A champagne show with a beer audience

Click on the above image to see a photoset.

Let me make something clear: I love the Gala Events. Every Gala Event I attended in Europe was special and memorable. The Beastie Boys show at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday night was my first Gala Event in the United States (discounting the Crocodile Cafe show and Sasquatch Fest set in May) and something was not right -- not with the band or music, but with the audience.

The NYC Gala Event was missing the positive audience vibe that both the Central Park and Brooklyn shows had in plenty the previous nights. The Hammerstein Ballroom was full of dead fish -- people who didn't respond to or seem to appreciate the music. Luckily, I was surrounded by good people. We created our own little pocket of positive vibe and ignored the bores.

The NYC Gala Event was a champagne show with a beer audience. People in the audience yelled for the band to perform songs like "Time to Get Ill" and "Paul Revere." With a look of disappointment on his face, Adam Horovitz explained that they would not be performing those songs.

When the band tried to communicate with the audience -- that is, to create the intimacy that they've been able to achieve at the other Gala Events -- it only encouraged audience misbehavior and the idiots to yell for more "entrees" that weren't on the menu.

Horovitz put forth good effort, trying to turn the show into the intimate affair it was supposed to be. Before "Gratitude," he made a heartfelt thanks to his family, who were sitting in the balcony, for their love and support. He also made a point of shouting out repeatedly to one fan who had dressed up for the show. (The person had a beard? I don't know. I couldn't see the person.) Horovitz asked people to lift the man in the air so everyone could see his outfit.

The band kept their dialogue with the audience to a minimum. Beyond Horovitz' story about Ricky Powell's froze-ade stand before "Ricky's Theme," there was little talk.

The show was not without some light moments. One humorous moment occurred when Horovitz and Diamond tried to do the phone bit before "The Maestro," but failed to coordinate the dialogue. Yauch stepped up to the microphone and did it for them. For some reason, his microphone was turned way up, so when he said, "So fuck you, my man!" it filled the venue. It was funny to hear Yauch curse at full volume.

At the mention of "money-makin' Manhattan," a fan in the front threw a five dollar bill on stage, which Yauch picked up and Horovitz promptly put inside his jacket.

The Hammerstein Ballroom show had all the makings of a great show: a lovely setting, dressed-to-impress fans and band, and a good setlist. The vibe created by the audience, however, put a damper on the show. The majority of the audience did not give back to the band like an audience should. "Real" fans represented, but they were a minority. (Hi to y'all! It was nice meeting you!)

I wasn't disappointed with the show. I had a good time with my people. I was disappointed for the band. They didn't get the audience they deserved.

Worth noting: the show was staged sans Mix Master Mike. Horovitz explained that Mix Master Mike was called away -- something to do with a cousin.

Remote Control
Time for Living
Lighten Up
B for My Name
Do It
Live at PJ's
Futterman's Rule
Son of Neckbone
Ricky's Theme
Tough Guy
Off the Grid [video]
Root Down & Get It
Jimmy James
Groove Holmes
Mark on the Bus
14th St. Break
The Maestro
Egg Raid on Mojo
The Gala Event
Something's Got to Give [video]
Electric Worm
Heart Attack Man
So What'cha Want [video]
Sure Shot
Sabotage [video]

Watch a 20-minute video montage of practically the entire show here.

  • Article in New York Daily News
  • Article at Variety.com



    9:01 PM pshabi said...

    Sounds an awful lot like the vibe in Atlantic City. Oh well! "The True" enjoyed it!

    9:02 PM Hot Sauce said...

    You should have been there, pshabi!

    9:26 PM Name said...

    I was there. You were totally correct. Between people moshing to 'Ricky's Theme' and other people requesting 'Girls' it was like, who the hell are these people?

    9:30 PM Hot Sauce said...

    I couldn't believe people were moshing to "So What'cha Want." They don't even do that at the hip-hop shows.

    10:26 PM pshabi said...

    Maybe Chicago, Hot Sizzle. There's still some hope for that, even though I don't exactly "have a ticket" at the moment.

    Game-time decision.

    2:41 PM tom said...

    Agree that the show was incredible. After Brooklyn, everything just sounded tighter. It was like a huge party, and the Beastie Boys happened to be the band playing. Pretty much the show I've always wanted to see from them. After going downstairs to use the facilities as briefly as possible, I was walking back as two jocky guys were walking down. "What the fuck is this instrumental shit?" one of the guys said. "Totally not worth $40" said the other. I had a hard time believing people could be that oblivious to incredible music. I also don't get why it was so easy to get tickets to this show. What's up with NYC being too cool to go to shows??

    12:25 AM alikat said...

    hi -- was that you who held up the setlist while i took a pic with my cell? if so thanks!!

    question about that list tho -- call me crazy but as i recall it "root down" was skipped. horovitz started to introduce it but then they bantered about mmm's absence, and went into jimmy james. right? i didn't black out for root down...right? :)

    11:08 AM Hot Sauce said...

    No, that was not me. I didn't get a setlist for that show.

    "Root Down (And Get It)" was definitely played. It was the Jimmy Smith song, not their "Root Down."

    12:45 AM alikat said...

    OH! Not their Root Down but the Jimmy Smith song -- that totally clarifies things, thanks.

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