Friday, August 3, 2012


Beck (Cassidy Turbin)


Oct. 7, 2006 @ Detour Festival (Downtown)

This was L.A. Weekly's first attempt at an annual outdoor festival in Downtown, which only happened two more times before they stopped and turned it into an indoor show called L.A. 101. This premiere Detour was awesome, though. The area surrounding City Hall was blocked off, as three stages, food and vendor booths were set up and festivities lasted from noon to midnight. And, oh, what a lineup: Basement Jaxx, Queens of the Stone Age, Mike Patton's Peeping Tom (introduced by Danny DeVito), of Montreal, Blonde Redhead and !!! among others.

But the main reason I was there was to see Beck. He had just released his 10th album, The Information, and I hadn't seen him perform in years, so I was pretty excited. The first strains of "Loser" erupted from the speakers, but no musicians were on the stage. Instead, there was a huge backdrop showing footage of puppets that looked exactly like Beck and his band performing the song. It was priceless. The real-life band appeared about halfway through the song to actually finish it up.

The rest of the set was a good mix of old and new – from "Devil's Haircut" to "E-Pro" and "Nausea." One of my favorite moments was the reconfigured-to-be-more-'80s "Where It's At." It was just the perfect mix of a magical environment (I remember looking at the moon during the song and thinking how beautiful it was.), crowd energy and the right song for an "aah moment." Then, a dinner table – complete with wine glasses, plates and silverware – was placed on stage. The band sat down and used the dishes to play percussion in between Beck strumming his acoustic and singing "The Golden Age" and a bit of "One Foot in the Grave."

Winding the set to a close, the group left the stage and a video came on of the puppet version of Beck going through the festival earlier in the day, joking and interviewing the crowd. It was a hilarious end to a fun and unique set from one of Los Angeles' most innovative musicians.

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