Paul Wellman

On top of boasting a packed house and a killer set list, Beck’s Thursday-night stop at the Santa Barbara Bowl proved to be one hell of an impromptu comeback. Then again, Beck never really left us. Sure, this week marked the singer’s first set of dates in nearly four years, but it’s not like he hasn’t been keeping busy. Of late, Beck’s been manning the mixing board, producing and collaborating on records with everyone from Charlotte Gainsbourg to Thurston Moore to Dwight Yoakam. Earlier last week, he announced the release of his own new single, which is set to come out on Jack White’s Third Man Records before month’s end. And based on the many (many, many) camera operators — and one extremely low-flying helicopter — present during Thursday’s set, it seems we can expect a Beck concert doc in the coming months, too.

Beck at the Santa Barbara Bowl
Paul Wellman

Despite all these new ventures, though, the pint-sized hit-maker seemed more than happy to get all nostalgic onstage, dishing up a 21-song set list replete with, well, pretty much every Beck song you’d ever really want to hear. Cuts ranged from the old-school, hip-hop inclined (“Loser,” “Devil’s Haircut”) to the jaunty and sample-driven (“Modern Guilt,” “Gamma Ray”). And, yes, he delivered a sizable helping of cuts from the still achingly beautiful Sea Change. Better yet, Beck ended the night rocking out alongside his 8-year-old son, Cosimo. And Cosimo nearly stole the show with his slick dance moves, helping prove that his dear old dad is as relevant — and groove-worthy — as ever.

Set List:

1. “Loser”
2. “Black Tambourine”
3. “I Think I’m In Love”
4. “The Golden Age”
5. “Lost Cause”
6. “End of the Day”
7. “Sunday Sun”
8. “Hotwax”
9. “Soul of a Man”
10. “Paper Tiger”
11. “Modern Guilt”
12. “Soldier Jane”
13. “Guess I’m Doing Fine”
14. “Jack-Ass”
15. “Gamma Ray”
16. “Minus”
17. “Devil’s Haircut”
18. “Where It’s At”
19. “The New Pollution”
20. “Girl”
21. “E-Pro”


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.