Friday 2 December 2016

Beck, Royal Hospital Kilmainham review

Published 19/06/2015 | 14:57

Where it's at: Beck
Where it's at: Beck

Beck is a somewhat old-fashioned rock star in the 21st century scheme of things; prolific, tenacious and perennially popular without ever being an omnipresent celebrity at any point during his thirty-year career.

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Tellingly, his most recent high profile moment was when Kanye West stormed the stage during the presentation of a Grammy to Beck for best album. Beck Hansen truly is the antithesis of West's gargantuan ego.

"This is one of the few times I can see every face in the crowd," he says. "You look like the kind of people I want to hang out with. Do you have any room on your couch? And maybe some soup?"

Before his hit-studded set, Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead performs with the London Symphony Orchestra, which should amount to a lot more than an amuse-bouche before the headline act.

It would be perfect in the Concert Hall, but falls frustratingly flat in the great outdoors. Beck hits all the right buttons from the off with 'Devil's Haircut'. Even his slower and more melancholic material is given a make over for the occasion.

'Think I'm in Love' segues into a cover of Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', while a colossal encore of 'Where It's At' sprawls out into an elongated medley encompassing Tom Jones and Chic, whom Beck is reportedly collaborating with next. Strictly speaking, 'Sexx Laws' is a cheesy Prince pastiche, but it is terrific fun live.

The Californian singer surveys the sun setting over Phoenix Park and the Wellington monument, remarking how lucky we are to live in a green country compared to the arid desert he calls home.

On nights like this accompanied by the perfect soundtrack, it takes an outsider like Beck to point out our good fortune, while making us feel glad to be alive in the process.

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