Beck & Phoenix at Dos Equis Pavilion

Words by Susie Ramone, Phots by Dustin Schneider

We couldn’t handle the heat that is Dos XX until the sun went down and even then it was still over 100°. However, with the sun behind the wall, a nice breeze, and fans,  I was pretty comfortable when Phoenix took the stage at 7:45 on Monday evening. And it seemed that everyone else was too as they rose to their feet when the French band, Phoenix opened up with Lisztomania. Surrounded by multiple layers of high-definition LED screens, the band appeared at times like they were performing inside a Renaissance painting, a video game, or on another planet. The band performed a career-spanning set that ended with their big hit 1901 and a reprisal of Identical, during which lead singer, Thomas Mars went into the crowd. I know that it comes as no surprise to anyone that I got caught in the middle of his crowd interactions, much like mosh pits of yore. 
Then came the moment we all were waiting for, as Beck took the stage for a concert that will undoubtedly be etched in the memories of all who attended. The multi-talented artist delivered a performance that transcended expectations, blending his iconic hits with a fresh energy that had the entire audience enthralled from start to finish, Beck’s ability to effortlessly traverse musical genres was on full display, showcasing his unparalleled versatility as a musician. The concert opened with an atmospheric intro that set the tone for the evening, as anticipation among the crowd reached a fever pitch. As the first notes of “Devil’s Haircut” reverberated through the venue, the amphitheater erupted into a chorus of cheers and applause. It was a nostalgic journey for long-time fans and an introduction to the artist’s brilliance for newcomers.

What truly stood out during the performance was Beck’s connection with the audience. His charismatic stage presence, combined with his genuine interactions and anecdotes, created an intimate atmosphere despite the massive crowd. This was not just a concert; it was a shared experience between the artist and his admirers.

Beck’s band was a powerhouse of talent, seamlessly weaving together a rich tapestry of sounds that ranged from folk to funk to rock. The arrangements were masterful, breathing new life into familiar hits and making them feel fresh and invigorating. The setlist was a carefully curated journey through his discography, touching upon songs from different eras of his career, including “E-Pro,” “Loser,” “Dreams,” and “Wow.” Each song was a testament to Beck’s musical evolution and innovation, and the crowd responded with unbridled enthusiasm.

The stage design and visual effects added another layer of artistry to the show. Stunning light displays, the aforementioned LED screens, and carefully choreographed visuals complemented the music, creating a multisensory spectacle that enhanced the overall experience.

As the night progressed, Beck’s energy was contagious, and it was impossible not to get swept up in the collective euphoria. The audience danced, sang along, and celebrated together, forging a sense of unity that is a hallmark of great live performances.

In the end, as Beck delivered a poignant rendition of “Where It’s At,” the cheers and applause reverberated long after the final note had faded. The concert at Dos Equis Pavilion on August 21, 2023, was a testament to Beck’s enduring artistry and his ability to create a transcendent musical experience. This was more than a concert; it was a celebration of music, connection, and the indelible impact of a truly remarkable artist!