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Beck Preaches With the Choir During Sizzling L.A. Theater Show: Photos + Setlist

If you’ve ever questioned where it’s at, you may not have ever caught Beck in concert. The veteran rocker kicked off his 2017 touring by taking part in week-long Citi Sound Vault launch, which opened at the Hollywood Palladium earlier this week with a two-night stand featuring Sting.

Decked out in black, Beck took the stage and, with a rocked-out guitar delivering the opening licks of “Devil’s Haircut,” the show got off on a powerful note. A dizzying light show backed the song as red, black and white blocked numbers lit up a screen in perfect sync with the beats. After the energetic opener, the crowd began to settle into the groove with his breakout track “Loser,” singing along for the first time in the night as giant Koosh balls populated the screens behind the singer. “Black Tambourine” kept the mood upbeat with its highly percussive feel.

A little later in the set, Beck and the band enjoyed their first journey off the expected path, rocking the incredibly catchy “Think I’m in Love” and letting it transition into the Donna Summer classic “I Feel Love” before picking up the conclusion of the track. After the guitar-driven goodness of “Soul of a Man,” Beck began to dial things back a bit. Reminiscing about recording in a studio near the venue while also praising a friend of his, he dedicated the undeniable slow groove of “Go It Alone” to Jack White.

The melancholy masterpiece “Lost Cause” followed, and while it seemed that Beck was beginning the transition into the slower portion of his set, the singer had a surprise for the night — a local Los Angeles choir that really took the remainder of the night’s show to a new level. Initially coming out during the performance of “Blue Moon,” they infused the song with an unexpected energy and helped give it a sun-drenched harmony that would have made the Beach Boys proud. But this choir was there for more than just pretty harmonies while backing up Beck, as the singer began to feature them more prominently as the night went on.

It started with a Beck rarity, as he pulled out the gospel song “Like a Ship (Without a Sail).” He let the spirit move the audience as well as himself as he shared vocals with the choir’s main singers, imploring the audience, “I know we can shake it.” It was a definite highlight of the night, ending with the band bowing out, leaving the choir to sing a cappella. Keeping the spirit moving, Beck and the choir moved on to “Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods” with the singer eventually breaking out his harmonica and the choir putting on a chaotic and mesmerizing vocal display for the awestruck crowd.

Fan favorites like “Mixed Bizness,” the recent hit “Wow,” “Girl” and “Sexx Laws” kept things light and bouncy during the ride toward the finish, with the stomp-along, sing-along “E-Pro” rounding out the body of the show.

Beck returned for the encore, inviting the audience to have some input on what came next. Eventually deciding on the beautiful Sea Change cut “Paper Tiger,” Beck and the choir seemed to bring the spirit of the song up and make it a more upbeat track.

After teasing the crowd with a bit of the Beatles‘ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” Beck ended the night with “Where It’s At,” but not without considerable jumping around in terms of song parts and leading the crowd in pogoing. For a song that speaks to having “two turntables and a microphone,” Beck showed he had so much more, introducing each member of his group and allowing them all to get a spotlight on a cover of their choosing. That led to bits of Chic’s “Good Times,” David Bowie‘s “China Girl,” the Doobie Brothers‘ “Taking It to the Streets” (with a very game Roger Manning doing his best Michael McDonald), Prince‘s “1999,” Michael Jackson‘s “Billie Jean” and even a bit of Beck’s own “One Foot in the Grave” all getting moments in the spotlight until Beck brought it back around to “Where It’s At.” With some well-choreographed moves featuring his fellow band members and the choir’s director, Beck eventually shuffled off the stage, leaving the crowd with a thoroughly entertaining set.

The Citi Sound Vault series at the Hollywood Palladium continues tonight (Feb 11) with the Chainsmokers taking the stage, while Metallica get to finish out the run on Sunday (Feb. 12) playing a post-Grammys performance. And while the five nights of shows at the Palladium is coming to an end, it’s actually just the start of what’s to come from the program. For more details, click here and stay tuned for future Citi Sound Vault events. And be sure to check out our photos from Beck’s performance in the gallery above.

Beck, Citi Sound Vault at Hollywood Palladium – Feb. 10, 2017 Set List

1. “Devil’s Haircut”
2. “Loser”
3. “Black Tambourine”
4. “The New Pollution”
5. “Que Onda Guero”
6. “Think I’m in Love” (with a bit of Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”)
7. “Soul of a Man’
8. “Go It Alone”
9. “Lost Cause”
10. “Blue Moon”
11. “Like a Ship (Without a Sail)”
12. “Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods”
13. “Mixed Bizness”
14. “Wow”
15. “Girl”
16. “Sexx Laws”
17. “E-Pro”

Encore

18. “Paper Tiger”
19. “Where It’s At” (featuring parts of “Good Times,” “China Girl,” “Taking It to the Streets,” “1999,” “Billie Jean” and “One Foot in the Grave”)

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