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Gig Info:
Performance Date: 6 Jun 1992

Country: United States
City: Salt Lake City, UT
Venue: Horticulture Center

Other Bands/Artists at the Show:

  • Big Chief
  • Fu-Schnickens


The Skills to Pay the Bills Tour
Not Available
Salt Lake Tribune, June 5, 1992
By Catherine Reese:

The Beastie Boys have news for those who considered them a one-hit wonder after "Fight for Your Right (to Party)" helped make them the biggest-selling rap act up to that time. Even when Licensed to Ill (the 1986 album that featured "Fight for Your Right") was at the height of its popularity, the irony of the Beasties' appeal--three well-heeled young Jewish men invading the genre of the black ghetto--seemed destined to run its course quickly. But six years later, here they are with their third album, Check Your Head--hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as "a glorious train wreck of styles"--and a tour that includes a concert in Salt Lake City Saturday.

"If people think it's a novelty, maybe they should go to one of our shows," the group's Michael Diamond, otherwise known as Mike D, said in a recent phone interview. "Maybe they could start their own puppet show if they want novelty."

Though the Beasties insist they were never gone, many regard Check Your Head as a sort of comeback, given the band's three-year breaks between albums and the relative commercial disappointment of 1989's Paul's Boutique. Reviews generally have been favorable, and Check Your Head debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard pop chart.

The new album incorporates a smorgasbord of styles, from good old-fashioned rap to organ-driven jazz to punk to psychedelia to industrial hard core; Village Voice called it the best punk album since The Clash's 1979 landmark London Calling. It also finds the three Beastie Boys playing their own instruments--the 26-year-old Mr. Diamond on drums, King Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz, 25) on guitar and MCA (Adam Yauch, 27) on bass. "It's really given us the ability to articulate all kinds of ideas," Mr. Diamond said. Augmenting the concert-tour lineup are a percussionist, a disc jockey and keyboardist Money Mark Nishita.

Mr. Diamond predicted that Saturday's concert at the Utah State Fairpark Horticulture Building will be "a good hour and a half of sexy, sweaty, sexy music."

"We do pretty much everything," he said. "We cover a lot of Steve Miller songs at the end of the show, and we have a lot of songs by the Marshall Tucker Band. We've got this new song, a Marshall Tucker song about lynching white people."

The Beasties' notorious stage show--with caged dancing girls, a giant hydraulic phallus, and the rappers spraying fans with beer--reportedly is a thing of the past, along with much of the gratuitous rudeness of yore.

Right after Licensed to Ill was released, Mr. Diamond said, "there was an element of people who came to our shows just to check it out. Now pretty much everyone who comes to the shows knows all our material. Also we get a lot of people who are really good with dance steps--not as good as MC Serch (of rap group 3rd Bass), but they're good dancers.

"It's like the La Brea Mosh Pit at every show. It's all a mix. All different kinds of weirdos. We get the weird skate kids, the mosh pit, the Betty Crocker kids, the crayon kids."

Though the Beastie Boys had their origins in Manhattan (in a teen hard-core band called The Young and the Useless), they now operate out of Los Angeles. "We went there when we were doing Paul's Boutique and we never left," Mr. Diamond explained. Mr. Horovitz has an acting career on the side; his latest film, "Roadside Prophets," comes to Salt Lake City's Tower Theater next Friday.

This will be the Beasties' first Utah appearance, though Mr. Yauch has been here to ski. "I heard Salt Lake City is a good place to buy records," Mr. Diamond said. (Virtually every story on the group mentions its members' passion for vinyl.) "Denver is actually supposed to be one of the best cities in the country for buying records. So I'm kind of excited about the region."

A long-form video, "The Skills to Pay the Bills," will be released the same day as the Salt Lake concert.

"The video is pretty cool," Mr. Diamond said. "It's all mixed. It's got our new videos. It's the home video. But then we also have a lot of old and unreleased stuff on there too, like some of our hard core from our first hardcore records, and things from Paul's Boutique, so it's a pretty cool compilation."

Mr. Diamond is also enthusiastic about a European tour with the Rollins Band, scheduled to begin as soon as the U.S. tour ends.

"It's a little mutual-respect society we've got going with us and the Rollins Band," he said. "A lot of people, when they hear we're touring together, say, 'Don't you think that's pretty different?' My argument is that the outward trimmings might seem a little different, but we share a lot more than people think in terms of all the different types of music we each bring."

Saturday's show at the Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, begins at 7:30 p.m. Opening acts are Big Chief and Fuschnickens. Tickets are $15.50.