Volume 92, Issue 7

Tuesday, September 15, 1998

here we go


Folky threesome draws a crowd

By Neil Malhotra
Gazette Staff

The summer concert season opened June 3 at the Molson Amphitheatre with a glance into the future of folk pop – Beck, Ben Folds Five and Sean Lennon continued to show why they are the leaders in ground-breaking songwriting.

Lennon opened with a short set, debuting his distorted melodies to an unresponsive crowd. He showed some creative writing, but over-did the effects pedals and botched the sound. Lennon created his biggest stir by coming from backstage after his set and signing autographs as the crew set-up Folds' baby grand piano.

Ben Folds Five came out to put on a show and the band pulled it off using extraordinary musicianship, while providing stage antics such as rapidly smashing a stool into the ivories. The band provided the crowd with all the pleasers from "One Angry Dwarf" to "The Battle of Who Could Care Less." Noticeably, the trio skipped out of playing "Brick," but the crowd was not disappointed after the energetic display. However, their energy could not compare to that of the main attraction.

With a flurry of noise and lights, Beck and his band put on an exhibition that would make the greats proud. Two turntables and a microphone may create his sound, but it is impossible to go without noticing the creativity of the rest of the music.

With his Jagger-esque haircut, Beck ran through the best off his latest release, Odelay, opening with "Devil's Haircut" and "New Pollution." He then made a James Brown exit, only to return with more energy, continuing with crowd favorites like "Loser."

The highlight of the evening was Beck doing a little solo work, picking up his acoustic guitar for a couple of songs and then heading into a harmonica solo. He proved once again that he is one of the most diverse artists around today.

How does Beck go about topping an energetic set? Have the DJ build up the crowd with his own scratched rendition of "Eye of the Tiger" and then break out into "Where It's At." Beck brought the house down with this extended version that went into a long funk-soul part, breathing new life into a song that had been worn out on the radio over the past couple of years.

This past summer the crowd was treated to a glimpse of hope in the stale world of modern rock. One can only wait to see what these musicians will do next time they come around.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998