Having seen quick mainstream success with his breakthrough single, “Loser,” you gotta hand it to Beck on the release of 1996 album, Odelay. Regarded as his most popular record to date, this was an album that crushed “one hit wonder” speculation entirely, with several singles that killed it in the eyes of fans and the Billboard charts (“Where It’s At,” “Devils Haircut,” & “The New Pollution”). You can bet local publications were on hand to see Beck’s sold out show in support of Odelay at Metro on August 15 (and 16th), 1996. Here’s a snippet of the Chicago Reader’s show review by Ben Kim. Read the rest at ChicagoReader.com.
…the reputedly low-key Beck, preceded by a reputation as a hit-or-miss live performer, worked the stage with an unbridled ebullience that bespoke a great confidence in himself, his material, and his audience. In one remarkable split-second flourish, during the last measure of the bridge of his third song, “Novacane,” he grabbed a towel, whipped it across his brow, and jumped forward to grab the mike for the downbeat of the next verse. Minutes later, astonishingly, he busted out with the electric slide and the robot, as if he were wearing the magical “chain-smoke-Kansas-Flashdance-ass pants” he’d described. During several raps he kept his left arm raised high, elevated by some kind of oratorical or spiritual fervor. He’s been hanging out with Jon Spencer, who has apparently rubbed off on him.