So the big day had finally arrived. After 6 or 7 long years of hoping, dreaming, and dare I say praying? I was on my way to see the Beastie Boys live in concert for my very first time. To sweeten the deal even more, the show would take place at The Concert Hall a.k.a. The Masonic Temple....and as if that wasn't enough, my boy Mike C had gotten his hands on some blotters called "Red Rockets" I had never been this pumped up for a show before in my life. I couldn't even begin to describe the feeling, but as we rolled down to the city in Derek's van you couldn't deny the magical energies and auras surrounding us. We had the tunes cranking, beers cracking, an rolling fingers were in motion.
We finally arrived, parked about a block away, and proceeded on foot to the show. There was a huge line up outside, most of which seemed to be compiled by loud, douchie jock type kids who had probably never even heard the Beasties prior to check your head. I was already perturbed, but there was no way I was going to let this ruin my night. The opening act was the legendary band Firehose, who I was never personally a fan of, but they held their own and gave forth a solid performance. I took this time to go pick myself up a concert tour shirt, that I surprisingly still own to this very day.
The Beasties finally hit the stage and the place went crazy. They opened up with "Jimmy James" the first song off their new album. Pun intended. If you don't get the pun, perhaps you should go listen to the song. The boys energy was off the charts, and they had the entire crowd in the palm of their hands. 3 songs in, the lights went dim for a few minutes. When our vision was restored, the boys were on stage toting instruments, and they broke into some of their new songs. This was the first time the Beasties had songs on their album that were comprised of them playing actual instruments. It was incredibly amazing to see them actually playing said songs. Another 3 songs later, the lights dimmed, then brightened, and the boys were back on the mics. They ended up repeating this process for the entire set, banging out all the new material as well as the classics. The highlight of the show for me was when they played "Hello Brooklyn" my all time favorite song that I never suspected they were going to play. It was a pleasant surprise and it felt like it was just for me. I was going bonkers long before they busted it out, in my own world grooving and singing along to every lyric at the top of my lungs.
Another highlight of the night was when they played "Paul Revere" the boys didn't even spit one word of the lyrics. They simply held the mics into the crowd, and the entire audience sang the song. It was quite magical. I forgot to mention the fact that Mike C. was bootlegging the show. He had a small, hand held tape recorder. I told Mike previously to be "low key" about it, but at some point after the LSD kicked in, I noticed Mike a few feet in front of me in the pit. He was jumping and dancing around like a madman holding the tape recorder straight up in the air. A few minutes later I noticed security guards confronting him, and our dreams were crushed as they confiscated the tape recorder.
On top of the bootlegging, we had one other mission that night: get a Grasshopper demo to the hands of the Beastie Boys. I had one in my pocket the whole night just waiting for the perfect opportunity. At one point I managed to writhe and wriggle my way to the front of the stage, so I grabbed the demo tape from my pocket and tossed it on the stage. It landed right at the feet of MCA, who picked it up, glanced at it, smiled, and then handed it to one of his entourage at the side of the stage. Mission accomplished.
I also had a very large 3 paper joint on my person. I had planned to smoke it with the crew, but we all seemed to be doing our own thing and we all had our own agendas. I think it's safe to say the acid had something to do with that. When the Beasties started playing the song "Lighten Up" it seemed like a cue to light up....so I did. None of my friends were in sight, so I just puffed away on this tampon sized doobie. I started noticing people around me starting to stare at me with puppy dog eyes, in hopes of having a hoot, but my gaze was locked on the stage and I paid them no attention. I was definitely in my own world despite being surrounded by a sea of people. I had tunnel vision kicking, and in my world it was just me and the Beastie Boys.
Once the show was over we regrouped outside and headed home. We all shared our stories and experiences, we went over the set list, and we mourned the loss of our bootleg. I'd been to quite a few concerts prior to this one, and I'd go on to attend countless concerts after this one. To this very day I can still say without question that this was the greatest and most important concert of my life. It was the equivalent of accomplishing something great or fulfilling a childhood dream, and nobody can ever take that away from me...