Austin 360 Amphitheater, Austin, Texas
by Diego Donamaria
(Beck performs- by Diego Donamaria)
When you think about Beck, Cage the Elephant, and Spoon all performing under the same ticket, you know it’s going to be a big party. Basically, any of the 3 bands would be worth the ticket admission price. All 3 on the same stage, not to mention the awesome Wild Belle with their fun electro pop, is sure to be a hot ticket. Knowing that Spoon are Austin locals just makes it that more special.
(Spoon performs- by Diego Donamaria)
We caught up with Spoon earlier in the day at their CD release event at Waterloo Records and got to talk to the band about touring with Beck, Cage, and Wild Belle, their new greatest hits album Everything Hits At Once, and what they were most looking forward to during their performance in their hometown. It was easy to see how excited all the band members were about rocking the stage with such an awesome line up to a sold out crowd of veteran music fans. Austin-ites know music.
Britt Daniel and the rest of Spoon took the stage with their indie rock/pop experimental sounds and they did not disappoint. They sounded sharp and energetic while performing a list of fan favorite songs, including “The Way We Get By”, “The Underdog” and “Hot Thoughts”.
(Cage The Elephant performs)
The unmistakeable Matt Shultz came onstage in a wild outfit that he (in very traditional Cage The Elephant tradition) proceeded to shed during the performance. It started with a creepy red face mask, purple outfit and combat helmet and ended with him running around the stadium in his briefs.
Anytime you are present for a Cage show, you know that there will be boundless manic energy, great tunes, and somewhat odd behavior. Matt has said in the past that the goal of his performances is to get people on their feet singing and dancing. Undoubtedly they succeeded in their goal of getting all of us on our feet singing along and wondering what Matt would climb on next.
The band performed well-loved tunes like “Broken Boy”, “Mess Around”, and “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” in their traditional near-schizophrenic frenzied style. One of the coolest moments of their set was during their performance of the song “Trouble”. Matt started the song’s lyrics, and got quiet for a few seconds…“Trouble on my left, trouble on my right. I’ve been facing trouble almost all my life. My sweet love, won’t you pull me through? Everywhere I look I catch a glimpse of you. I said it was love and I did it for life. Did-did it for you”. By the end of the chorus we were all singing at the top of our lungs and you could feel the love amongst all of us. In very traditional Cage style, the show ended with Matt climbing on the roof of the sound booth and performing his last song from there. Assumingely, not as planned and rehearsed.
The stage was set for the award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and all around creative genius Beck. Equally known for his edgy and profound lyrics, his experimental mash of folk, hip pop, electronic, alternative rock, and psychedelic music always creates a visual spectacle. This day was no different.
Beck came out in his signature business suit (classic and tasteful compared to the entertaining costumes of Cage) and he wasted no time getting the crowd singing along with his breakout hit “Loser” followed by all the crowd pleasers like “Devil’s Haircut”, “Que Onda Guero”, “The New Pollution” and others. “Dreams” and “Where It’s At”,were definite highlights of the night. The mind melding animated visuals and elaborate images added depth and entertainment to the songs. Although Beck’s set was subdued compared the craziness of Cage’s set, he proved why he’s the veteran in the lineup in the headliner position.
At the end of the show, Matt Schultz came back onstage to perform their joint song “Night Running” that inspired the name of the tour. One of the coolest collaborations we’ve seen recently. The show ended with a bang with massive confetti and balloons. At almost 50, Beck continues to defy aging and put on an amazing show. Only one question remains. How does Beck perform (seemingly fine) in a suit in the ridiculous and humid Texas heat?
The New Pollution
Qué onda güero
Up All Night
Where It’s At
Miss You (The Rolling Stones cover) (snippet)
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover) (snippet)