The Beastie Boys Give it Another Try

Oct. 13, 2008
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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 indisputableafter a slight glimmer of hope caused by some voting irregularities in Ohiothat George W. Bush had won the election.

It was a victory that stung Beastie Boys particularly hard, given the bands active role in the election cycle. Theyd been big John Kerry supporters and unusually vocal in their critiques of Bushthey 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 Obamas ever-cementing lead in the pollsand his whooping 17-point advantage in Wisconsinthis time around the group may have something to celebrate.

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