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Beck Rocks New York City


Beck rarely puts on a conventional live show. In fact, the eclectic artist has incorporated puppets, pinstriped suits with lights, and a fully stocked dinner table into his previous tours.

Thursday, the SoCal slacker pulled out all the stops for his appearance at Harlem’s stylish United Palace Theater, bringing a film crew, a massive lights display, and a buzz-worthy opening band for night two of his three-gig New York engagement.

Longhaired Brooklynites MGMT kicked off the evening with renditions of “Electric Feel,” “Time to Pretend,” and “Weekend Wars” off their celebrated set Oracular Spectacular.

Then Beck took the stage and slid into the unmistakable guitar licks of “Loser,” which led to a raucous sing-along in the spacious theater.

The rest of the set was a tour through his funkiest hits off 1996’s Odelay (“Devil’s Haircut”), 1999’s Midnite Vultures (“Nicotine & Gravy”), and 2005’s Guero (“Black Tambourine”). More recent tunes like The Information‘s “Nausea” and Modern Guilt‘s “Orphans” also made their way into the set list.

While the genre-bending musician looked ageless in a wide-brimmed hat and dark jacket covering an oversized checkered flannel, his moving performance of somber acoustic ditty “Lost Cause” revealed the troubadour’s old soul. Beck remained mum, wasting no time between songs, and finally closed the evening with a beats-heavy version of “E-Pro.” The dazzled audience clapped along and followed the star’s lead, chanting in unison, “Na na na na na na na,” while dancing to the fuzzed-out guitar riffs echoing to the rafters.

Check out pictures from last night on page 2.

Beck / Photo by Jen Maler

Beck / Photo by Jen Maler

Beck / Photo by Jen Maler

Beck / Photo by Jen Maler