CONCERT REVIEW: Beastie Boys @ United Center Chicago, IL 11.4.04

Sorry for not posting this sooner, for those that might have been looking for my experience at a recent Beastie Boys concert. I’ve got multiple perspectives, as many people I know went. On to the concert…

I loved the idea that Beastie Boys are totally still alive and kicking. For some reason, this show was not sold out. I remember back in 1998 on the Hello Nasty tour, they were selling out shows in minutes. The Rosemont Horizon show was so packed and so high energy. I had concerns when I got to the United Center this time and easily got a parking spot, easily got a $7.00 beer, easily caught the tail end of Talib Kweli’s set. I definitely shouldn’t complain, as this did make my floor tickets that much more comfortable.

The Beastie Boys laid town plenty from their discography and spread out the coverage nicely, considering that they were touring in support of To the 5 Boroughs. I can definitely say that Mix Master Mike is so beyond amazing, it makes me feel funny inside.

The stage setup was cool. Mix Master Mike in center on an elevated platform. Beasties up front. Two video screens that rotated into various positions as the set raged on. Visually, the Beastie Boys were stunning, provided much more of a “show” this time as opposed to the past shows that they’ve performed. I thought the rotating stage (Hello Nasty tour) was one thing, but then I see Will Ferrell in “White House West”. I thought it was hilarious. It wasn’t all political B-Boys either. The lights and video screens showed awesome old school Atari game clips, funny old-school kung-fu videos, and anything else that the B-Boys would find cool.

After the original hip hop mini-set, Beastie Boys ran off stage and we got to witness some hot Mix Master Mike on turntable action in his second major solo of the night. Boom! Sabrosa starts and the sweet, backyard barbecue stage rotates around to front and center for the Beastie Boys instrumental mini-set featuring a full costume change. This was tight, closing it out with Something’s Got to Give, one of my personal favorites.

Costume change number two, and we’re back to the hip hop. We were treated to some good crowd favorites, including Shake Your Rump, Paul Revere, and Brass Monkey. They ended strong and ran off stage. When they came back with costume change number three, the band broke into Intergalactic behind the sound and light crew towards the back of the floor. Similar to what they were trying to accomplish in 1998 with the circular stage, they wanted to give the fans towards the back a more close and personal feel. Back up on stage front, they came back and ended the show with some full on band and backup band madness of Gratitude > Sabotage.

All in all, the show was hot. I don’t know that the Beastie Boys will continue to do what they do, but catch them while you can. They’re still performing with tons of energy and they definitely did not disappoint me.

Setlist (B-Boys Tour Blog):

Super Disco Breakin’
Root Down
Sure Shot
Triple Trouble
Time To Get Ill
Putting Shame in Your Game
Egg Man
Hello Brooklyn
Shake Your Rump
MMM Interlude
Lighten Up
Something’s Got to Give
An Open Letter to NYC
Body Movin’
Paul Revere
Right Right Now Now
3 MC’s and 1 DJ
Brass Monkey
Ch-Check it Out
So What’cha Want