Heineken Amsterjam 2006
Randall's Island , New York August 19, 2006
Review by
Mike D'Ariano

Oh how sad it is to have been away from the site for a few months and have to come back writing about such a piece of shit waste of time monstrosity of a music festival. First of all, let me address my absence&yes, the rumors are true&I needed a new kidney&.end of story. On to the show.

So I knew from the beginning that I wasn't going to pay to see Amsterjam, the music festival that promoted itself as "the ultimate mash up festival of 2006"&.I'll get to that particular line of bullshit in a minute. I knew I wasn't going to pay because the event is held on Randell's Island in NYC, which as the name suggests is&.an island. I know this isn't making sense yet but just bear with me&.I'm a little rusty&.new kidney and all. I, along with a few friends, own a boat. Is it getting clearer yet? No? We took the fucking boat to the show, anchored outside and watched/listened for free. But there's more to this not paying story&

Someone, at Heineken I can only assume, was assigned the task of filling the place up by giving away free tickets. He/she, gave some tickets to a guy at the deli around the corner. The deli guy gave them to a friend of mine. He gave em to me. I didn't want em. I was taking the boat. I offered them to Preston, Jessie, Chris, Norma, Ryan, Michelle, Rob, Dave, Christine, Suzanne, Andiakim, Ginny, Leo, Liz, the other Liz, Charlie, James, John, Brian, Lou, the guys that run the store across the hall from my job, and finally my waiter at Outback Steakhouse the night before the show&.I literally could not give these tickets away! In the end, I went down to the local blues bar in my girlfriend's neighborhood, and handed the tickets to the bartender saying "Use these or give em away, I'm out of people to invite." An aging drunkard that looked a little like Tommy Chong overheard this, and seemed very intrigued. I didn't stick around to see how it ended up. I hope he took em and had a blast. Though that's not very likely.

We pulled up to the show around four, anchored, and were pleased to find that not only could we hear really well, we could see perfectly also because there were giant video screens that looked out on the water. The cops came by, checked our safety gear (read: busted balls) and then left us alone for the rest of the day. Everything was nice&.except for the fact that Busta Rhymes was on stage, and we could see and hear him perfectly.

Jesus fucking Christ what BULLSHIT! In my life I have seen well over 1,000 different live acts ranging from Eminem, to Willie Nelson, to Pantera, to Ornette Coleman. I have never seen an act perform such an atrocious set&.it truly was a mockery of a live performance&I've taken to calling it&.Spinal Rap.

Busta stood on stage surrounded by nameless homies, who may have been somebodies but were nobodies to me and performed hit after hit&.kinda sorta&.actually, what he did was do a few lines from a hit, make the DJ stop, berate the audience for not singing along&.my favorite line was "Oh you forgot the words to my shit? Well fuck you then!"&.and then start the next song, to the same result. I swear to god, he must have done 15 songs, and not finished a single one. I've never seen anything like it.

Apparently after the show, a fan showed his appreciation of Busta's act by spitting on his car as he left. Busta beat him up and spent the night in jail. Now I'm not trying to get my ass kicked, so short of spitting, I'll leave it at this&I've always been a little sad that a bunch of my friends saw Busta Rhymes 10 years ago at 7 Willow Street in Portchester NY, and I wasn't old enough to get in&I'm officially over it.

Up next was a Puerto Rican rap group&I missed their name because I was tackling my buddy John and trying to keep him from shoving a screwdriver in his ears.

L.L. Cool J was up next, and it became very clear why unlike most rappers that disappear after a few years, he's had a twenty year career&L.L. was fucking great. He played his songs&.all the way through. He had the crowd going. And without ruining how the rest of this is going to go&.he stole the show. He closed with the anthem "Mama Said Knock You Out" (so classic that even middle-aged white dudes know it), and it was the single best song of the entire festival.

Next came the Foo Fighters&and if you like your rock bland and repetitive, boy are they the band for you. I saw them ten years ago on the tour for their first album and thought they sucked. Unlike the regrets over not seeing Busta Rhymes that same year&I still feel the same way about the Foo Fighters.

The big closer for the show was Tom Petty. He doesn't suck, but let me put it this way&.I watched four or five songs&.and then took a nap.

I woke up near the end to watch Tom sing a few with Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters&.at that point I realized I was watching the first "mash-up" of a festival that was supposed to feature them all day. What a joke. If all you need to qualify a mash up is one guy from a band that plays one genre of music (rock) to sit in with another band playing the same genre&.then the fucking Allman Brothers feature more mash-ups every single night than this bullshit festival did all day! As I understand the term, a mash-up is when you take different things and put them together&.like Amsterjam did the year before when they teamed the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Snoop Dogg. The Petty/Grohl collaboration was pretty lame&it had no spark&but then they never did figure out that whole turning lead into gold thing did they?

For the record, the Petty people I was with really enjoyed Petty&.but no one liked the whole show&I'm just glad at the end I didn't have to sit in traffic for three hours. I really hope that old dude from the blues bar didn't either&.what's more, I hope he didn't get his ass kicked by Busta Rhymes.

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