Beastie Boys / Talib Kweli

Air Canada Centre, Toronto ON — November 8, 2004

BY Noel DixPublished Dec 1, 2004

Kweli had just dropped hip-hop knowledge on the heads of thousands of white kids when he asked, "how many of you were born in the '70s?" A small cheer was heard amongst the half-empty stadium before Kweli enquired, "how many of you were born in the '80s?" That's when you knew there was a new generation of Beastie Boys fans in the mix. Kweli's performance was tight, though he seemed completely out of place on a massive stage with a single DJ, weaving words together that sailed over many heads. Beastie Boys tend to attract tons of fans that don't follow hip-hop outside of the aging Jewish trio. So the half-assed crowd made no mistake in expressing who they were there to see when a live feed of Mix Master Mike being wheeled to the stage came on. After dropping a mind-numbing routine, the Beastie Boys rushed the stage and the place went bananas. Even though MCA seemed a little winded, the Beastie Boys can still deliver massive energy through their rhymes and intertwining dance formations. It's been ten years since Ill Communication and a lot has changed with their sound, presence and concert tricks. With their last two records, the Boys have jumped all over an electronic-heavy production, which suits Mix Master Mike. The former Skratch Pikl tore up new joints and classics, tending to flip the break beat each chorus and confuse the MCs, but when the change-ups work, you get to hear Ad Rock belt out explosive rhymes over the 45 King's "900 Number." The Beastie Boys can still put on a show, and when they bust into "So What'cha Want" and "Shake Your Rump" there's no denying how amazing this crew is, but it's not the same as ten years ago. That climactic high they rode then as they continually broke ground has ended, and being M.I.A. for six years made this feel like a comeback show, but at least it was a good one.

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