Reviewing the Heineken Opener Festival hip-hop set



"Mother. Fuckin'. Beastie Boys."

I must have cursed Beastie Boys a hundred times yesterday. I cursed them because I like them so much that I stood for hours in the rain and mud to see them perform their hip-hop set at the Heineken Opener Festival in Gdynia, Poland.

"I bet they're in a warm room, wearing dry socks and drinking hot drinks," Midzi snarled in the early evening, as our clothes became completely water-soaked from the rain.

"Mother fuckin' Beastie Boys," I cursed.

"Damn Beastie Boys," Midzi muttered.

It's a good thing that at a festival called the Heineken Opener, they serve Heineken -- because the beer kept us going when we were miserably wet and cold. If it were my decision, I would have skipped the set and gone back to our lovely and warm rented house near the sea, but it wasn't my decision. My Polish friend had her heart set on seeing her favorite band in her own country. Nevermind that she has been fighting a cold. Nevermind the pouring rain and muddy field. She was going to see the Beastie Boys if she had to crawl through the mud.

Before heading to the festival grounds, we went searching for rain gear in Gdynia with little luck. The stores had been cleaned out by other festival goers. I managed to score an umbrella, which was a lifesaver later in the evening, and Midzi purchased large garbage bags to serve as rain wear.

As we began to fashion rain clothes out of the huge garbage bags, we laughed at how ridiculously stupid it was.

"We are dressed to impress!" Midzi laughed.

"Mother fuckin' Beastie Boys making me wear garbage bags!" I cursed and laughed.

It seemed that the rain was going to stop before Beastie Boys went on stage, but the weather was just teasing us by starting and stopping the rain repeatedly. It rained throughout most of the evening.

When Beastie Boys finally came on stage, Midzi and I scrunched up our noses in disgust when we saw Adam Yauch wearing a warm winter jacket.

"Mother fuckin' Beastie Boys!" I yelled aloud, as I pulled my stuck foot out of the mud.

My opinion of the show is greatly different than Midzi's. For me, it was one of the weakest Beastie Boys sets I've ever seen. For Midzi, however, it was a fantastic set. We agreed that our opinions are a matter of concert experience.

I thought the band were sort of sloppy. They didn't get their shit together until midway through the show with "Off the Grid." The first half of the set was full of flub-ups, with the band stopping and restarting many songs.

"Wheel up!" Mike yelled, trying to infuse some humor into their mistakes. When you're standing in the rain and mud, the last thing you feel like is laughing at mistakes. The mistakes probably would have been funny to me if I hadn't been freezing my ass off and standing in the mud wearing garbage bags.

Standing back from the stage, Midzi and I were able to watch the video show that accompanies the band's set. We're not sure if we missed these videos previously because we've always been so close to the stage, but we think the videos and animations might have been new to the tour last night. Some of the animation looks to be the work of Bill McMullen, particularly a robot animation for "Intergalactic."

The setlist was very similar to all the other hip-hop shows the band have performed in Europe. It's disappointing how predictable the hip-hop sets are. Even Midzi, who has only seen two hip-hop sets ever by the band, was able to accurately predict the songs and the order in which they would be played before the show began. The band seem to be saving all their creativity for the Gala Events -- which I'm totally cool with because I am 100% a Gala Event gal.

When the band came out for the encore, they were all carrying hot drinks.

"Is that a hot toddy?" Yauch asked Horovitz.

"Why, yes it!" Horovitz replied.

Midzi and I looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking. Mother fuckin' Beastie Boys!

Midzi was very happy when Horovitz spoke some Polish. "Na zdrowie," he said, holding his drink in the air. (It is a toast, equivalent to "Cheers!")

Last night's audience was pretty tame because of the rain and mud, but people seemed to enjoy the Beastie Boys set. The Hello Nasty songs received the most enthusiastic response. Midzi's song pick was "Pass the Mic," and mine was "Off the Grid."

Today's Gala Event is in a tent. We checked it out yesterday. The ground is muddy.

Videos

Bong-Bong/Bing-Bing routine and Electric Worm
Body Movin'
Super Disco Breakin'
Super Disco Breakin' and Brass Monkey
Sabrosa
Egg Raid on Mojo and 3 MCs and 1 DJ
3 MCs and 1 DJ
Ch-Check It Out
MMM Interlude
Sabotage

3 comments:

8:27 AM Danielle said...

You have to really love a band to stand in the rain. I hope the weather is nice for you today.

5:45 AM delight intl. said...

Midzi and Hot Sauce deserve a massive crown each! Plus the Grand Royal Award for Best Online Reporting - ever. Plus a hot cup of soup!

9:13 AM fan said...

In the tent the ground was only wet close to the entrances, IF you managed to pass it through there was a peace of solid ground to stand on and enjoy your little island. Anway I must say that the Tent-Event was so much better that tha main stage part.

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