We rolled with DJ Ayres out to Randall's Island on Saturday morning to check out Amsterjam, which billed itself as the "biggest mash-up concert ever" but was really just a much less Altamont-y version of Woodstock '99: rap, rock, rap-rock, shirtless bros, Dr Seuss hats, etc. Jamtastic!
Ayres was DJing party classics and his own remixes in the "MSN Mash-up Tent", which was nowhere as terrible as it's name would lead you to believe. Diplo, Princess Superstar (rolling with a party patrol that was like fifteen deep!), DJ P, and the always-entertaining Matt and Fancy of Fannypack also did their thing, while hip-hop legend Grandmaster Caz of Cold Crush MCed throughout. "You are now rocking with DJ AYRES!" Indeed we were.
But we didn't hit Randall's Island at an ungodly hour to hear records, we were there for the LIVE MASH-UPS!!! promised us by German brewmasters! Fat Joe kicked off the day's performances, running through Terror Squad hits, sweating profusely, and making some puzzling shout-outs to the crowd ("Where's New Jersey at? Where's Connecticut at? Make some noise! This is why the terrorists hate us, because we crazy." - WHAT?!?) before bringing reggaeton hero Hector "El Bambino" out for a guest verse - no wait, a LIVE MASH-UP!!! - on "Lean Back".
Following Hector's solo set, Garbage hit the stage and ran through a set of alt-rock radio classics and new joints we admittedly are not that into. But Shirley and Butch and 'em seemed to understand the LIVE MASH-UP!!! concept the best of everyone, bringing out Peaches to lend her teaches to seamless live band blends of their respective tracks. "You came to see a rock show? A big gigantic cock show?" Um, I guess we did, sorta.
Walking around the festival grounds, it became really easy to crack wise about a crowd who, questionable fashion choices aside, was obviously enjoying themselves. But seriously, dudes and girl dudes, has this become what people "do" at concerts now? Did you really need to break out the hacky sacks and "Oh My God, They Killed Kenny!" t-shirts? Novelty tees were really outdoing themselves Saturday, from a particularly classy "Colonics Suck Ass" tanktop to the Star Wars-themed "OBGYN Kenobi" joint we saw a not-so-young man wearing at the wings stand.
The time-warp merch situation was almost too much to take - the very same phallic Tool logos and Sublime sun tattoos that were being sold at concerts a decade ago were out in full force at the car window sticker booth. There WERE some recent additions, however:
We had to bounce before the sun went down, missing the sure-to-be-epic 311/Wyclef pairing, but there will surely be LIVE MASH-UPS!!! for another day. And as long as our man Hutz can continue to get some dough out of it (GB was one of the side-stage performers), all is good in the world.