So, my wife and I went to a Beck show at UC Davis last night. It was her birthday gift from me, and she was thrilled. I, too, was excited as I'd seen Beck once before dance his ass off at an odd Sunday afternoon show in Berkeley several years ago. But last night, I noticed several things about the Beck-man.
First, he's boring. Maybe he wasn't feeling it last night, but I found myself at points during the show staring at the ceiling, checking my watch, or listening to the overwhelming amount of crowd chatter for such a prestigious act. My boredom was quelled, at points, by the marionette show at the back of the stage. Beck and his crew designed marionette duplicates of the band to perform each song while the actual band performed each song. Brilliant ... for about one song. Then, it became schtick.
Also falling into the "brilliant ... for one song" category was the percussionist in the band who, song after song, danced wildly around the stage, performing such classic moves as the "robot" and some break dancing. Dressed in a short-sleeve, white button-up shirt with a black tie, he looked like a Morman in the throes of an amphetimine seizure. But I digress...
The main point is this: Beck's songs are rather dull, and many lack song quality at all. Like my guru said, many of Beck's tunes are repetitive riffs with some mumbled lyrics. And, like Jack Johnson, the rhythm of many of Beck's lyrics remain unchanged from song to song, like some rock-rap mantra. While the crowd clearly enjoyed the upbeat dance tunes, Beck has the burden, I think, of pleasing everyone in the audience, which in turn makes the pacing of his show tedious. His hits like "Loser," "Devil's Haircut," and "Where It's At" are played consecutively, peaking the crowd's penchant to groove. But he follows those with numbers from "Sea Changes" or "Mutations," creating palapable lulls in the audience's interest. I looked around during these songs and witnessed people simply looking around as if lost or ... bored. I prefer the latter, at least on the recordings, but last night I found even those tunes monotonous and dull.
Of course, this boredom may occur at every show, not just Beck's shows. I don't recall being the bored before, but I'm sure others out there would argue that a Wilco show (one of my favorite bands) is as exciting as watching two snails fornicate.
Maybe it's just me. My wife was happy, and that's all I care about anyway.