I suppose this one is a bit of a cheat.
When you can’t find tickets for other gigs which have much more interesting stories but you do turn one up for the same artist, can you legitimately tell the better tales?
You can if it’s your blog!
There I was unpacking a crate when what should fall out but this gem from 20 years ago – the wonderful Beastie Boys at Manchester Arena.
In the interests of completeness the special guests mentioned were Bentley Rhythm Ace and the Jungle Brothers – how exciting is that?
The Beastie Boys were playing in the round and occupied a stage in the centre of the hall with me and regular Tony having great seats to see them at reasonably close quarters.
They were fantastic, coming off the success of Hello Nasty which had been released the previous year, and threw everything but the kitchen sink into a performance that was like seeing three mates clamber on stage and create a riot from some instruments they found.
And, talking of riots, here’s where I get to digress.
Rewinding some 12 years I had been lucky enough to get tickets for the Beasties’ show at Brixton Academy courtesy of my friend Martin where they were supporting Run DMC and also for the Royal Court in Liverpool where they would headline.
Brixton was extraordinary. One of those gigs where you can’t believe you were really there. At one point I was stood next to Mick Jones from The Clash and his incredibly cool-looking posse.
Even approaching the venue was staggeringly exciting as the Tube station was packed with fans wearing stolen car badges on chains as popularised by the three bad brothers we now knew so well.
The Beasties had all the props that characterised their early frat-boy style with dancing girls in cages and a giant, hydraulic penis supplementing their set drawn from Licensed to Ill.
I returned North full of tales of just how good they had been but, all the while, a media storm was brewing around these ‘bad boys of rap’ and their alleged abusive behaviour.
By the time the Liverpool gig came round they were most definitely public enemy numbers one, two and three and the mood in the Royal Court fully reflected this.
Many in the audience seemed to only be there to ‘get’ the Beasties and as soon as they stepped on stage they were met with a barrage of bottles and cans.
After a couple of songs they declared that if it continued they would be off which only served to provoke a further fusillade from the stalls.
But what really tipped the balance was when one can got belted back by Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horowitz and hit a girl which sent the crowd into full-on riot mode.
They had been on stage for just over 10 minutes.
Next thing, there was tear gas in the air and the police were already on the scene as we tried to get out before anyone in our group got seriously hurt.
If I hadn’t seen them already I would have been massively disappointed but the events of the night just seemed to add another Pistols-esque layer to their notoriety and allowed me to say for all these years after – I was there.