Yesterday, we reported with much indifference that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had been tapped to fill in for the Beasties at this year's Lollapalooza. YYY fan or no, there's hardly a hipster in the country who wouldn't rather hear "Sounds of Science" than "Gold Lion."
But when it came time to cover the Beasties' spot at All Points West, the August festival taking place in Jersey City, the organizers did not fuck around. The Jigga Man himself will be commanding the mic and doing the work of 3 while MCA recouperates from his cancer touch.
Jay Z performing Oasis' "Wonderwall" at Glastonbury.
It's a phenomenal piece of clutch hitting, and one that makes some thematic sense. Swapping out the Beasties for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs alters the entire mood of the line-up--we've already made our value judgments, and won't clutter up this post with them now. But the difference between the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Beastie Boys is the difference a fire and a nuclear reactor. Wanting for another weak metaphor? If Lollapalooza is a cup of coffee, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are its spoonful of Splenda.
Jay Z, on the other hand? Magnifique. A crowd who has paid to see the Beastie Boys might be even more pleased to find Jay Z before them in all his monolithic glory. In any case, no one will be returning their tickets and demanding a refund of the cover price. We're not certain we can say the same for Lollapalooza.
There's a secondary monument here-- Jay Z's live activities have become not just rarer as the years elapse, but more elaborate and remarkable. Remember when he opened last year's Glastonbury with a sour rendition of "Wonderwall" to spite those pissy Gallagher brothers? It was a small, daring move that instantly turned thousands of detractors, who felt Jay Z had no business at the rock festival, into avid, cheery supporters.
It's no small turn about. And while the tickets still read Beastie Boys, and while they there before Jay Z in every sense of the word, Hova is not a bad substitute, to say the very least.