and so a week after that fact [editor’s note: now two-and-a-half weeks], it’s a review of the beastie boys at the air canada centre; it’s also an experiment in blogging with all lower case letters. why? no good reason–just not feeling the “shift” key tonight.
i’d never seen the beasties before last week [editor’s note: two-and-a-half weeks]. i had tickets to their ill-fated co-headlining tour with rage against the machine back in 2000, and…well, we know what happened. other than that, i’d never really had a chance to see them. the beastie boys are hardly road warriors; in fact, the group’s recently concluded north american tour marked their first full-scale trek through the continent since 1998, when hello nasty was topping the charts. it was thus lack of opportunity, not lack of trying, that had kept me from seeing the beasties live.
all this changed last week [editor’s note: two-and-a-half weeks ago…and yes, i realize this is getting tired already]. was it worth the wait? yes, it was. it was an awesome concert. the best i’ve ever seen? not quite. worth the $66 i paid? almost. (i’m not sure it’s ever worth $66 to see a concert…well, unless messrs. vedder, townshend or springsteen are prominently involved.) in the end, however, i think the ultimate realization i came to as i was leaving the acc was this: when i get old, i wanna be mca. i mean, i’d settle for being ad-roc or mike d, the group’s two other two “funky-ass jews”, but…damn, if mca isn’t the coolest guy in the entire history of the world i don’t know what to believe in anymore. the man dominates the stage by his mere presence–helped, i’m sure, by an assortment of the greatest costumes ever known to an arena spectacle (adidas tracksuits, foam and mesh caps, the same light blue tux that jim wears in american pie). it doesn’t matter what those other two idiots are doing: as long as mca is central and rocking the sure shot, the beastie boys are going to be a commanding live show. i should also mention that mca sings/raps some of my favourite beastie boys lines (“the disrespect of women” line from “sure shot”, for instance, not to mention the unbeatable “shazaam and abracadabra!” shout-out in “ch-check it out”), a fact that no doubt redoubles his coolness in this kid’s mind. like i said, i wanna be mca. badly.
in the meantime, i’ll settle for being the quasi-fan who sits and watches mca and his cronies bust out some of the most essential rap songs of our lifetime. i’m still not convinced an arena is the place to see these guys live: our lack of floor seats (we were next to the stage, about twenty-six rows up) made it difficult for us to get into the show like i’m sure we wanted to, while the band’s proclivity for writing songs that sound an awful lot like one another is really accentuated in a live setting. still, when the setlist opens with “the move”, “root down” and “sure shot”, then builds to its glorious culmination with (among other songs) “3mcs and 1 dj”, “ch-check it out”, “so whatcha want?”, “intergalactic” and the show-ending, skull-crushing blast of “sabotage”, it’s very easy to forget your quibbles about the cost, about the nature of rap in a live venue, about the fact that ad-roc and mike d aren’t half as cool as mca and just enjoy the show. imagine that! seeing a concert and just enjoying it, rather than feeling obligated to treat it as a cerebral experience. the fact i’m hearing myself say these words seems to indicate some sort of growth–either that, or i’m just growing up.