Saw Beck at Hammerstein Ballroom with Ray. Lovely night. The opening act, McRorie, wore a kilt and a suit that allowed him to play electronic drums, bass and guitar with his body. He was canadian, so I guess he couldn't help it. He did numerous rap covers (Rapper's Delight, Fight for Your Right to Party, I Like Big Butts by Sir-Mix-a-Lot (god have mercy on us all)). He also exhorted the fellows to "go downtown" for their ladies. Frankly, even though I appreciate, in no particular order, kilts, electronic drums, canadians, cunnilingus, old-school rap, and one-man-bands, somehow the convergence of all these elements in the singular person of McRorie was too much for my poor mind to take. I emerged into the set break a broken and sadder man. Which doesn't mean I didn't enjoy him.
Then Beck came along to make it all alright. I saw him when he toured with The Flaming Lips for his Sea Change album. He was a little more mellow, a little sad, a little broken himself. Though I loved his voice (apparently, when depressed, Beck's voice modulates from a reedy coffeehouse folky's whine to a rich baritone that would not sound out of place on an LP of old Marine battle hymns), the energy and pizazz was a little lacking. Plus, Steph got ill in the middle of his set and we had to split.
This time, he was every bit the showman, rocking out for a good portion, spicing the mix with the occasional ballad (including a flaming lips cover!) and generally rocking out with his caulking out. It was awesome.
I stayed out afterwards and handed out flyers for the PARSE party until I got picked up by a couple of poet girls who offered to take a bunch of flyers to their school to hand out. I gratefully said yes, accompanied them to Wendy's for a pleasant conversation and ran for my train a few minutes later.
Overall, a fantastic night. In case you're wondering about the post heading, Ray turned to me and spoke those exact words not a half-hour before Beck introduced himself as "The Artist Currently Known as Beck". So it wasn't just us.