Beck launches new downtown LA venue with stellar show

Jenny Lewis opens for a star-studded crowd at Club Nokia

Pic: Rachel Carr
Beck headlined the inaugural show at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles last night (November 9).

The brand-new, 2,100-seat venue is the latest addition to the downtown LA Live complex that also houses the Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre.

The native Los Angeleno was in good form, and ran through hits spanning his career for the sold-out, mostly industry crowd, kicking off with 'Loser'.

"So I'm told this is the first show in this fine downtown establishment," said Beck, who dressed down for the occasion in a flannel shirt and jeans.

"If you grew up here you probably wouldn't recognise it," he said, commenting on how much that part of downtown LA has changed in recent years with the construction of the new entertainment complex.

One of the highlights of Beck's 80-minute set came when he and his band put down their instruments and picked up electronic drum machines and noisemakers for 'Hell Yes'. He later switched gears completely, doing a solo acoustic version of 'Hollow Log' and a cover of Bob Dylan's 'Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat'.

Other crowd-pleasers included 'Devil's Haircut', 'Time Bomb' and 'Where It's At'. He also played songs from his new album, including title track 'Modern Guilt' and 'Gamma Ray'.

Earlier in the evening, Jenny Lewis opened with a strong set that focused heavily on her latest solo album 'Acid Tongue'. The Rilo Kiley frontwoman competently led her five-piece backing band, which included her boyfriend Jonathan Rice on guitar and producer "Farmer" Dave Scher on keyboards.

"We're the first people to play this spot and I'm liking it so far," she said. Lewis' vocals soared through the steep, multi-tiered venue on tracks including 'The Next Messiah' and the new album's title track, which she sang a cappella while her band added vocal harmonies.

Beck will headline a second night at Club Nokia tonight (November 10), with support act Jay Reatard.

--By our Los Angeles staff.
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