Beck / Cage the Elephant / Spoon / Wild Belle @ Dos Equis Pavilion, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Nick Paruch
What started out as an impromptu songwriting collaboration about vampires and x-ray vision between Beck and Cage The Elephant evolved into a 30-city tour across America. The Night Running tour made its North Texas stop at the Dos Equis Pavilion on an inevitable hot and humid Dallas summer night. And while the air temperature might cool down slightly, the anticipation level of things to come was just warming up.

As the crowd started to make their way into the event the opening act Wild Belle, a brother-sister duo comprising Natalie and Elliot Bergman, kicked off the night. Their reggae, dub and dancehall inspired trop pop sound combine Natalie’s sultry voice and Elliot’s sexy baritone sax to create a perfect soundscape to kick off the evening.

Next up was Spoon, the Austin-based indie rock band took the stage to welcoming Texas crowd.  Britt Daniel, Jim Eno, Alex Fischel, Gerardo Larios and newest member, Ben Trokan, who replaced the longtime bassist Rob Pope, wasted no time and kicked off with “Got Nuffin” and their latest “No Bullets Spent.” Britt’s vocals traveled between smooth undulations in “Don’t You Evah” to his signature serrated edge rasp in “Rent I Pay” all the while supported by one of the tightest bands in the biz.

At this point the crowd was in full force, Cage The Elephant joined the stage and started playing “Broken Boy.” Matt Schultz appeared from behind the drum riser dressed in yellow rain gear carrying a clear umbrella. Everyone immediately stood up and cheered in anticipation of what was going to happen. Matt started singing as a wall of flames exploded at the back of the stage. And this was just the first song! In a frenzied pace Cage roared their set, which included highlighted multiple songs for their latest release Social Cues, with Matt frantically dancing, singing and removing all of his clothes but a beige wrestler’s singlet. Throughout the show he had gone in the crowd near the stag but during the last song “Teeth” he walked to the back grassy area and had the fans lift him up to crowd surf as the song ended and band left the stage. Matt stayed out there until some security guards started chasing him. Not sure if this was staged but it was certainly entertaining and the crowd loved it. He then reappeared on top of a concessions pavilion jumping and waving his arms to egg on the crowd to rounds of cheers. The Cage fans were placated but wanted more.

In terms of stage dynamics Cage The Elephant and Beck differ but they are on parallel paths musically. Always innovating and pushing the musical boundaries but Beck in elder statesman of Alt Rock with an illustrious and eclectic career that includes 13 studio albums, a Grammy and a new album titled Hyperspace due out this year.

Not to be outdone by the previous acts Beck went straight to the tune that put him on the map, “Loser.” Definitely his most well-known song across the wide age groups in attendance. The beauty of Beck’s musical catalog is its non-genre specific, from the funk infused “Devil’s Haircut” and folk styling of “Lost Cause” to the hip-hop vibe in “Where It’s At” and the R&B Satire of “Debra.” Maybe they shouldn’t be defined by genre and just be listed at “Songs from Beck.”

The mirrored platforms filled the stage to elevate the band while lasers and psychedelic imagery from the backdrop   created a sensory overload that flowed out into crowd. The ended with an evolving version of “Where It’s At”. Midsong Beck allowed the band members to play a medley of their favorite songs that included Talking Heads’ “Once In A Lifetime”, The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” and Doobie Brothers “Takin’ it to the Street.” He then invited Cage The Elephant back on stage the perform “Night Running” before closing out with a reprise of “Where It’s At.”

Photos of the show are below:

Wild Belle
Spoon
Cage the Elephant
Beck
Contributed by Nick Paruch
Beck / Cage the Elephant / Spoon / Wild Belle @ Dos Equis Pavilion, Dallas, TX Beck / Cage the Elephant / Spoon / Wild Belle @ Dos Equis Pavilion, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 12:30:00 PM Rating: 5
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