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Hip-hoppers get funky
for Gala Event

Beastie Boys
Riviera Theatre
Chicago, IL
Sept. 26, 2007
Beastie Boys Beastie Boys Beastie Boys

Review and photos by Tony Bonyata

After witnessing the Beastie Boys' special Gala Event in Chicago last Wednesday it seemed like a lifetime since the only thing these three NYC mooks wanted to do was 'fight for their right to party.' While Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D and their touring entourage of keyboardist, percussionist and longtime DJ, Mixmaster Mike, also had a second show of their bigger hip-hop tunes and well-known hits scheduled at the Northerly Island Pavilion in town the following night, their Gala Event was not only in a smaller, more intimate club, but the music that they chose to perform culled deep into their back catalogue and, as stated in their press release, was hand-picked for fans who are into their weirder stuff.

Weird or not, their sprawling thirty-song set list weighed heavily on instrumental deep-cuts from their two albums Check Your Head (1992) and Ill Communication (1994), while also touching on punk ("Time For Livin'," "Tough Guy" and "Heart Attack Man"), free-from psychedelia ("Shambala") and their own signature brand of hip-hop ("Sure Shot," Jimmy James" and the delicious deep groove of "Do It").

But more than other genre this particular B-Boys show was oozing with greasy funk with light jazz influences that sounded as if Bootsy Collins was scoring the soundtrack to a '70s porn flick. Songs such as the jazzy organ-led "Groove Holmes," "Ricky's Theme," "Pow," "Lighten Up," along with the finger-licking good "Sabrosa" and "In 3's" showcased a decidedly more mature threesome of hip-hoppers as accomplished musicians - with Ad Rock on guitar, Mike D on drums and MCA handling bass duties for the majority of the evening.

As engaging as the musicians were onstage, however, the audience made this event even more special as the B-Boys encouraged audience members to dress up in suits and gowns on their website and pre-show promotions. And dress up they did, as many in attendance were dolled up to-the-nines in suits, tuxes, fancy dresses, feather boas and even the occasional lab coat and fake mustache (in honor of Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty Tour stage wear and "Sabatoge" video, respectively).

Despite the maturity of both the event and the music itself, the B-Boys, who are all in their early 40s, still displayed a youthful exuberance and energy through favorites such as "Remote Control," "Sabotage," "So What'cha Want" and especially "Three MCs & One DJ," where these three lovable bozos rapped and monkeyed across the stage like there was still no sleep 'til Brooklyn.
Beastie Boys Sep. 26th set list from Chicago's Riviera Theatre:
Son of Neckbone
Groove Holmes
Jimmy James
Suco De Tangerine
Live at P.J.'s
Futterman's Rule
Time For Livin'
Remote Control
Electric Worm
Do It
14th Street Break
Ricky's Theme
In 3'S
Egg Raid
The Gala Event
Root Down / Get It Together Mark On The Bus
B For My Name
Lighten Up
Tough Guy
The Maestro
Heart Attack Man
So What'cha Want
Sure Shot (encore)
Three MCs And One DJ (encore)
Sabotage (encore)
Beastie Boys Beastie Boys Beastie Boys

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