Monday, August 4, 2014

Beck - Merriweather Post - 7/24/2014

I picked up Trevor in Silver Spring, at the Exxon station at 410 and Colesville, and we hit the road north.  Easy traffic, easy parking, a welcome change from my Merriweather norm.  Ready to celebrate my new job offer.. 

Plenty early, we stayed on the lawn for Sean Lennon's Ghost of the Sabretooth Tiger.  An interesting mix of downtown feedback (Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead) and Sean's voice which uncannily sounds like his dad's - sometimes jarringly so.  He had a presence - hat, curls, suit - which was charming, but it was too early.  The sun was still up.  People were filtering in. And any energy built quickly dissipated.  His partner, Charlotte Kemp, was stunning though and her voice cut through the noise quite nicely.. 

Then down to the floor in front of the stage..  meeting up with J.S. and her friend, a pre-K teacher in NoVa.  Middle, front-ish.  The crowd swelling.  As the sun starts to go down Beck slides out and launches into Devil's Haircut.  He's electric and propulsive.  Present.  Alive.  And it's exhilarating.  From there the depth is astounding.  He swerves from K Records era material (One Foot in the Grave) to the pure funk-sex-magic of Midnight Vultures (Sexxlaws, Debra) to a slow set of Sea Change / Morning Phase songs.  New Pollution.  Loser.  Que Onda Guero.  Short Circuit jokes and an uncanny awareness of his audience and band.  James Brown imitations, flourishes, and smiles.  So close, so real, so exciting. 

In fine form.  But he's always been incredible live.  I first saw him in Detroit in 1998 as part of the 89x Christmas show (hosted by the then-not-famous Kid Rock, also starring Garbage and Everlast), then the Midnight Vultures tour in Ann Arbor (pure funk sweat deliciousness) in February 2000.  A Lincoln Theater show previewing Sea Change (which I remember mostly for a piano cover of Hank Williams' Long Gone Lonesome Blues and the Velvet's Sunday Morning and a stunning Guess I'm Doing Fine) in 2002.  And this show had pieces of all of those.. 

I walked out to the parking lot smiling.  Energized.  Rejuvenated.  Alive.  Ready to celebrate a transition. 

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