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Beck, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2014

Beck at Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, June 25th, 2014

Jun 29, 2014 Beck Photography by Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Bookmark and Share

Beck is still cool. This shouldn’t be a revelation. Beck’s been cool since becoming everyone’s favorite slacker back in 1994. He was cool when I discovered him in a high school English class. (Note: my teacher was pretty cool.) He was mind-blowingly cool a year later when, at my second concert ever, I saw him do “Lazy Flies.” Heck, he even maintained an air of cool when presenting his answer to a Prairie Home Companion, The Song Reader concerts. (If there’s any argument into going softly into the cool night, it’s staging any sort of event that makes it easy to liken you to Garrison Keillor.) And yet, I rediscovered Beck’s coolness all over again on Wednesday night at his pre-Festival International de Jazz de Montréal show. Oh Mr. Hanson, you are the gift that keeps giving.

Although having recently released his excellent twelfth (!) studio album Morning Phase, the show was culled from his impressive back catalogue, beginning with the abrasive blasts of “Devil’s Haircut.” It was a move that had the audience on their feet and dancing throughout the entire set, even when he signaled the transition into more introspective material by playing Sea Change cut, “Lost Cause.”

Beck is a showman who takes his music very seriously, even if he doesn’t take himself seriously. (Heck, he’s been publicly declaring himself a “Loser” since 1994.) The Los Angeles-based musician only dipped briefly into “Serious Beck” mode. Instead, he gave the audience exactly what they wanted—a chance to dance, even if they were getting down, tongue-in-cheek, to covers of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” and Prince’s “1999.” It was all in the name of fun. Finishing out the set with “E-Pro,” Beck strung police caution tape across the stage—only to cut it down when reappearing to perform “Sexx Laws,” the first of three encore songs. Goofy, fun, and decidedly over-the-top, one thing’s for sure—when Beck performances, no matter the location, he’s where it’s at.

Set List:

1. Devil’s Haircut

2. Loser

3. Black Tambourine

4. New Pollution

5. Soldier Jane

6. Lost Cause

7. Country Down

8. Think I’m in Love/I Feel Loved (Donna Summer cover)

9. Guero

10. Hell Yes

11. Debra

12. Paper Tiger

13. Blue Moon

14. Say Goodbye

15. Don’t Let it Go

16. Waking Light

17. Send a Message to Her

18. E-Pro


19. Sexx Laws

20. 1999 (Prince Cover)

21. Where it’s At




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