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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Beck, Budokan, April 16th

I have spent almost a week trying intermittently to write a review of this concert. I have two unfinished drafts in which I waffle on about Live at The Budokan and stuff and in neither of them can I get passed the second paragraph. So, here's the short version - Beck at the Budokan will be the greatest live album/DVD if his record company have the good sense to release it. The Rolling Stones labour under the impression that a hugely elaborate stage set is the only way a band can shake up the concert-goer's experience, but Beck pissed on that theory from a great height in coming up with his own way of doing things. Firstly, put together a backing band of multi-instrumentalist who can flit between guitars, bass, drums, maracas, synthesisers, a bank of Macs and tableware with enviable ease. Secondly, perform the best songs from each record you've released thereby creating the perfect live album set-list. Thirdly, do away with the usual big screen and camera set-up for those fans who can't see what's happening on stage. In its place recreate the band's performance live using puppets and film that instead, making sure that each puppet is wearing exactly the same clothes as its human counterpart. Finally, make the inevitable encore infinitely more interesting than usual by using the time when the band are off-stage to show a short film starring the puppets in which Beck puppet dreams that he is 'Beckzilla' rampaging through the streets of Tokyo.

There you have it, the perfect live DVD and album. Unfortunately the Budokan has the sternest looking security guards I've seen at a Japanese venue, so the only photos I have of the show are the one above that was taken outside before the show, and the ones below of the puppets which my friend took from the programme she bought. Just keep your fingers crossed and hope that the DVD comes out - then it'll all make sense.