Review: Beastie Boys at the Crocodile Cafe

From The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Beastie Boys take the Croc by storm
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
Do It
Electric Worm
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
Tough Guy
Remote Control
Mark On the Bus
Ricky's Theme
Jimmy James/Happy Birthday
Sure Shot
Time For Living
Heart Attack Man
The Maestro
P-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


12:51 PM Anonymous said...

sounds amazing. seriously unreal.

you guys scooped the fuck out the official site.

crazy.... it all sounds crazy

were they just playing the music from the old hip-hop songs? who was rhyming on them?

12:57 PM Martijn said...

Oh My God! finally a full set with instruments i hope that they do this for all the upcoming shows, and one more good thing, the HARDCORE is back!!!!!!

1:20 PM klepto said...

*squeals* yauch looks so damn scrumptious in that stripey shirt! yum yum yum :P

aaaaaah he's amazing! <3

1:33 PM Anonymous said...

what a setlist..sounds awesome

1:53 PM dave790 said...

really cool, and different

2:12 PM mistress_f said...

sounds so cool i want to cry for not havin been there :|

2:14 PM Anonymous said...

Who wrote that review?

2:16 PM klepto said...

i included a link to my source below.

2:19 PM klepto said...

also, i'm done screwing with the font now, sorry 'bout that if anybody thought they were going crazy or something. i'm crazy.

2:32 PM Anonymous said...

Excellent review.

I'm off to the store to get two loaves of bread for the Sasquatch Party tonight.

2:38 PM klepto said...

i just checked my voice mail from m and i can totally hear horovitz talking 'bout how he's a musician not a pimp lol (the line mentioned in the review). i can't make much else out except i did hear the beginning of "transitions"! i'm never going to delete that message. hehe :D

3:05 PM Lambrettara said...

That sounds so amazing, I'm so hyped for my summer festival now even though I doubt it'll be as fun and intimate, haha.

The Rock With You thing made me laugh way too much, especially since I've had that song stuck in my head lately. How bizarre.

Thanks for keeping us posted, both of you!

3:20 PM pshabi said...


3:28 PM Anonymous said...

What's the "Get It" that's listed as the second half of Root Down/Get It?

The only thing I can think of is Get It Together?


3:33 PM Anonymous said...

they probably went into the jimmy smith version "root down and get it"

3:34 PM pshabi said...


Jimmy Smith's original was titled "Root Down (And Get It)." I'm guessing it was listed on the setlist like that as a tribute to the original and because they went live with it. If you click the "photos from the show" link you see it on the setlist photo.

3:36 PM Justin said...

Laver - i believe the "get it" is a reference to the jimmy smith record "root down get it" I'm guessing that Adrock added some sounds to the song with his guitar live.

Also, was MMM around at all?

On a side note, I'm about to cream my pants after seeing live at pjs on this setlist!!!

3:39 PM Anonymous said...

Thanks guys. So no Apache I'm assuming. I wonder if they would offer the weave at such a Gala Event?

- Laver

3:40 PM martijn said...

on the photos i sometimes see them all 3 with mics in their hands and no instruments, who provided the beats at that time?

3:43 PM Anonymous said...

Before the show started Pooty said that turntables were set up on stage.

But I believe Sure Shot may have been the only song done the traditional way.

The other hiphop songs were done with instrumentation...but I'm not sure how much MMM did.

3:54 PM Anonymous said...

Congrats to those who got to see the show. This setlist blows the TT5B sets away. It's definetly a set tailored more toward the hardcore fans as TT5B sets were aimed more towards the casual fan. This is awesome for those of us that are in the "hardcore" catageory.


4:32 PM Anonymous said...

I got some additional info. MMM was not there. Horovitz told the crowd that he was "under the weather" which prompted a big "Awwwww" from the crowd. But that he would be appearing at Sasquatch.

Sure Shot was done with $Mark on keyboards and Fredo on drums.

Miramanee said there was less than 300 in the crowd. Many were the friends of the Croc's staff and that the Croc's manager was an ass. I'm sure there's a story there, but I'll let her fill in the gaps next week.

- Laver

4:36 PM klepto said...

awwwww i hope horovitz feels better! :(

4:42 PM klepto said...

i found the same pics i posted above on flickr which doesn't really mean anything, but, uh, in case anybody wanted to see them in different sizes...? :/

4:42 PM BeastieAlbum07 said...

Does anyone know of audio/video recordings that went down there?

4:49 PM klepto said...

we'll have to wait till monday for m's treats! :P

5:10 PM klepto said...

i mean, except for those lovely photos she is taking for us to enjoy the bboys with 'em! those are deeelightful! and sexy. ;D

5:18 PM Anonymous said...

I meant to say that Horovitz said that MMM was feeling "under the weather"

5:21 PM klepto said...

sorry, i misread. i hope mixy is feeling better. :(

5:32 PM klepto said...

*more like mistyped. for some reason.

5:35 PM friis said...

nice find there klepto :)
it makes me fell like I can't wait till i'm going to see them...

uh, when did they play Honky Rink?
and klepto, can you do something about the font size at the right side of the page?

5:38 PM klepto said...

laver asked me about the same thing, but i don't seem to be having that problem with the font size, so i don't know how to fix it. sorry...

5:54 PM klepto said...

oh! - do you both use IE? i just tried viewing the blog using IE and i can see what you mean.
maybe you should both try downloading firefox, it works fine for me on there.

8:10 PM Anonymous said...

holy shit!!!! that is the greatest setlist i have ever seen!!!
I wish i was there!!!


11:33 AM midzi said...

The font used to work on IE.

11:06 AM klepto said...

*screwed with the font (in the blog entry) again! last time! :o

hopefully m might know how to fix the right-side font.

11:22 PM Anonymous said...

wish i was there

can't wait to see videos and stuff

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