Beck performed a secret show for 100 fans at London’s The Social Tuesday night.
The show was a part of a contest put together by the publication Faber, which released Beck’s 2012 book Song Reader. Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth was also in attendance. “I feel like we all should have met in the park earlier so that we could have got to know each other,” he said to the audience. “It’s a beautiful summer’s eve.”
Beck’s set was far from structured and stripped down to mainly intimate acoustic versions of songs such as “The Golden Age” from 2002’s Sea Change and “Gamma Ray,” (which was also accompained by his Korg Drum Machine) from Modern Guilt, to his notable cover of “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” by the Korgis for the 2003 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. He also took requests from the small audience, responding to a fan shouting for him to cover “Rowboat” from his independently released album Stereopathetic Soulmanure, but after three attempts, to no avail. “I don’t know that one anymore,” he said. “There’s a point when you know all your songs, and then it just goes.”
Wedged between an acapella version of “Hollow Long” from One Foot in the Grave were covers of “No Expectations,” by the Rolling Stones, as well as an attempt at Prince’s radio hit “Raspberry Beret,” that was abandoned before the bridge of the song. The Secret To Music Is Hygiene, an essay from his book was read to the audience, and more specifically to the only musician in the audience, where Beck said to them, “This is for you, then. The rest of you can just ignore it.”
Song Reader is mainly comprised of sheet music from unreleased Beck albums. When trying to cover the songs during his set he told the audience, “I was going to play some songs from Song Reader, but I don’t know them. Hey, I did it four years ago. The book is still available. It’s full of hits you never heard.”
“Loser,” his most famous single, was the final song played and the only performed with an electric guitar and without an introduction. However, he did not perform his most recent non-album single “Dreams,” which was released on June 15th.
You can check out the setlist below.
Beck @ The Social London, June 30th:
‘The Golden Age’
‘Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime’
‘One Foot In The Grave’
‘The Secret To Music Is Hygiene’