Red Hot Chili Peppers said it that Friday's (May 4) New York-area show was dedicated to Beastie Boy Adam "MCA" Yauch, who died earlier in the day after a three-year battle with cancer and who had famously called New York home.
"We lost a good man today," Kiedis, sporting a green shirt with 'MCA' hand-scrawled in black, said a few songs into the gig at Newark, N.J.'s Prudential Arena. "He left the world a lot of beauty. I hope you carry that flame. Adam was for real."
The Peppers and Beastie Boys were both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March, though Yauch wasn't well enough to attend (the ceremony airs on HBO tonight at 9 p.m. ET). But the friendship between the two bands extends back decades. RHCP played two of the Yauch-organized Tibetan Freedom Concerts, in 1996 and 1998.
The RHCP fans in the Newark crowd last night also clearly counted themselves Beasties fans as cheers erupted both times RHCP offered up instrumental Beastie Boys covers amid the roaring set of RHCP favorites. Both the Beastie's 1992's "Gratitude," which Flea played as a fierce bass solo toward the beginning of the show, and an instantly recognized, full-band but vocal-less take on 1992's "What'cha Want," played toward the end, paid tribute in more than words.
Flea didn't just let his bass do the talking, however. "I love that man," he said of Yauch, simply.
With "Give It Away" played, the band having said their goodbyes, and the house lights up, the P.A. kicked in with the Beastie's 1986 hit, "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)," which instantly elicited a singalong from the exiting audience.
In other Yauch tribute news...
[NME.com] Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon has paid tribute to Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch and said he was a "great rapper and lyricist". The bassist has shared her memories of Yauch, who passed away on Friday (May 4) after a three-year battle with cancer, with NME and hailed the rapper's lyrics.
She said, "He told me once that he really liked the lyrics to 'Bull In The Heather'. It surprised me that he had even listened to it. It meant a lot to me that he went out of his way to tell me that, coming from such a great rapper and lyricist."
Gordon also spoke about the time her and Yauch wandered the streets of Tokyo with her 6 month old baby daughter Coco, and said his death was a "hugely sad moment". She added, "Yauch seemed happy to hang out with me and Coco as we wandered around Tokyo, which was unusual because no one else had babies at that point. Everyone else was busy taking advantage of their precious time in Tokyo."
Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of the preaortic gland and lymph node in July 2009 and had been fighting the disease ever since.
In 1979, Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike "Mike D" Diamond, who he met at school, and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz. After starting out as a punk group inspired by Black Flag, the trio soon began experimenting with hip-hop.
The release of their first full album 'Licensed To Ill' in 1986 broke them into the mainstream by becoming the the first hip-hop album to top the Billboard album chart. In total, the band released eight albums including 'Paul's Boutique', 'Check Your Head' and 'Ill Communication'.
The group's last album, 'Hot Sauce Committee Part Two', was released last year. It was originally planned for release in 2009 but was delayed after Yauch's diagnosis. Adam Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wengdu, and their daughter Tenzin Losel.