Saturday, July 16, 2005


Steamboat Hip-Hop
Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA

About a month ago I hit indie rock overload. My cure has been to completely avoid any music that contains words in English sung by White people. Either I listen to 99.3 "La Gran D" or nothing at all. So it is with some trepidation that I am Breaking The Silence tonight by attending a show by the whitest, wordiest man alive--Beck.

The crowd at this sold-out show is quite lovely. Many have come straight from work so they are in their best pointy shoes or collared shirts. I estimate that at least 65% of the women have highlights or all-over color in their hair, and maybe 15% of the guys have budding bald spots. Have I mentioned how much I love watching people from a balcony? Sometimes the movement of individuals and groups looks like a diagram of air flowing through tubes. It's nice.

Le Tigre opens, and while I like hearing their songs one at time with lots of space in between, tonight they sound like a yelling band. Like The Go! Team - they're a yelling band.

The audience members here are sorted by which Beck album was released while they were in college. The Mellow Gold people have their badges from work tucked in their pockets, they are drinking mixed drinks, and are generally well-behaved. The Odelay folks have slightly more hair product, drink beer, and holler and pogo when he plays Devil's Haircut. The Sea Change girls (ya, mostly girls) scream "I love you Beck!!" and "you are my idol!!" from the balcony because this is the album that mended their broken hearts. The Guero group is actually a mix of people in college right now ("let's do more shots! Shotshotshots!") and newcomers of varying ages who discovered Beck on The Mountain.

No one was in college when he released Midnight Vultures, apparently.

Beck has a lot going on during the show, which is highly satisfying. And he has an adopted percussion boy, too. Is this a new trend with bands? I keep seeing this: a guy who dances around, plays characters, bangs on instruments and other things with sticks, but at no time is given a microphone. It's like Beck found him hanging around a rehearsal space and brought him on tour if he promised to be good and bring everyone bottled water when they asked. Like other adopted percussion boys, he adds a lot to the show and has nice legs.

The show lasts exactly the right length, and leaves people satisfied though wanting more ("he played your Debra song!" "Ya, but he didn't play your Guero song.") which is the perfect combo. He has rekindled my belief that good shows happen to good people. But I'm still not ready to give up La Gran D quite yet.


Anonymous Roger said...

They pogo'd during "Devil's Haircut" at the Hammersmith Apollo show last month, too!

5:44 PM  

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