I saw Beck once at Smuk Fest in 2000 – a concert that has been lodged in my memory ever since. On the other hand Beck is an unpredictable artist who switches influences if not styles without blinking. Even his two latest singles “Wow” and “Dreams” are about as different as something can ever get from one artist. So I didn’t really know what to expect from Hr. Hansen himself when he took stage as the final act at Northside.
As he enters the stage in his polka dotted shirt, leather jacket and wide hat with the most stoic of expressions, I can’t help thinking of Michael Cera’s character Paulie Bleeker in Juno and this exchanging of words: “You’re like the coolest person I’ve ever met, and you don’t even have to try, you know” to which he responds “I try really hard, actually”. One could easily think that Beck doesn’t really try at all with his laissez-faire attitude. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Everything seemed planed down to the tiniest detail. Even the “improvised” introduction of the band members.
With a catalogue as vast as Beck’s it always interesting guessing what will be up next. Some people might have expected a show based on his latest album “Morning Phase” of which he only played one song. Instead the show was based on his 2004 and 2005 albums “Midnite Vultues” and “Guero” except for all the classics songs. Playing “Loser” and “Devil’s Haircuts are the obvious choices, but choosing “Where It’s At” and “Novacane” gave it a bit of an edge. And not playing “Wow” was probably his best choice of them all.
The band, including newly acquired bass player Wayne Moore (Pharell) added some funk to the mixture while Beck showed of both his charisma, dance moves and talent as an entertainer. He more or less chose to do the right thing throughout the whole hour and a half and left no one disappointed. A fitting ending for this year Northside that had even the most tired of guest dancing and clapping along.
"He more or less chose to do the right thing throughout the whole hour and a half and left no one disappointed" (5.5/6)