Beck - Red Rocks - August 15, 2014
You might have thought that Beck's Red Rocks set would be a slowpoke, folksy affair akin to his latest studio album, Morning Phase. Nope. The night was a twenty-plus year retrospective, covering everything from 1994 mega-hit "Loser" to his recent foray into Nick Drake territory.
Jason Stoff for the Riverfront Times. Full slideshow here. Beck plays earlier this summer in St. Louis.
Beck and company went big from the beginning, playing like an army of coked-up monkeys just released from their cages. "Devil's Haircut" was first on the agenda, followed by "Black Tambourine." A couple songs later came "Loser," by which time the sold-out crowd was about to lose its goddamned collective mind. This was the first time Beck has played Red Rocks in over a decade.
Beck, flanked by the same six musicians who played on 2002's Sea Change, danced effortlessly across the stage, doing some Napoleon Dynamite-esque shimmying while the band played on. Being the cool motherfucker that he is, Beck never seemed to lose his own composure. Not a bit: he looked like he'd planned every note and every move in the mirror before stepping on stage.
There were projected images of volcano-type things and digital stopwatches on the massive backdrop screen. During "Where It's At," he brought out a two-foot-high robot (outfitted with a theremin). There were strobe lights capable of causing mass seizures.
To explain the ecstasy and utter weirdness of Friday night's Red Rocks gig, can we for a moment recall Beck Hansen's background? This is a man whose mother once played with Jack Kerouac's daughter in a band called The Whippets. He once had an entire orchestra, marching band drummers and a gospel choir back him for a live performance of David Bowie's "Sound and Vision." He's a Scientologist, too, so... there's that fun factoid.