|Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 5, 1992
By Gene Stout:
What has horns, fangs and truckloads of ghoulish props? When the Beastie Boys made its Seattle debut in 1985--opening Madonna's first concert tour at the Paramount Theatre--the band
didn't look so good. In fact, the entire act was a whistling bomb of whiny wimps that
landed with a thud and brought of boos from the crowd. The Beasties
were a joke.
Hey, better luck next time. The Beasties' 1987 debut album, Licensed
to Ill, sold more than 4 million copies, and "(You've Got to) Fight
for Your Right to Party"--a catchy rap/metal tune that introduced rap
to mainstream hard-rock fans--became a teenage anthem. The trio of
boyhood chums returned to Seattle as celebrities.
The group's 1989 followup album, Paul's Boutique, was an intriguing blend of styles but a commercial disappointment. People were beginning
to think of the Beasties in the past tense. Rappin' today, gone
Then lightning struck twice. The Beastie Boys' current disc, Check
Your Head, is zooming up the charts. After just five weeks, the record has reached No. 18 on The Billboard
200 album chart with a mongrel, multicultural blend of rap, funk,
punk, jazz and blues styles emphasizing instrumentals instead of
vocals. It's a gloriously imperfect album recorded at the Beasties' own L.A.
studio during a year-long series of jam sessions.
The Beasties--Mike D, King Ad-Rock and MCA, plus DJ Hurricane--brings its latest platter of musical hors d'oeuvres to the Moore
Theater Monday night at 8. Opening acts are Big Chief, a thundering grunge band from Ann Arbor,
Mich., and FU-Schnickens, a Brooklyn rap trio named for the phrase
"for unity" (hence, "FU") and a made-up term for brotherhood. The group's humorous, verbally acrobatic raps can be nonsensical:
"I'll be a brave man like Captain Caveman/ Unga bunga, yapple dapple,
holy batfu, it's an apple ..." The group's current album is "F.U. -
Don't Take It Personal."
The Seattle Times, June 9, 1992
By Tom Phalen:
The Beastie Boys, with Big Chief and Fu Schnickens, last night at the
When the Beastie Boys finally appeared at 10:20 p.m. last night-- word
was they wouldn't come on until a blown spot was replaced--the
capacity audience roared. They had waited a long time in the hot,
crowded theater. They wanted to dance and mosh and dive and jump and
basically fight for their right to party. And when the band kicked
off, that's exactly what it seemed would happen.
But it never really did. It tried, but it tripped. It was a show of
moments without momentum. The start was great. The Beasties bounced across the stage like Jerry
Lewis-kangaroo mutations, slinkies on STP. Constant, nonstop
piston-pumping energy, bellowing out high-velocity versions of "Shake
Your Rump" and "Pass the Mic" while DJ Hurricane scratched out
body-blow background tracks, all bass boom and face slap. The Beasties
hit the edge of the stage and got directly into the faces of those
long-waiting watchers, slapping hands, dousing them with bottled
water. Then they stopped and put on their instruments and thrashed for awhile. There was a collective "Huh?"
Maybe some of that was from those unfamiliar with the band's new album
Check Your Head and its rap-mixed-by-Nuge direction, The Beastie
Boys actually playing. Perhaps some had heard the album and couldn't believe it was the same band. Whichever, things ground down.
No one said The Beastie Boys were ace players, and that's good because
they aren't. And when they get rolling, that lack of musicianship
doesn't matter. Hammering noise out of electronic instruments can in
and of itself be a good thing. There were some rugged yet dazzling
moments. But often as not it seemed a novelty that got in the way of the
groove. Just when the rap was right, the instruments came back, and
the mood was over. There were more than a few in the house expressing
The band played almost everything expected from its three albums,
License to Ill, Paul's Boutique and Check Your Head. At its
best, it was inspired lunacy, monstrous hip hop, words and rhymes and
rhythms flying like electric bats, brilliant sky diving interplay
without collision. "Finger Lickin' Good," "So Whatcha Want" and the
moody "Lighten Up" were genuine highlights. But in the end, it was an evening of arrested development. The one
song that might have pulled it all together, the expected anthem
encore, "(You've Got to) Fight For Your Right to Party," never
appeared. And by the end of the show, no one seemed to much care. Perhaps the Beasties ran out of time, perhaps they just don't like
that song anymore. Perhaps they haven't gotten around to learning how
to play it. They should.