The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, aka The GOASTT, aka GOASTT—but really aka Sean Lennnon’s band—hit the Hammerstein Ballroom stage early last Monday night. Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl put together this swirling psychedelia band back in 2008, and have really upped their activity of late, playing all over the NYC area this year, and now touring the country with Beck. They’ve impressed audiences enough to seem to have finally sprung out from under the “another Sean Lennon project” tag. And this amazing set, though too short, continued that impression.
 
But this was Beck’s night. On the first of two shows in Manhattan (the other last night in Central Park), Beck began, “We’re going to start it out slow tonight,” which he kind of did, playing a fairly full set of acoustic-leaning tunes, many from his latest, forlorn opus, Morning Phase (Capitol). But all of the sudden the stage became a wonderful, noisy mess!
 
Through a whole other set of his older hits, Beck’s whole band was intermittently joined by Lennon and others, children stragglers even, and eventually the stage turned into a jamming/battling/smashing on the floor morass. An often stoic Scientologist not always noted for an overt sense of humor, Beck came out with “Police Crime Scene” plastic barricade tape and wrapped it around the front of the stage, only to cut it soon enough and jam on some more. It’s not only impressive to see how consistently creative Beck has been, but fun to see that his core of dry “slacker” ha-has has survived it all.
 
Photos by Adela Loconte.