Fan-shot Beastie documentary delivers

Believe it or not, the Beasties rocked Tampa on Thursday night.

That’s right, nearly 70 people came out to see An Awesome night with Beastie Boys, a Nathanial Hörnblowér (that’s another story) production of the Beastie Boys’ performance at Madison Square Garden in 2004.

There are many pseudonyms in the preceding sentence. For one, the title of the show was a cleaned up version of Awesome; I F—in’ Shot That!, the real title of the Beastie flick. The second is the name of the director, normally a moniker MCA (that’s Adam Yauch, for the philistines) uses when he directs his band’s music videos. This particular makes it clear why the entire concert views like an extra long video – a cool, stylized, extremely well pieced-together video encrusted with clashing aftereffects.

Awesome is an hour and a half packed with what the boys are known for: obscenity, energy, sick beats and above all, pure white-boy rap. Though in a year all the Beasties will be over 40, they don’t let their age show as they let their rhymes loose on the audience.

In true Beastie fashion, the MC trio of middle-class Jewish kids turned world-renowned rappers rock the stage in matching green tracksuits to open the show. Spouting hits such as “Paul Revere” and “Sure Shot,” the Beasties don’t drop a note and the integrated views from all parts of the audience show them like all fans want to see them: snapping lyrics back and forth, making music and not dragging politics into their work … too much.

In a cameo on-stage appearance, Doug E. Fresh aids the boys with his beatboxing skills.

In a highly musical interlude, the band trades in the DJ booth – and with it, Mix Master Mike – for powder blue velvet tuxedos and a stage area that looks like a river float, with Chinese lamps and a mid-’70s funk sound reminiscent of Shaft.

The concert, shot mainly by audience members equipped with Hi-8 cameras, was introduced by a brief foreword, if you will, from the director. Dressed up in lederhosen, a bright red, curly wig and equipped with cross country skis, Nathanial (here brought to us by David Cross of standup and Mr. Show fame) walks the streets of New York City, acting strange and creeping out most pedestrians. As a native of Switzerland, his love for yodeling, mixing French and German and tasting chocolates is clearly understandable, though his speech, actions and reasoning may not be.

Filmed in part by MCA, The Day in the Life of Nathanial Hörnblowér gives us Cross at his finest, while others around him (including Ad-Rock) fail to keep a straight face.

Probably the greatest treat in this film is for those who actually shot the footage, the 50 lucky kids who got their hands on one of those precious cameras. And for them, once they get their hands on this DVD, the greatest part of the whole experience will be saying Awesome; I F***in’ Shot That!

The film is slated to open nationwide in April.