If more than a decade ago, the Beastie Boys were caught a little off guard by the appearance of VW microbuses and Deadheads in the parking lots before their shows, these days they’re well aware of the fact that they’ve made inroads in the jamband scene – and that an album like The Mix-Up and gigs like the gala events will only further endear them to Birkenstock set (the band’s earlier all-instrumental effort, The In Sound from Way Out! (1996), was perhaps the first true connection to the scene minus a few pot smoking references on earlier albums).

“We got some numbers in our show that might make them happy,” Mike D said backstage at the Hammerstein. “For instance, ‘Shambala.’ There’s a lot of songs. I realize there’s compatibility and incompatibility in terms of the set lists. But the dress code, I don’t know how that’s gonna go over,” he quips, painting grins across the faces of MCA and Ad Rock.

MCA: We’re definitely more into groove-oriented shit than, like, wailing.

Ad Rock: The Dead had two drummers, but they didn’t utilize them in a funky way.

Mike D: Yeah, I feel like, “Where were the beats?” I know there was a lot of drumming, but where were the beats? Where were the butt-naked, raw, funky beats?

Ad Rock: It’s weird to have two drummers and no beats. No what I’m saying?

Mike D: On another note, James Brown had two drummers yet he never had them play at the same time, because his whole thing was that he would wear-out the band. One band would have to stop, and the next band would have to kick in. Was it two bands or two rhythm sections? I’m not sure, but that was his whole thing: He would just drain ‘em.

MCA: But the Dead had nice vocal harmonies.

Ad Rock: Yeah, I’m not mad at the Dead, the Dead had songs.

MCA: They have a certain feel to their shit.