“Wow” is probably one of Beck’s weirdest songs, and he has made a lot of weird songs. But the 2016 track, included on last year’s Colors, is also among Beck’s most amusing material. Ahead of a headlining show at Madison Square Garden Thursday night (his first), Beck swung by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform the aforementioned tune, as well as the Colors title track. While Beck has never been one to stick to a single genre, his Wednesday performance paints him as a powerful purveyor of glistening, psychedelic pop. Watch it all go down below.
It starts with Beck chanting, “Giddy up,” then “Wow” explodes into a swarm of nonsensical lyrics and fabricated pan flute sounds. It’s a science project, a load of a mumbo jumbo, an absurd fusing of hip-hop and rock and something else, but the entertainment value of “Wow” is still off the charts. Stick around for “Colors,” which also plays with some panpipe stylings of its own. Beck also pulls out rambunctious dance moves, which make up for what they lack in delivery by providing sheer enjoyment.
Again, you can watch Beck perform on The Late Show below. Read the Paste review of Colors, which was released in October, here. For a pre-Colors ranking of Beck’s albums, go here. Since you’re already tripping down Beck-centric memory lane, watch footage of him performing at the Knitting Factory circa 2006 further down.