Officially, it was the Tibetan monks in their neon orange robes who had the last laugh as the final act Sunday night to close the two-day Tibetan Freedom Concert at Downing Stadium.
Practically, the evening had come to a frenetic close and the mosh pit had dissolved a few minutes before the chanting priests took the stage. No act on the lengthy roster could follow the Beastie Boys.
Dressed in red suits nearly as natty as the monks’ drapes, the Boys--whose Adam Yauch is co-founder of Milarepa, an organization that raises money for the Tibetans’ struggle against Chinese occupation--took no prisoners during a 45-minute performance that left the moshers exhausted.
The Beasties’ party turned out to be a contrast to much of the six hours of music that preceded it. “Weather was great,” said a young man when it was over. “Music, awful.”
Not awful, but, considering a cast that ranged from Alanis Morissette and members of R.E.M. to Bjork and Blur, hardly transcendent.
Morissette sat down for her entire set. Of her half-dozen songs, only one was culled from her album “Jagged Little Pill,” and therefore only one was familiar. Only one new song, a lilting, untitled tune about “How I do love London,” was charged with passion.
R.E.M.'s singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Mike Mills shared what you might call the “Nebraska” installment of the show. A couple of ballads from the band’s “New Adventures in Hi-Fi"--"Call Me Leper” and “Electrolyte"--were leaden, made more so by an unresponsive crowd that was really ready to groove. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder also joined Stipe on one number.