Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 14, 1987
By Mark Holmberg:
The harmonic convergence is scheduled to flip-flop reality tonight. Yes, the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC are converging on Richmond. ARRRRGH! Hide the children! Call out the National Guard! Throw steel nets over the liquor stores!
Wait a minute. Get a grip on yourself. Sure, these rip-roaring rap-rockers can raise more hell than an army of ayatollahs. But concerned citizens and parents should know two things: All precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for concertgoers have been taken by the Richmond Coliseum and the Richmond police force for tonight's show at 8.
The Beastie Boys, the ones causing all the fuss, have toned down their act. Gone is the 20-foot-long mock sex organ. Young women are no longer stripping on stage. Girls in the audience are no longer being encouraged to bare their chests.
"Everybody had a good time," said Bob Oermann, music reporter for the Nashville Tennessean, when asked about the Run-DMC/Beastie Boys show in his town the first of the month. He said the Beasties used a lot of foul language, and members of both bands would occasionally make obscene gestures. "The Beasties were a one trick act," said Oermann. "They spit beer a lot. They'd shake up a can of beer and spray the crowd. The kids loved it."
In Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 9, "it was a pretty boring show, really," said Dan Macdonald, music critic for the Florida Times-Union Jacksonville Journal. "They weren't allowed to drink beer, so they were dumping big glasses of water on the girls dancing in the cages." (The Beastie Boys have go-go cages for girls, some of them from the audience, to dance in--with their clothes on.) Concern over the show there was so great that a city ordinance was passed requiring a "for mature audiences only" warning on the tickets, said Macdonald. But he said the Beastie Boys' lawyers beat the ordinance in court just days before the show.
Coliseum and police officials are taking no chances here. Greg Cyprian, director of operations for the Coliseum, has done his homework. He flew to Louisville for the Run-DMC/Beastie Boys show there last month to check out the crowd, the act and what it will take to control them.
"The antics started in California have been taken out of the show," he said. "No clothes came off whatsoever." But he noticed the beer-spraying and cussing. "There will be no alcohol allowed on stage," said Cyprian. "No beer at all; no cans, no cups, no bottles." He said the rap groups will meet with Coliseum officials and a representative from the city's vice squad before the show to " . . . brief them on the dos and don'ts of the building and the city. The city has strong laws about obscenities; we'll be discussing them in the meeting."
Cyprian said the security staff for the show is 40 percent larger than the usual force, by arrangement with show promoters. Airportlike walk-through metal detect ors will be in operation, backed up by hand-held units.
"Every person who enters the building will walk through a metal detector," said Cyprian, a huge man 6 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 260 pounds. "We're not going to have any problems."
Police presence will also be stepped up, with the inclusion of mounted police. Drinking in parking lots won't be a good idea tonight. Cyprian said security coverage will also be extended to at least an hour after the show: "Until the building and the area around it is clear. We want to make sure kids are picked up by their parents and taken care of." He added that youths needing to make phone calls will be allowed back into the building.
"We expect the kids will come here and have a good time," said Cyprian.
If you're parent or citizen concerned about decadence in rock music, it would be a good show not to miss. Just be sure to bring your dancing shoes . . . and maybe an umbrella. And remember: Rap is hot, whether it's rude or not.
Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 15, 1987
By Mark Holmberg:
The Richmond Coliseum was turned into a powder keg last night as 9,000 fully charged rap rockers pulled out the stops for the Run-DMC, Beastie Boys concert. Thanks to a fully prepared security staff with excellent police assistance, the fuse was never lit. But tension was in the air.
You can't blame the rude rappers on stage in spite of the bad press that has been following them. No, the tension came from the crowd. Probably for the first time in Richmond history, a huge crowd of young people, half black and half white, half urban and half suburban, packed together for an evening of rap madness. It's not that they couldn't get along; it was just a new experience.
The break between the Beastie Boys' act and that of Run-DMC was way too long. Youthful energy was high and several fights broke out. The security staff was right on top of it and no one was hurt, but it brought the total of brief fights for the evening to about 10.
Run-DMC finally appeared and once the crowd started dancing together, the tension faded. By the time Run announced it was time to join hands as brothers and sisters for the song "Together Forever," the problem ceased to exist. Say what you want about those nasty rappers. You can't knock music that breaks barriers, especially in Richmond.
Davie D opened the show, but the only part of his act that drew cheers was when he grabbed his crotch, which was often. The Beasties were better, especially Mike D, who moved like a rhythmical rag doll and brought the group to life visually. Yes, they had dancing girls in cages on stage, scantily clad and dancing suggestively like strippers. Foul words were the ones most easily understood and were used frequently, which is standard at most rap shows. Sadly, the Beasties are pushing their luck morally and in this era of sensitivity to rock lyrics, they're going to ruin it for everybody else. But they were fun to watch. The excellent "Fight for Your Right to Party" was the perfect ending to their hard-hitting show.
Run-DMC peaked during the classics "Raising Hell" and "King of Rock," but that show was flat at times and partially ruined because the between-song talks were turned into gibberish by the sound system. Especially weak was Aerosmith's "Walk This Way," the note with which the show ended. The Beasties and Davie D were on stage for the finale but, for some reason, none of them held microphones.
Musically, last night's show was pale compared with the recent L.L. Cool J rap jam in June. Except for the dancing girls, it wasn't any nastier.