With the new Spike Jonze directed film Beastie Boys Story due to arrive in cinemas on April 3rd, we thought we’d look back a bittersweet moment as the Beastie Boys deliver a fiery performance of ‘Sabotage’ during their very last performance.
The video below captures a moment of pure bliss between childhood friends who just so happened to be part of one of the biggest acts in modern music. The group had the bit between their teeth with a brand new record Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 on the horizon, and a spot at Bonnaroo festival waiting to fight for its right to party.
On the 15th of September, the band delivered a 24 song set chock full of reasons to remember Beastie Boys. With hits from across their decades in the business, the band delivers everything from 1982 deep cut ‘Egg Raid on Mojo’ to ‘No Sleep Til Brooklyn’ all the way through to a new number, ‘Too Many Rappers’ which even featured a cameo from Nas. The set concluded with a raucous performance of ‘Sabotage’.
Horovitz, taking the mic, stumbles with the rest of the band as they try to gather themselves, “As you can see, there is no tape, there is no iPod. This is live music, y’all,” says Horovitz. It’s a trademark stumble that is fitting for the band who were born out of the DIY ethos “We tend to mess up a lot, because we just play live music up there, and we tend to wing it a lot,” Yauch said.
Explaining the stuttering performance at Bonnaroo, “And I think it might have been some mess up with the monitors; there’s a part in the middle of the song where I come in and play a bass break by myself, and then Mike comes in, and I think Mike couldn’t hear what I was playing, because his monitors were messed up, so I think he came in wrong, against what I was doing, and then we had to figure it out, put it back together somehow.”
They power through the issues and deliver a fiery performance of their most iconic song. It’s a fitting end to the Beastie Boys live show career as, only a month later, Adam Yauch (MCA), Adam Horovitz (Ad Rock), and Mike Diamond (Mike D) would be sharing the news that Yauch was battling salivary gland cancer and the album and subsequent tour would have to be postponed.
“I just need to take a little time to get this in check, and then we’ll release the record and play some shows,” Yauch said in a statement. “It’s a pain in the neck (sorry had to say it) because I was really looking forward to playing these shows, but the doctors have made it clear that this is not the kind of thing that can be put aside to deal with later.”
The album would be refurbished and released as Hot Sauce Committee Part Two in 2011 with aggressive cancer attacking far more seriously than first hoped. Yauch would sadly pass away in 2012, at the young age of 47 leaving the trio as a double act. It’s an idea the surviving Beastie Boys don’t like too much and confirms that this would be the last performance the Beastie Boys would ever give.