‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn,’ Jay-Z at All Points West

Jay-Z at the All Points West festival in Jersey City in 2009.

Jay-Z at the All Points West festival in Jersey City in 2009.

All Points West, presented at Liberty State Park in Jersey City in 2008 and 2009, was a music festival unlike any New Jersey has seen, before or since: a big, multi-stage, stylistically eclectic event modeled on annual fests such as Coachella in California and Austin City Limits in Texas. There were many problems with the festival, and it didn’t make it past those two years, but let’s not concern ourselves with that here, but instead focus on what was surely the festival’s best moment.

The Beastie Boys had been booked to headline the opening night of the festival’s second year, but had to cancel just 11 days before the show, when Adam Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland. (He died in 2012.) Jay-Z was brought in as the substitute headliner, and opened his set with a faithful, and ferocious, surprise version of the Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” as a tribute.

Check it out below.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


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