Beck reportedly came up with tonight's idea: a grand tribute to the music of one of his favorite musicians, Serge Gainsbourg. The house band included such familiar friends as Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Joey Waronker, and James Gadson. (Smokey Hormel was originally in the lineup too, but was replaced a few days before.) Together the lineup ran through a series of Serge's songs, in a musical chairs sort of setlist. Beck closed it out by singing three songs, "Nefertiti," "Teenie Weenie Boppie," and "Les Sucettes."
After that, everyone performed Serge's masterpiece, Histoire De Melody Nelson. Jean Claude Vannier, who arranged the amazing strings on the album, was there to conduct. Everyone took turns singing a track, and Beck did "Ah! Melody." The album is a huge influence on Beck, especially when he uses strings--Gainsbourg and Vannier's genius is the interplay of strings and band. The strings are every bit as alive as the funky band, a rarity for orchestras in rock, usually they're just laid on top. The night, needless to say, was incredibly memorable.
I won't include the entire setlist here, just the four songs with Beck.
[people and bands
Bass: Justin Meldal-Johnsen
Conductor: Jean Claude Vannier, Scott Dunn
Drums: James Gadson, Joey Waronker
Guitar: Benji Lysaght
Keyboard / Synthesizer: Roger Joseph Manning Jr.
Vocals: Beck Hansen, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, Ed Droste, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Lulu Gaisbourg, Mike Patton, Sean Lennon, Victoria Legrand, Zola Jesus