Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

The Beastie Boys Give it Another Try

By Evan Rytlewski
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Last time I saw the Beastie Boys was Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2004. I remember the date because that was one day after the 2004 presidential election, and the day it became quickly indisputable—after a slight glimmer of hope caused by some voting irregularities in Ohio—that George W. Bush had won the election.

It was a victory that stung Beastie Boys particularly hard, given the band’s active role in the election cycle. They’d been big John Kerry supporters and unusually vocal in their critiques of Bush—they event released their first completely political song, “In a World Gone Mad,” about Bush's Iraq war the year before. They were professional about it, though. After very briefly acknowledging the disappointing returns, they launched into a festive, mostly apolitical set intended to distract the audience from their woes.  “George Bush is not invited to this party,” they said, leaving it at that. (A pre-recorded Will Ferrell-as-Bush video skit provided additional levity later in the set, but the band let the video's commentary speak for itself.)

This year the Beasties are taking another stab at politics with a “Swing State Awareness Tour,” which stops at the U.S. Cellular Arena on Sunday, Nov. 2 for a show also featuring Ben Harper, Crosby & Nash and Tenacious D. They must know better by now than to count their chickens before they're hatched, but given Barack Obama’s ever-cementing lead in the polls—and his whooping 17-point advantage in Wisconsin—this time around the group may have something to celebrate.

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