Beck, Cage the Elephant, Spoon and Starcrawler team for a loaded concert bill

Clockwise from top left: Beck, Cage the Elephant, Starcrawler and Spoon
Annie Zaleski


Sound: A cucumber-cool combination of robo-funk, laid-back hip-hop and fizzy electro-rock.

The latest: Beck recently made a risqué cameo on The Bird and the Bee’s cover of Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” (that’s him playing the part of the leering instructor at the start of the song), and his next album, Hyperspace, is due at some unspecified point in the future.

Why go: Beck’s live shows are typically nonstop dance parties, with him busting out both classic ’90s jams (“Where It’s At,” “Devil’s Haircut”) and new hits (“Saw Lightning”). Those who gravitate toward his heartbroken work are also in luck, as he slows things down here and there for some Sea Change-era melancholy.


Sound: Hard to pin down—in the best possible ways. Although, the Kentucky outfit could broadly be classified as an alt-rock band, it layers nuanced sounds atop a foundation of Southern-tinted grunge.

The latest: CTE’s newest album, April’s Social Cues, grapples with heavy stuff, including death and frontman Matt Shultz’s divorce, and features diverse forays into propulsive post-punk, Bowie-esque synth-rock and even dub reggae.

Why go: Cage the Elephant has gained a reputation as a phenomenal live act, thanks largely to Shultz’s charisma and stage presence. He’s known for lithe, Jagger-like dance moves, offbeat attire and a penchant for hopping offstage to interact with fans.


Sound: Indie rock that has increasingly incorporated spaced-out keyboards, sprawling arrangements and spikier guitars.

The latest: Spoon made headlines last week when longtime bassist Rob Pope announced his exit from the band to focus on family and his other project, The Get Up Kids. Spoon is soldiering on with this tour and a July 26 greatest hits album, Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon, which will include a new song, the grimy AOR throwback “No Bullets Spent.”

Why go: Spoon has evolved into an atmospheric live band that seamlessly bridges the compact tone of its early work with more experimental later songs—and, as an opening act on this tour, it will utilize a shorter set list heavy on hits.


Sound: Glammy, energetic rock ’n’ roll tinged with punk snarls and metallic heft.

The latest: The LA quartet’s self-titled 2018 debut LP drew raves (and favorable references to T. Rex and The Stooges) for its scuzzy riffs, scalding tempos and confident vocals. Prior to these U.S. dates, the group went out for a string of dates in Europe and the U.K.

Why go: As the newest act on the bill, Starcrawler has the most to prove. The band's live show has been compared to The Runaways and Black Sabbath, so show up early so you can say you saw them when.

BECK & CAGE THE ELEPHANT with Spoon, Starcrawler. July 19, 7 p.m., $61-$125. Park Theater, 702-730-7777.

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