Tuesday, October 31, 2006

DC Freaks - A $12 Beck Extravaganza

Single-handedly the greatest experience of my life, and I feel as though I’m not the only one who shares that feeling.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, the going-out gurus leaked the secret: Beck was doing a surprise show at the Black Cat’s Backstage at Midnight; tickets were to go on sale at 9. Those of us who were fortunate enough to find this miracle of a leak should consider ourselves extremely lucky. The excitement will not drop until at least a few weeks.

Heading over right after work to stand in line was probably a bit aggressive, but I would gladly do it again to see what I saw last night. We were the few, the proud, the extremely bored and under-appreciated who sat on the sidewalk in front of the Black Cat from 6 until 9 waiting and watching the line lengthen behind us.

At this point, I need to stop and reflect on the way that the Black Cat staff handled last night: very poorly. Every wannabe hipster employee they had was on a rookie cop power trip the likes of which I haven’t seen since our parties got busted in high school. There is enough material here for a post all its own, so I will leave it at that . . . for now.

About 9, we all shuffled in and got in another line in the Red Room to get stamped for a second time. $12 to see Beck = fucking genius. Now it was another 3 hour wait until the big event which we all passed in passive excitement and beer fueled camaraderie. About 11, everyone decided to get in line again at the door for the Backstage and wait standing up for an hour to get good placement for the show—man we love standing in line because there isn’t a single bad spot in the Backstage.

When the Black Cat elite decided to let us plebeians through the door, we shuffled to our spots and waited. The lights dimmed, and the myriad band of musicians strolled onto the stage to a welcoming of screaming and shouting, jumping and fist-pumping.

Beck told us they had just made it down from New York filming the Letterman show (which was airing right at that time), and they had the pleasure of having their set terrorized by Borat—we could catch it on TiVo if we wanted. Then they jumped straight into Black Tambourine—a Civil War uniform-wearing, wig-donning dance machine playing a black tambourine was there (of course!). Black Tambourine turned into Devil’s Haircut, and the night progressed and we smiled.

Jumping and sweating and screaming, we loved every minute of the show. Beck apologized for not having any of their gimmicks with them, but he promised they would make it up to us—the Backstage didn’t have enough room for puppets he said. In an effort to “make it up to us,” Beck started taking requests. “We can play anything,” he said. And they did. DCist attempted a complete set list, so I will let you go there if you have interest. I will tell you that when he played “Hollywood Freaks,” that was all me baby!!! He changed it to “DC Freaks,” and we all felt strangely proud.

He told us “Happy Halloween,” and eventually he told us that curfew was being called on him and us—alas, it was coming to an end.

Beck’s all electric set was charged with energy and the crowd played off the band just as well as the band played off of the crowd. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that Rocky here is very happy he was a part of. Hell yes, Beck’s beat is correct!

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