Beck

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Band Summary

Average User Rating 8.90
Total Reviews 2
Last Reviewed August 20th, 2006
 
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Beck brings magic to the Wiltern
Venue/Date: The Wiltern (Los Angeles, CA)
Concert Date:  
June 21st, 2006
Reviewer: aceshooter

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8.84
Mischief in his ways

Performing in L.A., Beck wryly salts reality by hanging out with a bunch of fakes.

By Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer

Beck played with a string section Tuesday at the Wiltern LG but not the kind you might think. On his current tour, the mischievous musician and his band are joined on stage by a group of alter egos in the form of marionettes, each precisely costumed, detailed and deployed to correspond to one of the live players.

By planting a video camera right in front of their dollhouse of a stage, the production made them larger than life at the Wiltern it was the puppets, not the people, that were projected on the large video screen throughout the show, moving mouths, arms and legs in coordination with the real musicians.

One thing this showed is that Beck knows how to keep things interesting, bringing something new and entertaining to a tour that's essentially an in-betweener his new album isn't out until fall, and most of this show's tricks, such as the scene in which the band members sit down and have dinner on stage, are holdovers from his most recent tours.

The puppetry (created by L.A.-based Puppetown Productions, best-known for the Comedy Central show "Crank Yankers") also evoked Beck's early days in Los Angeles clubs, when he'd spike his sets with offbeat, performance-art elements.

This was more sophisticated, of course, and it was strange to periodically catch yourself watching the puppets on the screen and taking a liking to them as if they were actually the performers. If there was some higher commentary intended, it might have involved the ease with which image and reality can be blurred.

Or it might have been just for fun. It certainly stayed central to the concert (the first of two sold-out nights at the Wiltern), with new twists constantly popping up. The miniature stage at one point had its own little interior video screen, and then there was the Puppet Cam, attached to one of the little guys' heads and projecting his viewpoint as he roamed the stage.
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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
Beck is a master at making weird very cool
Venue/Date: Madison Square Garden Arena (New York, NY)
Concert Date:  
October 18th, 2006
Reviewer: aceshooter

      Venue Parking  
      Venue Security  
      Opening Band  
      Opening Song  
      Set List  
      Band Connection  
      Band Energy/Intensity/Showmanship  
      ConcertGoer Energy/Intensity  
      Sound Quality  
      Set and Lighting Design (SLD)  
      The Finish/Encore  
8.95
PUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN
By DAN AQUILANTE
Slideshow image

Beck set a unique, playful stage at the Garden Wednesday.


POP chameleon Beck twisted the minimalist mantra "less is more" into little is large with a rocking puppet show at Madison Square Garden's Theater Wednesday.

Musically, it was a safe deal for both fan and band. Beck anchored the 100-minute set with his hits from the past dozen years, while he featured well-chosen selections from his just-released CD "The Information."

He used his groundbreaking 1994 single "Loser" to open the show. It was excellent, as were "Devil's Haircut," "Black Tambourine," "Where It's At" and "Guero." Of the new songs, "Nausea" was tops.

But it wasn't the music that made this performance so compelling. It was the staging.

The concert was of a mirror reflected in a mirror.

Ready to get dizzy? Beck and his band were, of course, onstage playing the music. At center stage, where most rock outfits place their drummer, was a small, exactly detailed marionette stage, on which puppets (dressed like the band) aped every move that flesh 'n' blood Beck and his pals made.

The real-time puppet show of the concert was projected on the stage-wide video screen behind the actual band.

So when Beck would sing a lead, the video cameras at the little stage would do a close-up of the singing Beck puppet, which was flashed on the big screen behind living, breathing, singing Beck..
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