- Category: Rob Goald
- Published on 07 August 2012
- Written by Rob Goald
BECKBy Rob Goald
The Pearl Concert Theater at the Palms Hotel and Casino
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 at 8PM
Las Vegas---With about three-quarters of the Pearl full, Beck, the California singer-songwriter, and his five piece band stepped out on stage fifty minutes past the advertised show start time and rendered a perfectly executed version of his classic “Devil’s Haircut”. Wearing a natty 1940’s style grey hat and an expensive motorcycle-style black leather jacket Beck looked remarkably young for a man in his forties. (He’s 42.)
It’s been nearly four years since he released a new album and his ninety minute set was replete with songs that have spanned his twenty five year career. His second selection was his world-wide hit “Loser” and it delivered its familiar poly rhythmic beat and indelible lyrics.
Beck’s recording career started back in 1985, but it wasn’t until the release of Mellow Gold in 1994 that he achieved notoriety. Most of his concerts rely on favorites such as “Black Tambourine”, “Girl”, “Where It’s At” and “Think I’m in Love”and his show at the Pearl was no exception. One of the most unusual songs he performed was a blues-rock cover from Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album titled “Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat” The youthful crowd (most of them in their 20s) seemed happy with his song selections.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Beck.com
One must note that Beck’s “live” show sound does not replicate his studio recordings.
The special effects and sampling sounds which create a lush backdrop for his vocals is less pronounced. But Beck strapped on the acoustic guitar at the mid-point of his concert to play the folk infused brilliance of his “Sea Change” album and rendered a touching “Guess I’m Doing Fine” and a lilting “Sunday Sun” which ended with some power-punching feedback.
Bass player Meldal-Johnson was particularly energetic in his stage presence and was a delight to watch as he seemed to feel the music he was playing intensely. Beck, however, planted himself in front of the microphone and rarely strayed from his center position. As usual, the Pearl, provided two high definition video screens so that audience members seated in the balcony could see details on the stage.
Beck did not discuss his future projects but recently announced is a December 2012 album called “Beck Hansen’s Song Reader” featuring 20 songs and “existing only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded”. One new song was performed during the concert but it wasn’t clear if it was from the new project.
To close out the set, the band and audience sang the na-na, na-ye—na-na chorus to “E-Pro”. It was a solid, well executed performance and Beck’s first Las Vegas show in ten or more years. Let’s hope he comes back a lot sooner in the future.