Toronto’s ACC was packed to the brim with people of all ages, ready to check out the Beasties.
After a stripped-down set by Talib Kweli, The Beastie Boys touched down.
Wearing old school uniforms (Mike D rocking archetypal Cazal shades) and hysterically oversized mesh caps, the B-Boys kicked an opening set that never seemed to quit. As bizarre images and camera shots of Mike, Adam and Adam floated around on massive screens, the three were in constant motion, seeming to tag each other as they traded verses. After about 15 minutes of this, they took a moment to catch their breath and say what’s up.
The Beastie Boys could do no wrong; even something as basic as Mike D going, “Is Toronto in the house?” was enough to crack the crowd of thousands up. One very funny moment was when Mike said “I feel like dancin’ tonight!” during what was a typically-Beastie improvised banter-session. Also uproarious was the unexpected Will Ferrell-as-George W. Bush cameo (not in person unfortunately, it was shown on the screens).
After kicking out a good percentage of their catalogue – including “Super Disco Breakin'” “Root Down” and “Body Movin'” – the B-Boys left the stage while MuchMusic VJ Jen Hollett and her all-female dance crew came out to entertain the audience. A humorous video montage of fans making requests before the show followed the dancing set.
Thankfully, Mike D, MCA and Ad Rock quickly came back and brought things home with a few tracks off To The 5 Boroughs including, “An Open Letter To NYC” and “Triple Trouble.”
The Beastie Boys worked the crowd into a frenzy when they ran off to a smaller stage at the venue’s opposite end. As the group made their way to the other stage several fans followed, hoping to get within touching-distance while the band kicked an impassioned rendition of “Intergalactic.”
Finally, simply and refreshingly, without much overwrought editorializing on the political situation they’ll be returning to after the tour ends, they grabbed their guitars and drumsticks and with much venom, Ad Rock said “This next song is dedicated to George W. Bush, the President Of The United States,” and they blared into an extra angry “Sabotage.”
And then it was over. Giddy fans spilled out of the place and into a much duller reality.