Calgary’s music community pays tribute to late Beastie Boy MCA with tribute concert

“Got arrested at the Mardi Gras for jumping on a float/My man MCA’s got a beard like a billy goat/Oowah, oowah is my disco call/MCA hu-huh, I’m gettin’ rope y’all.”

MCA. Adam Yauch.

One-third of one of the most influential musical acts of the past 30 years, NYC’s Beastie Boys.

Hell, music period.

When he passed away May 4, 2012, if hit a lot of people. Hard.

So, it’s not surprising that there are now global events to celebrate his influence, his legacy and the music he, as part of that trailblazing trio, gave us.

On Saturday, Calgary’s music community will pay tribute to MCA and his crew at the Royal Canadian Legion No. 1., with MCA Day YYC 2017, featuring performances from DJs and bands including Astral Swans, Flytrap, Heavy Mountain, The Dirty Sample and more.


Seriously, go.

To make sure you have all the info in order to do so, theYYSCENE chatted with organizer and artist Sabo Forte before Saturday’s show.

Q: Obvious question: Why?

A: Well, it’s the fifth anniversary of MCA’s passing and they’re doing an MCA Day in New York, so I reached out to MCA Day NYC and got their blessing to do the MCA Day in Calgary … And beyond that, it’s hard to talk about without getting a little preachy — which is funny because Beastie Boys were such brats — but their music, what kind of music they did and the fact that they were just brats from Brooklyn that went to a point where they took on the Chinese government with the Tibetan Freedom Festival, I just think the Beastie Boys are really why people should be in bands — so they can have fun and have fans, but still be able to impact the world on a global level, not just to meet chicks. Even though that’s probably why they first formed the band, like everybody else. But I just think that mentality — maybe it’s a re-eduction, which is the other motivation of doing a Beastie Boys tribute.

Q: So what are the plans?

A: Well, it’s two levels, we’re doing both levels of the Legion, which will make for a really busy night. Upstairs we’ll have DJs at the minibar as well as karaoke, and downstairs there’s four bands — two of them are makeshift bands, kind of a collection of five different groups per band, but one member from each group. And then we also have the River Jacks who are doing a set of hardcore punk of the Beastie Boys, all of their stuff from their early days … We also have an art exhibit of 10 to 15 different artists doing all Beastie Boys-themed artwork, with proceeds from the silent auction going to the (Alberta) Cancer Foundation with a small sliver of proceeds going to the Buddhist Temple in Bridgeland.

Q: What will you be doing?

A: Me, personally, I’m performing in two different sets with two different bands, and I’m also curating the whole event with Marvin Kee, The Fly, and DJ Roofeo — the three of us are the main people behind MCA  Day YYC.

Q: What’s your go-to Beastie Boys song?

A: My favourite Beastie Boys song is impossible to answer. My favourite album is probably Check Your Head. And only because I consider that album represents the band the most, because they have instrumentals, you have the punk and hardcore songs they do, and the silly rap, hip-hop songs they do, like the classic songs they’re known for. So it’s close between Paul’s Boutique, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty — all four of those. And while those are the biggest influences of the ’80s and ’90s, when I talk talk to kids under 25 … most of them will them will mention To the 5 Boroughs, which came out right out after 9/11 and was more of a concept album and had less variety than those other albums.So that’s also another reason for the Beastie Boys tribute, is it’s an education for those under 25. I’m kind of hoping that kids show up that don’t really know the Beastie Boys and they have such a fun night that they go and download all of the Beastie Boys albums.

“No one really knows what I’m talking about. That’s right, my name is Yauch.”

MCA Day YYC 2017 takes place Saturday, Aug. 26 at the Royal Canadian Legion No. 1. For tickets please click here.