As beautiful as Beck‘s slower, softer songs are, there’s more than one side to LA’s premier musical polymath. On the Pyramid Stage tonight (June 26), he put Serious Beck back into his box and proved just why Party Beck is the very best version of Beck.
He kept things all killer, no filler
It’s a bold move to begin a set with ‘Devil’s Haircut’, ‘Black Tambourine’ and ‘Loser’, but, hey, Beck’s a bold man. You might have worried after that blinding 1-2-3 that the rest of the set would drag, but that would be to underestimate his stellar back catalogue. ‘Qué Onda Güero’, ‘E-Pro’, ‘Girl’, ‘Sexx Laws’ and more made sure the entire thing was one massive party.
But he knows you’ve gotta have the lows to appreciate the highs
All the best parties have a little breathing room in them, and Beck structured his set so smack dab in the middle things dipped from hip-swivelling grooves to something a little more contemplative. Obviously if you left the Pyramid Stage for any reason during ‘Lost Cause’ you’d be a fool, but taking that time out certainly made the latter half of his set full of bangers all the more impactful.
You knew every song
With the release of ‘Wow’ earlier this month, you might have thought Beck would use his set to preview more new material. But he didn’t even play that track, let alone anything else unheard. Some might see that as a negative, but Beck obviously knows the power of keeping people interested by not putting people out of their comfort zones. “This is a new song,” he said ahead of ‘Dreams’, which came out in 2015, but that was as close as he flew to playing anything fresh.
Tributes to Bowie and Prince capped things off brilliantly
Like many this weekend and since their respective deaths, Beck and his band took the time to pay tribute to two of music’s fallen heroes, David Bowie and Prince. At the end of the set, while introducing his band, they found the time to cover excerpts of ‘China Girl’ and ‘1999’ to a hugely appreciative crowd. Because how could you not enjoy hearing those hits even if you are rooted in deep trenches of mud?