Buffalo knew pure "Mellow Gold" was in store when Beck was announced as the headliner of Rockin’ at the Knox.
But while gold was struck in the undefinable musician's decades-long and genre-spanning performing prowess, so too did lightning.
It warned us in the distance, sent dark, gray skies and wind gusts as fair warning, then arrived in full force with heavy rain three songs into Beck’s set Monday night outside the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. But the brief downpour plus a 45-minute break barely thinned out a hungry crowd.
“We’re gonna hopefully dry you off a bit,” Beck responded to reinvigorated applause, strutting back onstage around 10 p.m., after a thorough squeegeeing and uncovering of equipment.
The unmistakable slide guitar hook intro to 1993 alt-rock hit “Loser” quickly reminded a drenched, faithful crowd exactly why they persevered. “I’m humbled by you all sticking around through that storm,” Beck said.
Donning a sharp navy blue suit and signature black wide-brimmed hat, looking and sounding like he recently visited the Fountain of Youth, 48-year-old Beck Hansen and his seven-piece band delivered a spirited, soulful second-half performance.
Three bops off the 2017 pop-rock masterpiece “Colors” – “Dreams,” “I’m So Free” and “Up All Night” – were featured consecutively in the middle of a 15-song set. Riff-rife headbanger “E-Pro”; twangy, harmonica-heavy “One Foot In The Grave”; and a breezy, affectionate “Girl” rounded out the set’s core.
“Any requests?” Beck asked the crowd, knowing the involuntary intermission derailed his set list.
Of three proposed options, the vocal response to “Midnite Vultures” grooves “Sex Laws” and “Nicotine Gravy” beat out newcomer "Colors," the title song off his latest release. (Beck should have known that, when you ask any diehard music fan, the old stuff is always the best stuff.)
A reprised “Where It’s At” closed out the later-than-anticipated, but as-good-as-advertised performance.
In what felt like another place and time, indie-rock band Hollerado belted out solid upbeat bumps like “Juliette” and “Born Yesterday” during a balmy, sun-drenched warm-up set. The band made sure to announce it is not the Arkells — another Canadian import up there with Labatt Blue as one of Buffalo’s favorites.
All sang and done, it was a night up there with the Buffalo Bills’ blizzarding Week 14 win over the Colts last season for notable wild-weather, late-game pull-throughs.
Rockin' at the Knox: Beck with Hollerado
June 16 outside the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
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