We've seen the Beastie Boys many times in many locations over many years: at a raging Oakland Colesium Arena when rumors of parking lot stabbings were passed among the crowd, in Melbourne during the vintage sci-fi Hello Nasty tour, upfront for an all hip-hop set in a ski lodge during the Sundance Film Festival, and so on. Last Monday's show at LA's Greek Theater reminded us mostly of the first time we saw them, in the open air during Lollapalooza ’94 as they easily outshined headliners the Smashing Pumpkins. Their recent low-key, instrumental release The Mix-Up has allowed them to play personality-filled venues like the Greek and Brooklyn's McCarren Pool this summer rather than ancient concrete beasts like The Forum, and the trio now seems comfortable digging up previously off-limits cuts like "Brass Monkey" and putting them up against relative newbies like "Triple Trouble." On Monday night they were in fond memories mode, pointing out that the venue wasn't far from their former G-Son Studios in Atwater Village and then former percussionist, and current Cypress Hill doobie brother, Eric Bobo dropped in for "Son of Neckbone." Mixmaster Mike's inclusions of other rapstrumentals continues to enliven staples like "Rootdown" and "Sure Shot," but some of his blends date back to ’99. "Pass The Mic" sounded rad over "Walk It Out," and it would have been nice to hear more combos like that. Still, the vibe of the show recalled the name of a mid-’90s live bootleg we can't get rid off: Goofin' Around.
Live: The Beastie Boys, Los Angeles
August 22, 2007