Spoon, Cage the Elephant, Beck & Wild Belle @ COTA 360 Amphitheater 7.27.19

Wild Belle took the stage a 6pm. It was early and we were lucky to have been connected to tickets through our friend who is a venue regular. The lawn was filling up but many of the seats were still open.

Wild Belle was engaging. The female lead has a smoky voice with a flow that matched her outfit. Picture Melania Trump in the white suit and big black hat. Now try and clear your mind of that plastic model and picture a real human, with a microphone and a good groove. Wild Belle was fun to watch and sounded good… even in 90-something temps at 6pm.

Next, Spoon took the stage. Britt Daniel, the lead singer was donning a cowboy hat, fit for the Texas sun. They are Austin natives and while the more expensive seats up front were still filling in, the cheap seats on the lawn were packed for the 7pm show and the lawn crowd was loving them. Laurie Gallardo, the DJ “who rolls her rrrs” was also loving them. She was sitting near us and I enjoyed watching her jam to Spoon almost as much as I enjoyed jamming to them! They have a new album out called “Everything Hits at Once” and it is kind of a greatest hits album. That’s fine with me because I enjoy all their old stuff. My favorite, Underdog, was a fist-pumping jam that I loved every minute of.

Cage the Elephant was on stage next but didn’t spend a whole lot of time actually on the stage. The lead singer, Matt Schultz, came out dressed in a suit with a red cover over his face and a wide-brimmed hat. As the performance continued, he began to loose more and more of his clothing until he was in a flesh colored body suit, looking more like a rock climber or interpretive dancer than a rock star. He also continued to enter the further depths of the audience with each song and closed his set by climbing the sound booth and then an elevated platform, which was sandwiched between the seats and the lawn, while “We Are The Champions” by Queen played. It was fun to watch but felt a little too contrived and then uneventful. I suppose if you are going to play ginormous venues like these sandwiched between great bands like Spoon and Beck, you need to pull out out all the stops.

Beck didn’t need to do anything but play his hit songs. My God that guy has so many hit songs! I realized, watching him perform, that he has had a major hit song with the latest generation every 10 years  or so since he hit the music scene. What might be more incredible is that they don’t all suck and he is still a blast to see live. When he introduced his band, they each selected a cover and blew it up with their talent. At one point he was covering “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads and I was thinking, “I wonder if these kids know this is a cover or if they think this is just another Beck song?” Ha. Welp, I guess Beck is just timeless. On the big screen he also looks a little like Ed Sheeran, so that might help him mesh with the younger crowd too. Either way, this lady from Beck’s first generation of fans had a great time!


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