plenty during Friday's set. Several Beastie standards were given new arrangements with guitars and drums instead of samplers and turntables.
A slowed down "Live at PJs" that appeared early in the night set the tone for older songs that were rearranged. The highlights included a funky "Jimmy James" that featured Ad Rock displaying some Tom Morello-esque guitar skills with crazy squeaks and squeals, while "Root Down" and "Remote Control" were given extra flair and pizzazz with the addition of live instrumentation.
As much fun as it was to hear songs like "Sabotage" and "Ricky's Theme" performed in the close-knit confines of the Croc, it was equally fun to hear the Beasties return to their punk-rock roots with "Egg Raid On Mojo" off 1982's "Pollywog Stew."
Another rare track that surfaced was "Honky Rink," a tongue-in-cheek instrumental B-side off the "Gratitude" single released in 1992. Other punk songs making the set included "Heart Attack Man" and "Tough Guy," both great choices for the evening.
The show was called a "gala event" and the Beasties dressed appropriately, looking rather dapper in three-piece suits. Ad Rock, sporting a black fedora, was the most talkative and boisterous of the group.
As usual, the Beasties were playful, exchanging witty banter throughout the night. At one point Mike D. and Ad Rock broke into a duet of Michael Jackson's "Rock With You." Another playful moment came when a fan called Ad Rock a pimp for his spiffy attire.
"No sir, I am musician, not a pimp by trade," Ad Rock responded in a deadpan, matter-of-fact way. "I don't know if that was a compliment, but if it was I appreciate it."
The Crocodile Café set was a warm-up gig for the band's two performances at the Gorge Amphitheatre's Sasquatch! Music Festival this weekend. The band headlines the Wookie Stage at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, performing an instrumental set. The Beasties will close down the festival with a headlining, non-instrumental set, Sunday at 10:30 p.m.
B For My Name
Live at PJ's
Son of Neckbone
Something's Got To Give [Not performed; Honky Rink replaced it]
Off the Grid
Root Down/Get It
Egg Raid On Mojo
Mark On the Bus
Jimmy James/Happy Birthday
Time For Living
Heart Attack Man
Saturday, May 26, 2007
From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer: