Beck at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham – Review and Photos
‘We brought some sunshine for you,’ Beck told the crowd at the start of a crowd-pleasing, career-spanning set. A weather god, Mr Hansen is not but he is a folk troubadour, a rapper and an indie rocker to name but a few, and all sides of this musical magpie were on show in Kilmainham. Some of the big guns were brought out early, with ‘Devils Haircut’ opening the show and the snaky keys of ‘The New Pollution’ also popped up early in the night.
It’s a testament to the quality of Beck’s output over a sustained period of time that there was very little drop in quality throughout the evening. New songs, such ‘Blue Moon’ from last year’s Morning Phase sat easily with older material like the electro brilliance of ‘Hell Yes’ and the trippy 1960s vibe of ‘Think I’m In Love’.
Fueled by Teddy’s ice cream, Beck seemed to be enjoying himself and seems to really love Ireland, mentioning how much he enjoyed last year’s Electric Picnic show and marveling at the beautiful countryside that he got to see on his drive up from Cork, where he had played Live At The Marquee the previous night.
His band are some seriously impressive musicians too. Joey Waronker showed off his chops with some impressive tom rolls on ‘Black Tambourine’ while his work with bass player Justin Meldal-Johnsen was solid all night. Their fluid interplay was the highlight of ‘Paper Tiger’, while Meldal-Johnsen’s funky licks 0n the predictably well received ‘Sexx Laws’ was a joy to witness. The gorgeous harmonies on ‘Heart Is A Drum’ were amazing, with Beck making sure that even the set’s quieter moments had something to make them stand out.
There were hands in the air moments aplenty too, notably during ‘Hell Yes’ and ‘Loser’, the latter being sung back with gusto by what was an older crowd who found themselves transported back to the late 1990s thanks to the brilliance of the skinny Californian in the wide-brimmed hat. He could be satisfied with a job very well done by the time he stretched a line of ‘Do Not Cross’ tape across the stage at the end of the set.
Not that he was done. After the obligatory momentary stage vacation, the band were each given a chance to shine during the encore, an extended jam of ‘Where It’s At’, with some Axel F and Rolling Stones thrown in for good measure. There was a party vibe about the whole evening – although it was a sensible party vibe, people have to be up for work after all. Still, for ninety magical minutes the crowd gathered in a field in the middle of Dublin could forget all of those troubles and take themselves back to more carefree times thanks to Beck’s showmanship and eclectic genius.