Since it’s been four years since Beck released a new album, his 50-minute set at the Lands End stage at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival spanned his entire career, tabbing several of his biggest hits on a chilly Friday evening.
Clad in a dark shirt and a wide-brimmed black hat, Beck also threw in a few gems that might have surprised the audience.
There was the Bob Dylan cover of “Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat,” and perhaps more timely, a nod to Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” that was a precursor to the rock legend’s headlining gig later that night.
But the diverse crowd seemed to be most fired up for Beck’s meatier stuff, whether it was the groovy dubs of 1996’s Odelay, or the chillwave of 2002’s Sea Change.
While the turntables weren’t there, “Devil’s Haircut” and “Novacane” felt like they were right on par with their album versions, with “Novacane” taking a delightfully dirty road with a fuzzed-out bass line from longtime Beck bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen.
Sea Change’s “Lost Cause” was especially poignant when Beck dedicated it to late Beastie Boys b-boy Adam “MCA” Yauch,” who passed away earlier this year from cancer.
Beck ended his set with two of his biggest hits – despite the crossover success of the previously-played “Loser” – “Where It’s At” and “E-Pro.”
With a new project on the way titled Beck Hansen’s Song Reader, an offering that features 20 songs that existed only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded, there could be even more classics on the way.