While Beck’s latest release, Morning Phase, was more focused on stripped-down ballads, his performance focused more on the upbeat tracks that have filled a majority of his career. He opened with the 1996 track “Devil’s Haircut,” which features a rousing guitar riff and absurd lyrics that set the tone for the evening. From there he went straight into festival crowd-pleasers from his catalog like “Black Tambourine,” “Gamma Ray” and “Think I’m in Love,” which featured Beck and his band breaking into a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” during an interlude.
“Billie Jean” was only one of several brief covers they performed Sunday night, with snippets of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” and Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance” popping up later in the set.
One of the night’s highlights came at the set’s midpoint, when Beck went into his seminal hit “Loser” and then his 2005 single “Hell Yes.” The crowd erupted into sing-alongs, singing “Loser’s” chorus of “Soy un perdedor/I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you kill me?” and collectively chanting “hell yes!” during the later’s hook.
Beck and his band then slowed things down for several tracks from his aforementioned latest release, like “Blue Moon” and “Waking Light.” This brief interlude of Beck’s ballads served its purpose, giving the audience just a long enough break from the non-stop party that the set had been up to that point.
The rest of the night was filled some of Beck’s most diverse up-tempo singles. He wrapped up the main portion of his set with two singles from his acclaimed 2005 album, Guero, “Girl,” a catchy, acoustic guitar driven pop song, and “E-pro,” a guitar-driven rock cut that had Beck and four members of his band playing the song’s riff in unison.
The encore began with the funky 1999 single “Sexx Laws,” which had the audience dancing throughout and singing absurd lyrics like, “I’ll be your chaperone, at the halfway home.” Next up was the cheesy, comedic love song, “Debra,” with Beck performing his best falsetto while the crowd sang along to what was possibly the best song about “getting with” with a JCPenny clerk and her sister performed all weekend.
Beck brought the festival to a close with “Where It’s At,” one of his most upbeat, anthemic tracks, that ended the night – and Forecastle – with one of the most enjoyable celebrations Louisville has ever seen.
Check out our photos from the performance below:
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