Beck Is Where It’s At

Beck Madison Square Garden concert review
Beck performs in the arena at Madison Square Garden on June 19 (Photos by Carl Sheffel/MSG Photos)

As talented as he is, Beck Hansen—just Beck on stage—stayed humble as he put on his first ever headlining performance in “The World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden last Thursday, July 19, as part of his Colors tour. Donning skin-tight black pants, a black and white button down, black blazer and black wide-brimmed hat, the blazer and hat which he would later swap for a white version, the singer told the tale of how enraptured he was with New York City as an 18-year-old man stepping off of a Greyhound bus.

After an enchanting opening act courtesy of Jenny Lewis, the 48-year-old opened the show with “Devil’s Haircut” and continued to play through nearly 20 songs, although he was in no rush to do so. He often stopped to talk to the crowd, telling stories and simply being grateful for the opportunity to set foot on the Garden’s stage.

As he went through his set, Beck wowed the crowd—literally when he performed “Wow,” complete with an audience-wide chorus of Owen Wilson’s slow-drawled “wow” at Beck’s request—with his slick dance moves and high-energy attitude throughout the night. He even brought out Spoon frontman Britt Daniel for a couple of songs.

Later on, Lewis reappeared to join Beck for “Girl Dreams,” a song he hasn’t performed live in 15 years and was a pre-show, last-minute decision after Lewis informed him of Bill Murray’s love for the track.

Songs like “Loser” and “E-Pro” were done toward the end of the set, rousing every fan in the building as two of his biggest hits are universally known.

Making good use of his time allotted on stage, Beck ended the show with a drawn-out rendition of “Where It’s At” as he introduced each member of the band and had them give their own solo performance.  

A night nothing short of spectacular, the five-time Grammy winner was gracious and gave off the vibe of being a longtime friend rather than just another artist the crowd had paid to see.

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