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Gig Info:    
Date: 15 May 1992
Country: Canada
City: Toronto
Venue: Concert Hall

Other Bands/Artists at the Show:

  • Basehead


The Skills to Pay the Bills Tour

During fIREHOSE's opening set, Adam Horovitz joined them on stage to play guitar for their performance of Public Enemy's "Sophistication."
Not Available
The Toronto Star, April 22, 1992:
Don't call it a comeback--rappers the Beastie Boys are booked for a May 15 Concert Hall gig. Tickets are $14.50, on sale tomorrow at Ticketmaster (870-8000), Record Peddler and Vortex Records.

The Toronto Star, May 17, 1992:
Friday's Beastie Boys show at the Concert Hall
By Peter Howell

• Yo! It was chillin'. Totally dope.

• Excellent, dudes! Intensity in 10 cities! Live at Budokhan!

• It had a good beat, and it was easy to dance to.

It didn't matter whether you were a hip-hop enthusiast, a metalhead out of a Wayne's World sketch or an old-timer who just wanted to have good clean teen fun like they used to on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. With the three Beasties rockin' the mic and rockin' a house packed with 1,800 sweaty punters, it was a night to fight for your right to diversify. No musical style or era was left unsampled, except for maybe Viking war horns or Australian didgeridoo bleats. They're probably saving that for the next album.

Six years ago, it was considered to be some kind of huge joke that three white, beer-swilling punk rockers from New York could produce the first rap album to sell one million copies. It was Licensed To Ill and it went on to sell another four million or so after that, but few thought it would last. Predictions of a fast fade to black for Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, Adam "MCA" Yauch and the green-haired Michael "Mike D" Diamond proved to be totally bogus, because the Beasties showed they're no mere novelty act. Now living in L.A., they're no longer hip-hop hosers--although Yauch still likes to wear a toque--as evidenced by the serious genre-bending of their 1989 album Paul's Boutique and their just-released latest, Check Your Head.

Check your head is right--it was Name That Tune from the word go Friday, beginning with the two opening acts that defied convention in their own special ways.

Basehead, a Washington, D.C. hip-hop group, served up its distinctive blend of rock 'n' rap. Then came fIREHOSE,1 composed of the remains of the old label-defying band the Minutemen, which offered interesting funk-punk that even attracted the guitar services of Beastie Horovitz, who jumped on stage for songs that included Public Enemy's "Sophistication." But it was the Beasties' night, and the mosh pit was crying for Horovitz, Yauch and Diamond to take the stage even before fIREHOSE had left it.

The Beasties dived right in with both new and old material, mixing hip-hop beats with metal guitar riffs with jazzy organ noodling. Tunes ranged from the call-and-response rap of "Pass The Mic", to the live thrash of "Time For Livin" and "Egg Raid On Mojo." "Egg Raid"--a tune from their punk days--came during an interlude when the Beasties played live, with Yauch on bass, Diamond on drums and Horovitz on guitar, the line-up they followed when they used to just rock for a living.

"Pow" featured some harder rhyming from DJ Hurricane, the man-mountain behind the turntable who sported a Malcolm X T-shirt. A quantum leap was made from there to "Live At PJ's," a great lounge lizard song off the new album that sounds like it was written for comedian Bill Murray. It was given a harder treatment live than it gets on record, and as a result, it didn't work as well.

That led to more extended rapping, and then it was time for the '60s tributes: "Jimmy James" was an ode to Jimi Hendrix; "Sounds Of Silence" [sic] had a Beatles' riff; "Finger Lickin'" samples Bobby Dylan; and "High Plains Drifter", a kind of countrified rap tune, seemed like it had some Eagles mixed in there. It was about this time that the mood turned to serious grooving, particularly when "Groove Holmes" started up with honorary Beastie, keyboard man Money Mark Nishita, doing a jazz thang on the organ. It was just the kind of soothing music you'd expect from laidback guys who requested fresh asparagus and unshelled peanuts be served in their backstage hospitality suite, along with ample bottles of Evian water.

As cool as it all got, though, you can't take the Boy out of the Beastie, so Yauch and Horovitz spent much of the show jumping onto equipment to exchange High Fives with the fans. And they closed off the evening with some memories of raps past, including the hit, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn." No one could sleep if they'd wanted to, because it was a Beastly night, and all the better for it.