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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Beck hits all the marks with puppets

    Beck opens his performance at Rialto Theatre with his well-known song, Devils Haircut.  The sold-out concert featured dancing puppets, a dinner table jam session and plenty of audience undergarments.
    Beck opens his performance at Rialto Theatre with his well-known song, “”Devil’s Haircut.”” The sold-out concert featured dancing puppets, a dinner table jam session and plenty of audience undergarments.

    For anyone who ever wondered if Beck lives up to his subtle, sultry, sexy, slick persona I am here, along with the rest of the sold out Rialto Theatre audience, to testify that he does.

    Although there was no opening band scheduled for Beck’s Tucson debut, an 80s poser metal band called Wounded Cougar, supposedly from Yuma, opened wtih a few improvisational songs wearing aviators, tight jeans, acid wash T-shirts and wigs.

    But after a seemingly minimal set change, the man himself took the stage around 9 p.m. with a four-man band, plus a floater dancer/waiter/bongo player and the infamous puppet band to the well known hit “”Devil’s Haircut.””

    For the next eight songs Beck’s full-sounding, thumping band played non-stop, smoothly transitioning from hit to hit off Guero from “”Black Tambourine”” to “”Girl”” to “”Scarecrow”” and old favorites “”Where it’s At”” and “”New Pollution.””

    But if Beck’s seamless and tight performance wasn’t enough to blow me away, the complete replication puppet band, with their own puppet stage including videographers recording and projecting their every move onto the screen behind Beck, was definitely one of the defining moments of the night. The puppets, wearing the same attire as the real band members, played their respective instruments on their own stage toward the back of the real stage and even toted a “”puppet cam”” that would film the band at various times.

    Throughout his hour and a half set, Beck played just about every song one could have hoped for, which was a nice change from most bands that neglect to play their “”old”” stuff.

    The highlight of the evening came when Beck’s band took seats at the completely set dinner table on stage as Beck played a round of acoustic songs including “”Lost Cause”” off Sea Change.

    The laid-back band played with several pairs of underwear, both sexy and not, thrown on stage and accompanied Beck with percussion using their flatware, cups and plates.

    Beck finished with two encores. In between them, a short video of the puppets gallivanting around recognizable Tucson landmarks including a UA gift shop, the Broadway Boulevard snake bridge, Hippie Gypsy and Club Congress played with accompanied byimprovisational narration.

    Beck finished with “”Loser,”” which got the entire crowd dancing, and “”Rental Car”” from Guero.

    The only other thing I could have asked for would have been Beck to bust out some killer dance moves, but the ingenious musician scored the perfect balance between a modern technology enhanced production and a true rock performance.

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