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Clapping His Way To Where It's At

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Beck @ Rimac Arena, San Diego--10/27/05

You know, I've never written a concert review before, and I figure now's as good a time as any to start. Maybe I'll even make it a regular thing (but I doubt it). So if my writing ends up terrible or boring to the point of...zzz, feel free to tell me and I'll make a note to shut up next time.

We got to the arena about 25 minutes before the opening band came on, so we had a space smack in the middle of the floor halfway back. It's actually the farest I've been from the stage and took away from the experience a little. The crowd looked eager, and ranged from middle-aged "Loser" lovers to college hipsters. At least a third of the girls there had the exact same haircut. Very entertaining.

The opening band, Islands, was a charming little indie pop group from Montreal (duh!) that no one had ever heard of. They had matching Rooney haircuts and white suits, except for one black dude on bass who looked totally Jamiacan. Didn't get the crowd too worked up, but they were clever and enjoyable enough for it not to be a waste of time.

So around nine, the god of alternative singer/songwriters came on stage in a scientologist outfit with a saffari hat and matching jacket. It did not stop him from looking ubelievably hipster or sexy. A guy that looked like Rivers Cumo playing in Franz Ferdinland did his wild dancing moves and rocked out like there was no tomorrow. Surprisingly, they opened with "Loser" and probably woke up half the crowd. "Loser" melted into "Black Tamburine", and the show really started.

So I don't have a tracklisting, and Beck played too many songs to keep track, but he did plays songs from every album. And again, he brought out "Devil's Haircut", "Girl" and "Where It's At" during the first half of the show. Really, really strange. "Where It's At", of course, knocked the crowd wild. Mr. Franz Ferdinland guy brought out a boombox, and a bigger boombox, and an even bigger boombox, and finally brought a gigantic monster of one down from the ceiling. Amazing.

But the best stage performance was probably when the band brought up a table, glasses, plates and silverware and sat around eating while Beck sung acoustic ballads from Sea Change and Mutations. Then, the clanking of the silverware, glasses and plates merged into a fantastic rhythm and beat to the song. It was so well arranged and executed. The dinnertable turned into the percussion for "Clap Hands", which had everyone dancing and having a great time. Beck dropped R-Kelly satire to "Deborah" and had the crowd chuckling and clapping.

For the encore he did "E-Pro", which, you wouldn't think is that much of a dance song but when live, rocked out harder than any other, and a few others that I can't remember as of this moment. A bunch of fans got on stage and danced like there was no tomorrow. It was fantastic fun.

Most of the time, he stayed on the acoustic/electric guitar, but for a few songs he had his trust worthy harmonica around his neck and beat drums.

The whole experience, in a word, would be, deckerthanhell.

Beck-"Clap Hands" (The title is actually "CLAP hands" and not "CRAP hands" as the MP3 says, so go ahead and fix it yourself since I'm too lazy to do it.



I like it when you talk to me
Listen, love, buy.
MP3s don't last forever.

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