Monday, August 5, 2013

'Where It's At' : Live Music Review

"Anything goes.  You always find interesting things that way."
~ Beck

I had the good fortune of seeing Beck live on Friday night at the Bank of America Pavilion in South Boston, a really cool amphitheater that sits on right on the waterfront.  Regardless of who's playing, it's a pretty incredible setting to hear music. It's also a really big venue and I'm pretty short; so we ponied up for good seats.  The way I see it...I'm a 38 year old mom with 2 kids and I don't get out very often so if I'm seeing good music, I don't want to be standing on my tiptoes for three hours.  It was well worth the splurge.

Being up front, I learned a lot of things about Beck right off the bat...

1. He is rather petite.
2. His feet are really big. (unless he just wears big shoes)
3. He's got fantastic style.
4. He looks like he's maybe 21 years old.
5. He truly loves to perform.

I also noticed that the crowd was the biggest melting pot of music goers that I've seen at a show in quite some time.  I love the way music brings everyone together this in this way.  There were college kids, young professionals, aging hippies, families (including new parents with babies and older parents with their teenage kids), and some die hard Bostonians along with everything in between.  I like to think that my husband and I fall somewhere in between the young professionals and the aging hippies on the spectrum.  I'm totally fine with that.

At the start of the show, Beck let us know that he was going to start us off slow and ease us in...."but not to worry" he said, "after that we'll get noisy."  I was instantly floored by his bizarre mix of an alt/country/psychedelic sound that seems to come together so perfectly in each song.  You can hear it all on Strange Invitation, which he played for us; a song that's both lazy and eerie and beautiful.  With instruments ranging from guitar to a harpsichord to a pair of child-size maracas along with an iMac and a drum machine; somehow it all just works.

After his string of mellow songs, as promised, he shifted gears and  rolled into Black Tambourine, one of my all time favorites.  The energy in the crowd was instantly lifted to a new level.  One after the other, he completely rocked out and while I took it all in I realized two things 1. he is an unbelievably talented artist/musician and 2. there are a boat-load of Beck songs that will undoubtedly inspire me to run and likely push me to run faster.  After he raised the roof with Black Tambourine, he treated us to a little 80s throwback with Tainted Love by Soft Cell.  What??  You youngsters won't appreciate this one, but I had this gem on repeat when I was in high school.  The whole crowd, both young and old, was giddy.

My husband leaned over to me at one point and said, "he might be the coolest person on earth."  I nodded in agreement.  Then, just to reaffirm this statement, he played none other than Michael Jackson's Billie Jean, complete with the dance moves including toe-stands, the jacket flip and, yes, the split.  The excitement in the crowd at this point was tangible and I felt like I was part of something really big; something beyond just a concert.  I'm not sure it's possible for me to put it in words.  You just have to go see him to understand it.  I can honestly say that he is in a category of his own.  And getting to see him live was the treat of a lifetime.

As I always say, if you can make it happen, GO SEE LIVE MUSIC!  It is truly where it's at

Listen to these:
Think I'm In Love - The Information  
Devil's Haircut - Odelay 
Gamma Ray - Modern Guilt  
Girl - Guero 


  1. Gosh Beck, I haven't listened to Beck music in a long time.
    You can tell a good performer/musician when they play live, makes you appreciate them even more.

    1. That's why the age span in the crowd was so big. We listened to him in college and he's still making such good music. Highly recommend spending some time with Guero and Modern Guilt, both incredible.