Some 75,000 people from around the world are currently swarming the 8th annual Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee, but from the way they all sang along with the Beastie Boys' classic "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn," you'd think they were all just on vacation from the county of Kings. Last night the Beastie Boys brought their signature New York flavor to the 700-acre farm, throwing down with a well-balanced mix of crowd-pleasers, including "Paul Revere," "Pass the Mic," and "Shake Your Rump." The big surprise of the set—besides the comically butchered encore of "Sabotage," which completely fell apart both at the beginning and at the climax—was the appearance of Nas, "a special guest from Queensbridge," who isn't even on the Bonnaroo lineup.
The foursome proceeded to tear through a new song off the Beastie Boys' forthcoming album Hot Sauce Committee; security had cleared the photo pit by that point, but we grabbed some snapshots, which was humid pandemonium throughout the set. (We understand moshing to vintage hardcore chestnuts like "Heart Attack Man"—which began as an acoustic-country Mike remix—and "Egg Raid on Mojo," but it takes a special kind of meathead to start slamdancing to "Intergalactic.")
But of course, it takes all kinds at Bonnaroo, which this year boasts perhaps its most eclectic lineup yet. Can Jimmy Buffet, Snoop Dog, Phish, Nine Inch Nails, Margaret Cho, Merle Haggard, and Paul Oakenfold coexist in such close proximity without the universe collapsing in on itself? Tune in tomorrow for a full report; below, some video of the Nas cameo, via Mic to Mic.