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Beck and Phoenix Concert Review: Indie Rockers Play Hit-Filled Night

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From the Technicolor merch to the staging to the setlist, every little thing about Phoenix and Beck’s joint headlining Summer time Odyssey Tour was breezy throughout a New York cease at Madison Sq. Backyard on Saturday. The strictly enjoyable vibe was finest illustrated by the featherweight “Odyssey,” a brand new tune the 2 acts launched this yr to commemorate the trek (pattern lyrics: “We’ll fall into the ocean / I’ll be there / On an odyssey in the sun”).

Phoenix performed a present heavy on the group’s breakout album, 2009’s “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” and latest file, final yr’s “Alpha Zulu,” main a number of singalongs about posh folks falling in love. From millennial-approved celebration starters “Lisztomania” and “1901” to extra reflective moments like dwell spotlight “Sunskrupt!,” which mashes up “Bankrupt!” and “Love Like a Sunset” right into a prolonged, trippy jam, Phoenix stored issues shifting. Even their latest songs recall the sugary highs of their in style work, so there was by no means a mass exodus to the beer line. The French group’s heat and synthy pop was anchored by the always-ferocious drumming of Thomas Hedlund, whose thunderous work stored the band within the pocket and followers dancing. Moreover, there was loads of visible stimulation, from a barrage of practically blinding strobe lights to the crowdsurfing of singer Thomas Mars.

Such a high-energy act appeared arduous to observe, however Beck and his longtime backing band bounded onstage, turbocharged and able to play a hit-filled set that ignored his most up-to-date file, 2019’s “Hyperspace.” The primary stretch of songs targeted on his career-defining fifth LP, 1996’s “Odelay,” from the soiled guitar roar of opener “Devils Haircut” to the retro-cool “The New Pollution,” and radio hits “Mixed Bizness” and “Girl.” Any zigzagging have a look at Beck’s profession is liable to trigger whiplash, as he casually toggled by means of modes equivalent to ironic rapper, critical guitar man, pop savant and reflective acoustic artist. But the style mix is pure Beck, and his infectious power was the furnace behind all the songs. In leather-based pants and sporting a flashy pair of dancing footwear, the singer busted out strikes straight from the James Brown and Prince playbooks, getting as funky as potential to “Qué Onda Guero” and “Debra.”

Close to the top, Phoenix and Weyes Blood, the night’s opener, got here onstage to play a peppy association of Beck’s 2002 “Sea Change” tearjerker “Lost Cause,” including an odd sense of delight to an entirely miserable traditional. However subsequent, the musicians began up “Odyssey,” with the viewers comfortable to renew bopping round versus listening to a difficult evening of music from both act. Beck ended the night with “Odelay” traditional “Where It’s At,” sending balloons into the gang in the course of the infectious “Bottles and cans / Just clap your hands” chorus. Though Beck made his title as a musical chameleon, it was a deal with to see him having fun with himself in consolation meals mode, getting a kick out of shifting folks and tapping into nostalgia.

Pictured, left to proper: Beck, Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars and opener Weyes Blood

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