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Beasties mix old with new

Daily Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: Have you attended an amazing or unusual concert lately? The Vail Daily readers want to know about it. Front Row Seat is a column where locals and tourists of the Vail Valley can write in about concert experiences. To share live musical glory, send an e-mail to the Arts&Entertainment editor at cpence@vaildaily.com.By Steve LarsonSpecial to the DailyFeeling high-spirited after our ride from Vail to Red Rocks Amphitheater, eight of us exited the limo to enter the long-anticipated Beastie Boys tour kickoff Sept. 9. A supreme mixture of hip-hop, punk, record scratching, instrumental funk, political references and amazing sound quality were all ingredients that made this a night that won’t soon beforgotten.The Beastie Boys were, among many things, an early influence on hip-hop. They formed in the early 1980s with four original members including Mike D, Adam Yauch (MCA), Kate Schelenbach and John Berry. Named appropriately for the philosophy they often reflect in their music, they called themselves The Beastie Boys, meaning: Boys Entering Anarchistic States Toward Internal Excellence. Their music was hard-core punk rock, and their foray into hip-hop didn’t happen until 1983, when Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) joined the lineup to replace John Berry. On top of their perceived, reckless, party-style attitude has always been a philosophy of life, politics and musical expression all wrapped into their different styles of talent. Since their very beginnings as a band, they have always stuck true to themselves reflecting a “realness” in character that is seldom present in any bands or individuals in the music industry today. Their refusal to sell out to advertising is a trademark statement to which they have always adhered, especially now with the release of their new album “To the Five Buroughs,” which reflects their New York pride, opinions of George W. Bush and the World Trade Center. They are back on tour after a six-year hiatus and proved they still know how to “Fight for their Right to Party.”Beastie Boys satisfy loyal and new fansThe musical energy vibrated the souls of everyone throughout the auditorium, and the fans received many musical treats throughout the evening.Ad-Rock, Mike D and MCA rocked the mic while their friend and scratch artist Mix Master Mike attended to the turntables for some sick scratches to complement the righteous rhymes preached to the crowd. Mix Master Mike mesmerized the crowd and performed several solos that made the amphitheater roar with amazement and reverence.The music of the night was a scattered timeline – representing all the band’s styles throughout their career. Slices of the Boys’ musical pie were served a la mode, from their spicy beginnings to their creamy ends. By the crowd’s approving reaction, you could feel the great vibes emitted by this band. If throughout the evening’s musical performance they didn’t satisfy every Beasties fan, newcomer or veteran, then satisfaction may not have been possible with this band’s over-the-top effort. Touching on classic songs such as “Sabotage” and “Paul Revere” and new tunes like “Right Right Now Now” were signature elements in their performance and were just a few samples of some of their greatest work.Alongside their standard crowd expectations of playing hip-hop and punk, they also surprised the fans with an unforgettable instrumental performance. Mid-show, the lights on stage dimmed and chill music you would expect from a ’70s jazz lounge began playing from the back of the stage. At first, it was hard to detect any movement, but then a set of orange lights in a triangular pattern illuminated what appeared to be a smaller stage. The small stage began moving from the back of the main stage to the front. As the structure moved closer to the center, three silhouettes became more visible. When the object finally reached center stage, the trio was revealed with the shine of spotlights encapsulating them. Their music was complemented by their gold tuxedos. As they made their second grand entrance of the night, they continued to play one of their most notable instrumental songs, “Groove Holmes.” This section of the show deserved extra appreciation. The Beasties wowed the crowd and sent us to relaxation-land just as easily as they had us all rocking out in an uncontrollable sea of movement only moments ago. The songs of this intermission-style piece of the show were the cherry on top of the banana split of style we had been served up until now.Political preachin’Coupled with their awesome musical display, they also reflected their political views throughout their lyrics and stage props. In their lyrics about the war in Iraq, they comically ask George W. Bush, “Why you hatin’ people you never met – ain’t your mama teach you, ‘Show some respect,’ why not open your mind for a sec’?” Along with anti-Bush lyrics, the Beastie Boys had two large World Trade Center props occupying the sides of the stage. Several huge video displays were used to give the crowd a little better view of the show. Clips were shown from a skit Will Ferrell had done in which he impersonates Bush and mocks him for his Texas talk and habit of making idiotic statements.By the end of the night, the crowd was drenched with sweat and delusional after the Beastie Boys worked us over the way we had hoped they would. Their style, ingenuity, originality, energy and habit of “saying what they mean, and meaning what they say” all contributed to a performance that “stunned and amazed.”


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