A magical night as I experience The Gorge and its majestic views of the Columbia River for the first time with one of the best lineups you’ll ever see. Oh, and proceeds from the show raised over $20,000 for food banks in the Central Washington area.
These Austin lads are one of my favorite bands of this century, and it is frankly unbelievable that they were also on this bill –as if Cage and Beck wasn’t enough. I walked in with enough time to grab some pics of the incredible view before they started, and their 45 minutes was marvelous. Their sound is complex yet minimal, with an aloof edge that is punctuated by Britt Daniel’s swagger.
This is the third time I’ve seen them and yet again they didn’t disappoint, with selections spanning their entire career – including a brand new song (“No Bullets Spent”) that is featured on their just-released best-of collection (review forthcoming). The ten minute run of “The Way We Get By”, “Don’t Make Me A Target”, and “The Underdog” was incredible – well done fellas.
Knock Knock Knock
No Bullets Spent
The Way We Get By
Don’t Make Me A Target
Don’t You Evah
I Turn My Camera On
Rent I Pay
Spotify playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2y9nkz6G89Ht9LazNCtqbh?si=Pi8wRE9uQuuObKaWHEPKkw
Opener: Cage the Elephant
During CTE’s ten-year existence that has seen the band follow multiple different muses, one constant is their energy. Matt Schultz is a small person, but he has plenty of spark and was on top of his game tonight. From the first moment and throughout the sixteen song set, he was bouncing around and giving it everything he had – including a trip into the crowd for a couple of songs. Hi, Matt.
These guys have been near the top of my “haven’t seen, should” list for years now, and we all know how easily that can lead to a letdown. No worries here, these cats exceeded my expectations, even if they didn’t perform “Night Running”, their recent single that features Beck. I mean, this was the “Night Running Tour”, so that seems like a missed opportunity, but oh well. They played two of their most spazzed out songs (“House of Glass” and show closer “Teeth”) as well as two of their spookiest and personal favorites, “Too Late to Say Goodbye” and “Cold Cold Cold”.
Too Late to Say Goodbye
Cold Cold Cold
Ready to Let Go
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
It’s Just Forever
House of Glass
Come a Little Closer
Shake Me Down
Spotify playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5SuzrJFicEUKWsbcZaG4Gs?si=hCEwZtq0TwefQpmVWEKyLw
Hard to believe that Beck has been crafting his unique and instantly recognizable music for over 25 years now, but make no mistake- he is still as relevant as he was back when “Loser” was on a non-stop loop on rock radio. Sure, I didn’t care much for his last record, but it was a hit – and the one before it (Morning Phase) was arguably his best work since Odelay. Speaking of “Loser”, he got the show started off with a bang by playing that one right away.
He followed that up with a jazzy take on “The New Pollution” before jumping into a trio of songs from his 2005 “comeback” album Guero (“Que Onda Guero”, “Girl”, and “Black Tambourine”). When he slowed things down and performed an acoustic segment that included the heartbreaking beauty of “Lost Cause”, his talent as a songwriter shone brightest.
Yes, we got the obligatory “Devil’s Haircut” and “Where It’s At”, but then something amazing happened: Beck gave us a couple covers. And they were killer. First, he and the boys had some fun with The Rolling Stones “Miss You”, complete with that classic falsetto crooning a la Jagger. Then, they played a truly Beck-ian take on “Once in a Lifetime”, which was worth the price of admission (and the six hour drive) itself.
During the encore break I moved up the hill to the back of the amphitheater to get a view of “E-Pro” from the cheap seats, which wasn’t bad at all. In the future, I may forego the floor seats (complete with chairs – why chairs at a rock show?!???) and post up on the lawn.
The New Pollution
Que Onda Guero
Up All Night
Where it’s At
Miss You (Rolling Stones cover)
Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)
Spotify setlist playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6bQtAhqhb5wecker4aelU9?si=zH2bU99FTuiOr0FEfoOmNg