Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon (The Gorge-George, WA) 7/13/19

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.

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Opener: Spoon

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.

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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.

Setlist:

Knock Knock Knock

No Bullets Spent

The Way We Get By

Don’t Make Me A Target

The Underdog

Hot Thoughts

Don’t You Evah

Do You

Inside Out

I Turn My Camera On

Got Nuffin

Rent I Pay

Spotify playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2y9nkz6G89Ht9LazNCtqbh?si=Pi8wRE9uQuuObKaWHEPKkw

 

Opener: Cage the Elephant

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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.

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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”.

Setlist:

Broken Boy

Cry Baby

Spiderhead

Too Late to Say Goodbye

Cold Cold Cold

Ready to Let Go

Social Cues

Tokyo Smoke

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked

Punchin’ Bag

It’s Just Forever

Telescope

House of Glass

Come a Little Closer

Shake Me Down

Teeth

Spotify playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5SuzrJFicEUKWsbcZaG4Gs?si=hCEwZtq0TwefQpmVWEKyLw

 

Headliner: Beck

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.

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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.

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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.

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Setlist:

Loser

The New Pollution

Que Onda Guero

Girl

Black Tambourine

Mixed Bizness

Wow

Lost Cause

Saw Lightning

Devil’s Haircut

Dreams

Up All Night

Where it’s At

Miss You (Rolling Stones cover)

Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads cover)

E-Pro

Spotify setlist playlist link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6bQtAhqhb5wecker4aelU9?si=zH2bU99FTuiOr0FEfoOmNg

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