Wembley Arena November 2004
The multitude of talent that the Beastie Boys have is such, that as a group they have swayed from a golden era rap style to punk and rock leanings, and then to a mixture of the two, gathering a variety of fans, evident last night at London's Wembley Arena which saw a crowd of extremes, from die hard followers dressed up as the three in shades and sideburns, to straight forward pogo jumping mosh pitters. Regardless of inclination, a good time was had by all, as 24 very recognisable and popular tracks were performed ranging from Licensed To Ill gems such as Paul Revere to To The 5 Borough's tracks like Triple Trouble and Open Letter to NYC.
The energy was as high as you'd imagine their first shows some twenty years ago would have been, with some great stage lighting and video screen footage putting the finishing touches to what was overall, an extremely impressive live production. Ad-rock, MCA and Mike D who all consistently put energy into the performance, were backed up by the impressive Mix Master Mike on decks, gaining the biggest roars from the crowds as they performed Intergalactic and Sabotage. A welcomed opportunity to catch breathe came mid show as the boys took to their instruments for the tracks Sabrosa and Lighten Up. This was a simple demonstration of their versatile and diverse nature.
Perhaps the only disappointment of the night was the lack of care the audience demonstrated for support act Talib Kweli, who did a solid one hour set of old and new material, putting his all into livening up the sea of static faces which barely responded. Perhaps understandable as they were waiting for one of the most entertaining and enjoyable groups that hip-hop has ever seen. Most probably the hip-hop show of the year.