Beck + Oh Wonder

Detroit, Michigan (July 6, 2018) – The crown jewel of Detroit’s entertainment venues, the stunningly beautiful Fox Theatre, played host to quirky musician Beck as he brought his “Colors” tour back to North America after a brief festival run in Europe. Celebrating his thirteenth studio recording, the tour features a mix of tunes from his repertoire, spanning the gamut of singer/songwriter acoustic numbers to funky grooves to synthesizer and sample loaded rap.

Oh Wonder © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

About 5000 fans packed the 90-year old venue in time to get warmed up by opening act Oh Wonder, a British alt-pop duo enjoying international success after the release of their second album. The pair played an eight-song set, with numbers from both of their studio releases, that was well received by the Motor City crowd.

Beck © Splice Magazine – Kate Sumbler. Please do not alter images.

Born into a family full of creativity, (his father was a renowned arranger, composer and conductor and his mother was one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars” and an acclaimed visual artist in her own right), it is no surprise that Beck’s music and stage shows combine a range of elements to thrill all senses. Beck took the stage backed by a wall of trippy LED lighting effects, surrounded by a supporting cast of musicians on risers behind him. From the opening notes of the fiercely groovy “Devil’s Haircut”, Beck led the crowd through an idiosyncratic musical journey, splattered with oblique lyrics and sardonic humor wrapped up in a combination of live instrumentation and sound effects.

Beck kept the groove going through newer song “Up All Night” and the classic “The New Pollution”. The set continued with a couple of funky tunes from 1999’s Midnight Vultures, “Mixed Bizness” and “Sexx Laws”, that just make you wanna dance! A new tune followed, the floating, freestyled “Wow” from his current album Colors. Throughout the show we were treated to a heavy dose of psychedelic visuals on the floor to ceiling LED displays that filled the stage creating an ever-changing backdrop behind the percussionists’ risers.

Next came an acoustic interlude where his bandmates left the stage, allowing Beck to chat with the crowd and ask for requests. Taking the suggestions from a few fans in the front rows, Beck gave us a solo acoustic renditions of “Lazy Flies” and “Pay No Mind (Snoozer)”, the latter, a song he hasn’t performed live in several years. He followed this with a portion of “Country Down” before abruptly ending the song, laughing that he couldn’t remember the words. The intimacy of this portion of the show made it feel very personal and Beck seemed to truly enjoy the interaction with his fans, even saying that this was so much fun that he should probably consider coming back to do an entire show of one-on-one numbers for us in the future.

Moving back into the electric portion of the set saw the return of the backing band for “Lost Cause”, “Dreams” and “Girl” before a distinctive slide-guitar riff got the crowd back up on their feet for Beck’s breakthrough, nonsensical, lo-fi hit “Loser” from his 1994 debut album Mellow Gold. The set wraps up with the titular “Colors”, a pop-y number from his latest release, before getting fans joining him in the sing-along “Na na na na na naaah”chorus of “E-Pro”.

Beck returns to the stage for a few encore tunes after being re-joined by his seven-piece backing band, first an acoustic “Debra”, before giving us a great cover of Prince’s “Raspberry Beret”.

After a couple of verses of “Where It’s At,” Beck stops the song to introduce the band, with each member performing a solo snippet of a classic tune, including “Miss You”, “Cars” and “Once In a Lifetime”. Bringing it all back to finish “Where It’s At”, Beck winds up the show with style!

This North American leg of “Colors” continues across the US and Canada through early August. After a quick jaunt to Japan for two Summer Sonic festival shows in Tokyo & Osaka, Beck and band return to NA with dates going into September. For a guaranteed good time, grab tickets to the nearest show!


Oh Wonder:

The Fox Theatre:

Author: Kate Sumbler

Senior Photojournalist — Portfolio

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