Success! I did get to go to the not-so-secret “secret” Beck show at Hiro Ballroom tonight…as you can see.
Celeb-spotting was slim and relegated to local yokels. The only folks I saw that could potentially end up in Page Six were Fabrizio (with posse, but sans Drew) and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
When Beck finally came out on stage he was dressed in an olive-green army-type jacket with brown and yellow stripes on it, a white tshirt with a hand-drawn skull design, and jeans. Even though he’s getting up there in age, I’m happy to report that Beck has been able to maintain his boyish figure. It must be all that healthy Scientologist California livin’.
Beck didn’t do much talking to the audience, however there were some notable moments like when he announced during “Where It’s At” that we were going to “party like it’s 1995” and proceeded to name ’95 moments, like name-checking Shania Twain and then saying, “ok, so you’re Brad Pitt,” a line taken from her hit song “That Don’t Impress Me Much.” His delivery was in the same monotoned half bored/half disoriented baritone that fans have come to love/hate.
Another good moment was during “Guero” when he proceeded to name other gueros (besides himself): “Michael Bolton. Guero. John Tesh. Guero. This guy in the front. (Beck points to the audience member standing in front of him.) Guero.” Judging from the amount of seemingly square white sausage in the audience, that guy probably was a guero.
There was another point in the show when he asked people to reach into their pockets and take out whatever was in them and raise it in the air. Perhaps he’s been playing “I Spy” with his child a liiiitttle too much, because he went on to list all the thing he saw people holding up such as cell phones, “notes from school,” and “a beer.” I’m not quite sure what the reasoning was behind that exercise, but I don’t think anyone will disagree with the conclusion that Beck is a weird one.
There wasn’t much dancing on Beck’s part–sadly no full-on robot dancing was done–the closest we got were some airplane runway movements toward the end as Beck pantomimed guiding a plane to a safe landing. The dancing was relegated to some kooky dude on the left-hand side of the stage wearing a red jump suit, shades, and sweatband. At first I hoped it was some amazing Spike Jonze cameo, but when Beck introduced the band he said the dancing fool’s name was “Brian.”
On the “two turntables and a microphone” watch: This time there was only one turntable and a microphone that Beck used during his set. He did a bit of “scratching” during some of the songs, but no super-slick moves were pulled.
I felt really lucky to have gone to the show, but I have to say it wasn’t the best Beck show I’ve ever been to. I thought the audience was lacking energy. There were some times I could see a large portion of the audience not dancing or singing along to the songs–even during well-known hits like “Where It’s At.” I just didn’t get it. There did seem to be a whole lot of people all the way up front to the right side of the stage that were having a ball. Just wished the excitement had been more widespread. Granted, Beck hasn’t been pulling out a lot of high-energy shows ever since Sea Change came out. I’m curious to know what the tone of the Guero tour is going to be like. Hopefully it’ll lean more toward the Odelay/ Midnight Vultures era.
Oh, and in case you were stumped by the questions asked for the Beck contest, the answers were:
1) “Love Spreads” by The Stone Roses 2) Electric Music and the Summer People 3) Pecker