Aragon Theatre – Chicago, IL
Beck is 38. He is currently touring his eight official studio album, the first of which came out 14 years ago, and this, according to some, is his last tour (though I doubt it). MGMT has basically one album and have been touring non-stop with several of indie-rock’s best. Despite the age difference and generational music-gap, the two were able to sell-out the Aragon weeks in advance backed by their tight innovative instrumentation.
Wrigley Field traffic from witnesses to the Cubs inevitable demise, and the long sold-out line caused many fans to miss MGMT’s “Pieces Of What?” I was able to catch “Time To Pretend,” infectious and always good, “The Handshake,” “Kids,” their coolest track which was amazing live, and “Electric Feel.” The crowd during “Electric Feel” was a little deflated once they were informed it was their last number, capping the short, technical-difficulty integrated, set.
There seemed to be a good portion of the crowd that was bigger fans of MGMT than to Beck, and their set, though short, was excellent. For many this was a refresher from having seen MGMT in one their frequent Shitcago shows.
I had to get to Lakeshore Theatre by 10:00 to catch the Veils, but fortunately this was an early show, and even a 40-minute+ Beck wait allowed me to still catch 12 songs.
Beck opening with “Loser” seemed like a brilliant move, especially if he will no longer be touring. The WXRT introduction claimed their would be a healthy dosage of Modern Guilt tunes, which was completely absent from the first half of their set.
Highlights came as expected on the amazing version “Girl,” “The Devil’s Haircut,” and “Hell Yes.” The non-instrument rap version of his songs were interesting, but didn’t measure up at all to the rest.
I was hoping to catch some Modern Guilt in the time that I was there, but that appeared in the second half, along with a lot of great numbers. Here is the set list copied from Consequence of Sound’s Review
Nicotine and Gravy
Que Onda Guero
Soul of a Man
Think I’m In Love
The Golden Age
Where It’s At
Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat (Dylan cover)