Years ago I saw the Beastie Boys at Lollapalooza, here in New York City. Oh, it was the heyday of alt rock and I was flying my flannel and living the indie lifestyle. The crowd for the Beasties was, sadly, filled with jocks and boneheads, and the whole field at Randall’s Island turned into this really unpleasant pit. Don’t get me wrong – I used to get my mosh on. If you ever meet me, ask me about the time David Yow nailed me in the head with his mic at a Jesus Lizard show (or don’t, I just told you most of it). But the pit that evening was the worst kind, filled with football players who didn’t normally mosh and just used it as an excuse to punch people.
So I was there with this group of girls (being a pimp daddy) and they met up with other girls and then a bunch of us guys formed a ring around them, where they could mosh happily without having Neanderthals use the pit as an excuse to grab their tits. We had to keep ejecting fools from the mini-pit, and one of them must have gotten pretty pissed off, because he hit me over the head with a beer bottle.
It dropped me to my knees. Really hurt. A bunch. Somehow I avoided more than just a bump on the head, but I have to admit that ever since then, I was a little wary of Beastie Boys shows. (I would only see them one more time, at the Tibetan Freedom Concert, and that was much more chill)
Now I can watch the Beasties from the relative bottle-free comfort of a movie theater, though, as they are putting out a concert film, Awesome: I Fuckin’ Shot That. It’s directed by noted cinematic genius Nathaniel Hornblower (best known for his seminal cop drama, Sabotage), and it was shot by 50 people at a Beasties concert in Madison Square Garden last year. What happened is that the band handed out 50 cameras to concertgoers, who filmed what they saw. That footage has been put into this one of a kind concert film.
The Beastie Boys may be my generation’s Rolling Stones – ie, maybe they should have packed it in some time ago – but like the Stones, even when their albums aren’t all that (number of times I have listened to To the 5 Boroughs: Less than the integer in the album’s title), the Beasties put on a great, and energetic live show.
Awesome: I Fuckin’ Shot That has just been completed, and it’s just been acquired by THINKFilm, who will release it in Spring of 2006, after playing it in a lot of festivals. They’ll also be handling the DVD, which they say will be filled to the brim with cool stuff much like the Criterion Collection video anthology the Beastie Boys put out in 2000, including multiple audio streams and viewing angles.