Music Info Collections Misc
Gigography > InformationHome  
Gig Info:    
Date: 20 Aug 1987
Country: United States
City: New York, NY
Venue: Madison Square Garden

Other Bands/Artists at the Show:

  • Run-DMC
  • Davy D


Together Forever Tour

During Run-DMC's finale, Beastie Boys and a few dozen other rappers joined Run-DMC on stage to perform "Walk This Way."
1. No Sleep till Brooklyn
2. The New Style
3. Hold It Now, Hit It!
4. She's Crafty
5. Slow and Low
6. Paul Revere
7. Rhymin' and Stealin'
8. Posse in Effect
9. Time to Get Ill
10. Brass Monkey
11. Fight for Your Right
The New York Times, August 19, 1987
By Jon Pareles:

AIRPORT-STYLE metal detectors on the way into Madison Square Garden, and helmeted, club-wielding police officers on the way out, lent Monday's sold-out rap show by Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys the air of a concert in a prison. About 800 officers were on duty in and around the Garden, according to the Police Department. But inside the arena, it was clear that most people came to party--to dance, wave their arms and shout rhymes along with the rappers.

Rap delivers the rock-and-roll attitude--a celebration of ego and sexuality and youthful high spirits--in one of its purest forms, unmediated by any necessity to learn an instrument or write a melody. The music comes from a disk jockey, whose virtuosity in manipulating records is repeatedly praised during a show; the rappers, or M.C.'s, extol their own wit and put down any competition from "sucker M.C.'s," but imply that audience members could do the same thing. At a rap concert, the kick comes from the shared feeling that everyone can be a star. It's not that easy, of course--solid writing and punchy delivery are what made Run-D.M.C. multimillion-sellers--but rap's message is utterly egalitarian.

Run-D.M.C. have reached beyond rap's core black audience by rapping at half-speed, using a stomping, unsyncopated beat and adding hard-rock electric guitar riffs to electronic rhythms. They chant about their prowess as rhymers, about the details of their lives and, in raps like the Coasters-flavored "You Be Illin'," about the pratfalls of urban existence, like asking for a Big Mac at a Kentucky Fried Chicken stand.

Dressed in black, sporting thick gold chains and their trademark black hats, Run (Joey Simmons) and D.M.C. (Daryll McDaniels), with the disk jockey Jam Master Jay Mizell, stalked the stage, shouting words to finish one another's lines and bantering between raps as if they were on a street corner. The message of the show is pure self-aggrandizement--it takes at least five minutes to get the three band members on stage, after their names are stuttered out from Jam Master Jay's turntables--but with the audience shouting along, that self-aggrandizement turns into triumphant self-affirmation.

Run-D.M.C. insist on positive messages; at one point, D.M.C. shouted "Check this out! Go to school--stay away from drugs!" The Beastie Boys, three white rappers who borrowed Run-D.M.C.'s cadences as well as their amalgam of hard-rock and funk, are bad attitude incarnate. They present themselves as slapstick hooligans, determined to offend tender sensibilities and often succeeding. Their songs are about getting drunk and rowdy and horny, about hanging out with lowlife characters, and about sassing authority figures, particularly parents and teachers.

Shouting the raps from their album Licensed to Ill, and often substituting profanity for raunchiness, the Beastie Boys shambled around the stage, climbing around various platforms as two women danced in cages. At one point, they brought a nerdy character in suspenders on stage to douse him in beer; for the remainder of the set, they slid in the puddles. And during "(You've Got to) Fight for Your Right (to Party)," they chased a working photographer across the stage. As foul-mouthed vaudeville, it was good, rude fun.

Davy D.M.X. Reeves, a disk jockey, opened the show with some fast-handed "scratching"--manipulating records to make percussive tones and rhythms--and sang the evening's only song with a melody, to meager response. For the finale, the Beastie Boys and a few dozen other rappers and guests joined Run-D.M.C. on stage for their remake of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way." With that, the crowd dispersed peaceably into the cordon of police.

"The media said tonight's Beastie Boys and Run-D.M.C. show was going to have some kind of racial tension," Mr. Simmons had noted from the stage. "But I see white and black out there, and ain't nobody fighting." One altercation, between the opening sets, was quelled without property damage or arrests, according to spokesmen for the arena and the Police Department. The other nonmusical excitement in the arena occurred when autograph-seekers swarmed around Mike Tyson, the boxer, who eventually retreated backstage. Outside, there were eight arrests for grand larceny and four for robbery--a "very, very low" number for a crowd of 20,000 people, said Sgt. John Clifford, a police spokesman.