Words by Audra Tracy | Photos by Scott Paymer

Atlantic City, NJ — “I’ve got two turntables…but I left them home”, Beck quipped to his Atlantic City audience on 6/23 before breaking out the seminal 90’s track ‘Where It’s At’. Touring for the first time in four years, he made a quick stop at America’s favorite playground for one of only nine gigs booked in the U.S. this summer.

On the other side of town, metal-heads moshed to Metallica’s headlining performance at the Orion Festival. But the Music Box @ The Borgata found fans geeking out to a very different kind of rock show.

California’s chameleon took the stage around 9:30 in a bowler hat and leather jacket, kicking things off with the bass-heavy barn burner ‘Black Tambourine’. ‘Gamma Ray’ and ‘Soul of a Man’ off 2008’s Modern Guilt followed, and then Beck turned down the tone to match his acoustic guitar.


It’s ten years gone since one of alternative rock’s most influential players released his most emotional record, Sea Change. (Don’t shoot the messenger). So with his original backing band in tow, Beck revisited his softer side with the live treatment of songs like ‘Lost Cause’, ‘Golden Age’, and ‘Paper Tiger’. The vibe got mushy for just a moment, but once he picked that electric guitar back up, the crowd returned to their feet for two of his biggest radio hits, ‘Loser’ and ‘Devil’s Haircut’.

Beck’s adaptable nature found him channeling different psyches for different songs throughout the show. One minute he was going a little Bowie on ‘Think I’m in Love’, the next he was grunge-ing up a cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat’. His band has honed their craft well, too, and they were armed to the teeth with an arsenal of instruments to complement each sound – and each other.

His new single via Third Man Records, ‘I Just Starting Hating Some People Today,’ was mysteriously absent from the set… but with odds like that at a casino, maybe we should all bet on Beck.


TheWaster.com | Atlantic City