Rockin' the sureshot.
As the first headline act at the first night of the Connect Festival, there was a lot of expectations riding on the Beastie Boys shoulders but you don't become legends without handling responsibilities. From the party boys that shocked and outraged Britain on their first visit to the arena filling, peace loving statesmen of recent times, the Beastie Boys have always been big news.
There was also some big hair on show as well as the immaculately dressed trio started to show why they were the perfect headliners. The stage banter had the crowd wrapped around their fingers, in particular Mike D's calling out of the Duke of Argyll and informing the crowd that Inverary Castle, which was on the festival site was in fact his house. During the day there were fears at the small size of the crowd at the festival but by the time the B Boys were rocking the place, the crowd seemed to stretch back pretty far and they were in a great mood. The weather may have been wet and damp (theres no summer like a Scottish summer) but the band transcended that.
The bands latest album is a collection of instrumental tracks and there had been a few concerns that the evening would feature a whole raft of instrumental numbers. These concerns were unfounded as the recent tracks were few in number and the ones that were played were rather good and certainly all quite funky. Which should come as no surprise from the act who have proclaimed that "everything they do is funky like Lee Dorsey."
And when you have the word funky, an obvious rhyme to that is monkey and older fans of the group were delighted to have 'Brass Monkey' included in the set, a simple number that managed to get a lot of bouncing going on down the front of the stage, as the crowd followed the bands lead who were leaping as though their lives depended on it.
With the old school satisfied with this and a roaring version of 'No Sleep Till Brooklyn', the act managed to show they have the lyrical skills to play the bills with songs that showcased their rapping and lyrical prowess like 'Sureshot', 'Intergalactic' and 'So Watcha Want.' Their back catalogue allows extensive pilfering from different records and as these three tracks came from different albums, there was something for every age of Beastie Boys fan who was watching.
One track that manages to pull everyone together though is 'Sabotage.' Probably as well known for its funny as the song itself, it remains a musical tour-de-force where every element plays a strong part in the tracks success. The drums are hit ferociously and drive the track and the sliding bass-run that features intermittently builds the tension nicely. After that, the pause before the repeating shouts of "Listen of y'all it's a sabotage" brings the song, and the night, to a messy, yet glorious climax and gave the Connect Festival its first ever legendary set.