Coachella Music Festival

May 01, 2004


In between songs, Beck announced to the crowd he was gonna try an experiment. Even though it didn't work, Beck's attempt to make music from a Gameboy was delightful. It was great to see Beck's creative juices flowing, and it was heartening to see an artist fail on stage like that.

Beck played an eight song solo acoustic set Saturday afternoon in a large tent. Since Coachella has become known as a test ground for new songs, it was no surprise Beck introduced two unheard numbers to the audienceó"Kangaroo," "Puttin It Down."

Beck played softly and addressed the audience with a light-hearted ease. He was out there having fun, as evidenced when he asked audience members to come onstage and play percussion on The Kinks' "Nothing In This World Can Stop Me Worrying About That Girl." It was a playful end to his concert.

His voice was beautiful, and his performance was a reminder: even though Beck mixes genres like a blender and his sense of irony makes him seem less than serious, he still is one of our generation's best singer-songwriters. Just look at Sea Change, his last album, of which Beck played "Lost Cause" and "Already Dead." Also played was "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes," a haunting song off the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack.

Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You In the End" was the highlight of the set. This song came from the same earnest place as "Nobody's Fault But My Own," a downtrodden song off of Beck's third album, Mutations. Except it grew from the sunnier side of the spectrum, and the song's hopefulness was infectious.

The only problems with the concert were that Beck didn't play longer and that Coachella put him in a tent which needed to be twice as big to fit everybody who wanted to see him.

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