Beastie Boys

Mike Mantin 07/12/2004

I used to think that the Beastie BOYS! Were just three white guys who rapped LOUDLY! And said the last word of their SENTENCES! Really loud on every single SONG!

Well, tonight proves that they're far more than that. In fact, for 25, we get three amazing bands in one. So, first we have the Beastie Boys everyone knows and loves: clad in GLC-style tracksuits, Beasties Version One play all the hits. That means a (thankfully) lyrically-altered Pass The Mic, a sped-up 3 MCs and One DJ and the classic Intergalactic, in which grey-haired MCA makes several seated punters swoon simply by brushing their hand. Rhymes are changed but not a verse is missed (quite a feat for a bunch of fast-talkin' 40-year-olds).

Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D bounce around the stage withoug losing a drop of energy, but the real star here is DJ Mixmaster Mike, who scratches and spins his vinyl to form the entire backing of the Beasties' back catalogue, even the songs which Mario C calls his own. Mike's costume-change turntabling interludes leave the audience mouths' agape. In them, he moves his hands at the speed of sound, fiddling with the knobs of the decks and even turning the vinyl over to scratch it. And all with a cheesy grin on his face. Miraculously, he proves that some DJs actually do deserve their money.

Beasties Version 2 are- bizarrely- a '50s jazz band. Wearing garish blue tuxedos, they kick out some trippy instrumental jams, including Something's Got To Give and three equally weird others. The backdrop is hundreds of lamps and a prom backdrop. Then they walk off again, and the audience wonder if they actually saw that.

The final incarnation of the Beasties is a full-on rock band, who please the crowd during the encore. They tear up Sabotage, a stone-cold hard-rock classic which holds up perfectly even without the hilarious Spike Jonze video. Guitars, drums and bass form a garage-rock group with no rapping in sight. They're three middle-aged men of many faces (and costumes), and it's incredible to see them still bearing that crucial sense of humour and fun that's so lacking in chart-clogging American rap.