Fans in attendance at the Beck show in Detroit on Friday were treated to a special double-header, as the versatile musician, producer, and songwriter decided to open for himself after his original opener was forced to cancel their performance at the last minute.
According to Billboard, the band that was originally scheduled to open for Beck at the Fox Theatre, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, was forced to drop out of the show due to what the venue characterized as a border crossing issue following their show in Toronto on Thursday. Rather than sitting around backstage, Beck and his band -- Smokey Hormel (guitar), Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (keyboards) and Joey Waronker (drums) -- decided to play a 10-song, 40 minute opening set that Billboard said “focused on quieter and more melodic material drawn primarily from this year's Morning Phase and 2002's Sea Change, albeit with more muscular, full-band arrangements.”
The Detroit News reports that the slower, introspective Morning Phase songs were given “a gorgeous live presentation” and that he and the band played deeper cuts like “Dead Melodies” -- which Beck said was written for Johnny Cash -- and “Sleeping Bag.”
After a brief intermission, the group returned to the stage for their regularly scheduled set, which The Detroit News said focused more on “the goofy, good-time jams from Beck’s 20-plus year catalog.” The set list looks similar to that of his Coachella performance, bookended by the Odelay classics “Devil’s Haircut” and “Where It’s At,” although he and the band performed “Get Real Paid” off of Midnight Vultures, which he said they “never get to play.”
All in all, the group played 26 songs between the two sets, an epic show that illustrated Beck’s remarkable range. Anyone who is two decades deep into their career has enough material for two sets, but only an artist like Beck could pull off sad and whimsical in one set, funky and party-starting in the next.
Beck’s tour rolls on with back-to-back NYC performances tonight and tomorrow. Check out Beck's classic video for "Lost Cause" above, click here for a full list of his upcoming dates.