This summer alternative rock singer BECK went on tour with co-headliner PHEONIX for the ‘Summer Odyssey Tour’. On September the 3rd the tour would head north of the border to Canada ultimately settling in Toronto to play at the Budweiser Stage. Labour day weekend always marks the unofficial end of summer – at least in Canada so the area around the concert venue was a bee hive of activity with National exhibition taking place right across the road from the Bud stage box office. The lights from the Exhibition midway were visible from the entrance of the venue which seemed to blend perfectly with the large, layered HD screens just across the street which would serve as backdrops for the night’s performances. All together it was a very festive environment and the perfect send off for summer 2023. Also playing at this show would be artists Sir Chloe and Weyes Blood who would serve as the show openers. French pop-rock band Phoenix would be the first headliner to hit the stage on the night to the tune of their song “Lisztomania”. The band was on the Summer Odyssey tour to promote their latest album and single titled “Alpha Zulu”. A few months ago Beck and Phoenix released a new song together titled “Odyssey” which is the most recent music from the pair and served as the inspiration for the tour. Phoenix has been known to use video screens for their live concerts for many years now but I think this latest stage set up with its 4k quality is the most elaborate yet. My personal favourite design was the diamond pattern that was visually stunning to see and actually helped to hid the stage platforms to give the appearance that the band was floating in the air. A few other songs that would make the set list in Toronto were “Trying to be cool” and “Tonight”. The set was concluded with “Identical” while Phoenix lead singer Thomas Mars performed some acrobatics by crowd surfing through the audience although it would not be the last time he would be seen on stage during the show.The night’s headliner Beck would start his performance very strong with one of his most well known and my personal favourite songs being “Devil’s Haircut”. Not only did it get the crowd hyped up for what was to come, it also showed what the giant screen in the background could really do. Beck’s stage and set was slightly altered when compared to the previous act as some stairs and more of a defined platform was added in by the stage crews which would give the singer more room for movement which made for a more dynamic overall presentation. Looking at Beck’s set list as a whole, it reveals a front and back loaded track arrangement. The first six songs would contain major single releases like “The New Pollution”, “Girl” and “Wow”. The back end of the performance would feature the top 40 hit “Dreams” as well as the 1994 classic song that started it all being “Loser”. The final act of the concert would be a special three song encore that would see Phoenix and Weyes Blood come back on stage to perform the title tour track “Odyssey” and the curtain closer would be the 1996 classic “Where its at”. The west coast singer hasn’t released a new record since 2019’s Hyperspace which leaves most fans to suspect a new Beck album is either in the works or nearing completion. I personally suspect that this latest tour with Phoenix was a warm up for 2024 when Beck will roll out a new complete project with a tour to go along with it. I am old enough to remember when Beck first hit the scene in the mid 1990’s with his new hip-hop infused style which seemed to officially end the grunge music movement of the early 90s. Beck’s versatile musical style seems to give him the ability to change with the times and adapt to each new decade. It will be interesting to see what Beck has in store for the world of music in the 2020’s but if I had to guess I would say “Odyssey” is the closest thing we have to a preview as of now. I’ve been familiar with Beck’s music for 25 years plus but it was a treat to see him perform live in 2023 for the first time.
The Summer Odyssey tour officially wrapped up on September 10th in Columbus, Maryland but we were lucky enough to capture a few live video clips from the concert at the Budweiser Stage for the fans that didn’t get a chance to attend which are available just below. For more photos and new updates on Beck be sure to follow him on Instagram @Beck.
Photos & Article By Kyle McNeil(@trueaspectmedia)