|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
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.