A friend of mine named Brian from the radio station where I DJ'd in college went with me to Cincinnati for this concert. We didn't see much of Basehead because we weren't really interested in them and came in about halfway through their set. I remember Mike Watt was sitting at some tables in the back of the club handing out a little flyer with a list of cover songs they would play in their set and challenging people to name the original artist. This was right after the release of their Live Totem Pole EP which had covers of Superchunk's "Slack Motherfucker" and Public Enemy's "Sophisticated Bitch". Of course he soon retired backstage and out came fIREHOSE. It was about what I expected of them, solid but mostly uninspiring. It was interesting toward the end of the set when Mike D, MCA, and AdRock came out to sit in for the last couple of songs of the set and play drums, bass, and guitar respectively for a big inter-band jam session.
For the Beastie Boys set I was amped and they didn't disappoint. It'd been six years since I'd seen them as a teenager and their new Check Your Head album was their first foray into playing their own instruments. The set was mixed with sections of song that were all mic controllin' and crotch grabbin' and then other sections of songs they would play their instruments
while performing. It wasn't the juvenile subversiveness of their earlier concert, but it was still very high energy and I loved every single minute of it. One neat thing that happened during the show, the Boys asked if someone was there (Mike I think it was). He was and the crowd helped body surf him to the stage where he got up there. Turns out he was the voice on
the phone-machine recording that appears on the album about only be interested "in the b-boys so you can kiss my ass." Over the years I've tried to bring myself to go see them again, but with their increasing status as pop icons I can't muster the courage to see them in an arena setting. After seeing them twice, in their prime, in relatively small, general admission venues, I know I'd just be disappointed. Maybe if they ever mount another tour, I'll make myself go.