BECK & YEAH YEAH YEAHS

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THETAKE - TONYCLAYTO­N-LEA

Co-head­line shows are not un­heard of, but usu­ally they’re nom­i­nal in na­ture, with one act head and shoul­ders over the other in terms of pulling power. One might ar­gue that Beck could fill out the 3Arena on his own, but that’s be­ing overly gen­er­ous to a fine mu­si­cian and song­writer who has never re­ally crossed over to the main­stream. You could say the same about Yeah Yeah Yeahs – in their hey­day they might have filled a venue of 3Arena’s size, but not now.

The two acts are, in many ways, on equal foot­ing, de­spite Beck’s 13 al­bum re­leases trounc­ing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ four. The acts also equal each other in terms of in­die ap­peal: Beck, a style-strad­dler, ripped jeans, cooler-than-thou, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, inar­guably one of the hippest and bright­est fe­male-fronted punk/pop acts of the past 15 years.

You would won­der, though, ex­actly why the two acts are con­joined for one gig. It could, of course, be no more than a lo­gis­ti­cal con­ve­nience that this pack­age has been put to­gether for the Ir­ish mar­ket, as both acts are sched­uled to per­form on sep­a­rate days next week­end at Lon­don’s All Points East Fes­ti­val – Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Fri­day as sup­port to LCD Soundsys­tem; Beck on Sun­day as sup­port to Björk. What­ever the rea­son (and, yes, we sus­pect that book­ing agents and pro­mot­ers thought it would make sense to pair the two to­gether in Dublin to off­set ex­penses in­volved in bring­ing them across the At­lantic) you can’t deny the spe­cific ap­peal of each.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs formed in New York City 18 years ago, with lead singer/front­woman Karen Or­zolek, drum­mer Brian Chase and guitarist/key­boardist Nick Zin­ner quickly click­ing over a mu­tual love of garage punk, art-rock and post-punk. Sup­port­ing the likes of The Strokes and The White Stripes, YYYs soon be­came noted for their sand­blast­ing blend of trashy punk and glitzy pop, but while Or­zolek’s fash­ion sense (her on­stage out­fits were de­signed by her friend Chris­tian Joy) trans­planted the band from dive bars to glossy magazines, their mu­sic also took off. In 2003, their de­but al­bum, Fever to Tell, was re­leased and went on to sell over one mil­lion copies world­wide. Now back in the game af­ter a lengthy hia­tus (their last al­bum was 2013’s Mosquito), YYYs look set to make a glam/punk splash like few other acts of their era.

Beck, on the other hand, doesn’t need to make a splash, as he has rarely been away since he re­leased his de­but al­bum (Golden Feel­ings )in 1993. From 1994’s Mel­low Gold to last year’s Col­ors, he has been a rel­a­tively con­sis­tent pres­ence, if not in the charts then cer­tainly in the fore­ground. His method of us­ing a col­lage ap­proach to song­writ­ing (other peo­ple might call it “mag­pie”) has en­sured his sta­tus as a song­writer who cov­ers all bases. In truth, Beck is as close to be­ing a mas­ter of all of them as any­one can be, and there are very few song­writ­ers alive (in­deed, if any) that can fuse dirty funk (1999’s Mid­nite Vul­tures) with sub­lime retro-folk (2002’s Sea Change) with as much vi­tal­ity and con­vic­tion.

Of course, de­spite col­lec­tive non­cha­lance to­wards such things, what all of us re­ally want to see to­wards the end of the gig is Karen O and Beck cosy up on a song or two. Cu­ri­ously enough, they shared the same stage a few years ago dur­ing a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in­duc­tion trib­ute to Lou Reed, singing (re­spec­tively) Vi­cious and Satel­lite of Love. Could there be a cooler NYC mo­ment in Dublin than the pair duet­ting on Walk on the Wild Side and/or Per­fect Day? Make it hap­pen.

■ Beck & Yeah Yeah Yeahs play the 3 Arena Dublin on Wed­nes­day

PHO­TO­GRAPHS: KEVIN WIN­TER/ KARL WAL­TER/GETTY

Above: Beck. Left: Yeah Yeah Yeahs front­woman Karen O.

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