There I was, just arriving home from a day in the coal mines. Dan got home and flopped into a chair, perusing his phone aimlessly. His eyes lit up. “Um, is Beck playing…in…Barstow?” He stammered the words out. Clearly he was in disbelief. “Where, what, and how?” was all I could muster. He was not delirious from a rough day at work. These words were true.
After ascertaining that this was a legitimate show with not only Beck but also the enigmatic Cat Power, we mobilized for our journey. The location of the show was the Skyline Drive-in. If you don’t know about Skyline, well, you’re probably not from around here! This unique show included an interesting amalgamation of art as well. There were people on looms. Yes, looms. The weavers were using old Levi material on the looms. Read that sentence again. Yep. There were tents with independent art films in them, as well as tents with sounds and tactile experiences.
Cold Cave was on the main stage first. The dark, two-person synthpop band arrived just at sunset and delivered quite the cacophony to the audience, which was a most interesting procession of LA fans mixed with our desert dwellers. Yes, there was a limo parked on top of a hill above the drive-in. Very surreal, it was. Cold cave provided a succinct opening for this traveling art show.
I was anticipating Cat Power, as it was only a week before that I had told my husband that she was on my bucket list. Anyone who knows Cat Power knows there is an issue with social anxiety. I was standing straight in front of her when she began to play, and I was willing her to feel comfortable enough for the show. Happily for me, she persevered and played several of my favorites; I was dazzled.
Beck was amazing. He always does something different at his shows, and this show he included a full choir. This show also promised, and delivered, a descending ufo by artist Peter Coffin. *EDIT As of March 2014 I am still seeing people posting pictures on local pseudo-news blogs claiming the ufo is REAL hahahaha!
This was truly a special show by Beck, who played original sets in both Barstow and LA. The added incentive of traveling art show was beautiful and unique. Hearing the voices of the choir rising above the desert was inspiring. We desert dwellers don’t get much respect and we were very thankful to be included in such a minimal tour!