HomeMusicSummer Odyssey Tour: Beck, Phoenix & Jenny Lewis Put On Mini-Festival at...

Summer Odyssey Tour: Beck, Phoenix & Jenny Lewis Put On Mini-Festival at Kia Forum

Beck and Phoenix Summer Odyssey Tour

Pop Break Live: The Summer Odyssey Tour featuring Beck, Phoenix, Jenny Lewis and Sir Chloe at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles, CA

While Taylor Swift has been garnering lots of attention at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles this August for her Eras Tour, another very special tour took place just next tour at the Kia Forum: Beck and Phoenix have teamed up with Jenny Lewis and Sir Chloe for the Summer Odyssey Tour. Co-headlining and playing full sets each night, Beck and Phoenix have spent the second half of summer traveling across the U.S. and putting on a mini-festival of delights each night, even performing their joint track Odyssey at the end of the evening.

While the opening acts change according to location, artists Jenny Lewis and Sir Chloe took the stage before our co-headliners at the Kia Forum in Inglewood. Sir Chloe, an indie act from Vermont who just released their debut album I Am The Dog, opened the show with great stage presence and energy despite being a young band and playing such a large venue. “Salivate,” a stand-out track from their performance, has strong guitar and drums that recall early Pixies while lead singer Dana Foote’s vocals perfectly induce memories of alternative radio from the 90’s. As performers and musicians, they show lots of promise.

Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis, also promoting her newest record released this year Joy’All, felt like a perfect addition to the lineup; her record – which is her fifth solo album – was crafted in part during a virtual songwriting workshop that Beck ran during the pandemic. She opened her set with early hit, “Just One Of The Guys,” a singalong track that captures every strength of Lewis: infectious melody, clever lyrics, sweet pop vocals, and a folksy sensibility that feels authentic without being overly affected. A highlight of the set was “Puppy and a Truck,” one of the tracks she wrote during that songwriting workshop with Beck that includes great lines like, “If you feel like giving up / shut up / Get a puppy and a truck.”

After the opening acts, Phoenix took the first co-headlining slot of the night, and instantly the energy in the room increased ten-fold. With their usual massive screens and elaborate lighting rigs, Phoenix came out strong with their massive hit, “Lisztomania.” Lead singer Thomas Mars let the crowd sing the chorus, which everyone did without missing a beat. A nice split between classic Phoenix hits and new tracks, the setlist featured songs from their commercial hit Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, fan favorite Ti Amo, and their seventh and most recent record, Alpha Zulu. Hardcore Phoenix fans were even treated to the special inclusion of their 2004 hit “Everything Is Everything” to the setlist.

Known for being an incredible live act, Phoenix did not let their reputation prove false; with Mars’ vocals sounding crystal clear, guitarists Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz swinging their instruments around between every verse and chorus, and drummer Thomas Hedlund banging his transparent drum set with enthusiastic swings, it’s no wonder Phoenix are lauded for their live performances. After a triumphant and highly memorable closing of the set with “1901,” wherein Mars let everyone know now was the time to dance, Mars jumped into the crowd and spent a full ten minutes shaking as many hands and hugging as many fans as possible. At one point, a group of guys even helped lift him to the second tier in the stadium seats where he continued to greet everyone. Watching him move through the crowd with a spotlight illuminating every interaction with a fan was such a joyful experience; the entire arena was smiles all-around. The band continued the play a reprise of “Identical” onstage while Mars eventually crowd-surfed his way back. It was a perfect end to the set.

With the bar for the evening set so high, it was amazing how easily Beck tore through his own co-headlining spot with ease. Opening with instantly recognizable hit “Devils Haircut,” Beck quickly reminded anyone who might’ve forgotten how great of a performer he is. Alongside a full band and in front of towering screens featuring abstract, colorful displays, Beck sang, played guitar, and danced along with nearly 30 years worth of hits. Tracks like “Que Onda Guero,” “Girl,” “Wow,” and “Gamma Ray” elicited lots of dancing and singalongs. “Debra” was a memorable highlight of the night, as Beck changed lyrics specific to Los Angeles and the Kia Forum, and encouraged men and women to sing certain lyrics to each other at key moments.

As great as it was to hear Beck’s “Loser,” a song that is so unequivocally connected to Gen X angst and the 90’s, it was even better to see how far Beck has come in songwriting, experimentation, and performance. With any other artist, “Loser” might be the closing song of the night, but not with Beck. Instead, he closed the night with a celebration of the mini-festival performed and the artists that put it together. First, he played the dancey “Odyssey” alongside Phoenix’s Thomas Mars who joined for vocals, and then invited Sir Chloe, Jenny Lewis, and all members of Phoenix onstage for a rapturous rendition of “Where It’s At.” Balloons fell from the sky and the crowd cheered; the celebration of the night reached its peak and was complete.

Beck and Phoenix’s co-headlining tour is a unique live experience that will undoubtedly remind audiences how vital live music is to community, connection, and expression. Rarely can someone catch four unique artists at such an iconic venue for a decently-priced general admission ticket; and to see four artists who each have stellar new records this year and don’t have to rely on nostalgia to sell tickets. The Summer Odyssey Tour is one you don’t want to miss, and one you’ll regret not seeing now and several years down the line.


Most Recent

Stay Connected