Happy 50th Birthday Beck: Performing Solo In 2003


Today signifies a milestone for Beck who celebrates his 50th birthday today. To mark the occasion, and as a display of his many musical talents, a solo performance from 2003 is presented below.

Beck released his album Sea Change in 2002. A departure from its eclectic, genre-blending predecessors, Mellow Gold, Odelay, Mutations and Midnite Vultures, the somber Sea Change featured more straightforward songwriting that was largely informed by Beck ending a relationship with a girlfriend of several years.


Reflecting the quiet, contemplative nature of the album, Beck embarked on a solo tour in support of Sea Change that included a performance at London’s Union Chapel on August 28, 2003. The set was recorded for the BBC Four Sessions series.

One of five Sea Change songs that made the setlist that night, “The Golden Age” opened the show with Beck playing acoustic guitar. He stayed on guitar for “It’s All in Your Mind” off 1994’s One Foot In The Grave and the Sea Change single “Guess I’m Doing Fine.”

After “Guess I’m Doing Fine,” Beck moved to piano and riffed on Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River” before launching into another Sea Change tune, “Lonesome Tears.” Next came the Midnight Vultures groover “Nicotine & Gravy” played on Fender Rhodes over a pre-recorded drum track.


Beck went back to guitar for the Sea Change tracks, “Lost Cause” and “Ship In A Bottle.” A bluesy “ Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods” off One Foot In The Grave came next featuring Beck on resonator slide guitar. An electric guitar and backing drum track was employed for the Mellow Gold hit “Loser.”

Beck played harmonium on a haunting version of the Mutations track, “Nobody’s Fault But My Own.” The television taping ended with Beck back on acoustic guitar for the lone Odely selection of the set, “Lord Only Knows.”

Watch Beck’s solo performance at London’s Union Chapel on August 28, 2003 here:

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Beck at Union Chapel

  • The Golden Age
  • It's All in Your Mind
  • Guess I'm Doing Fine
  • Lonesome Tears
  • Nicotine & Gravy
  • Lost Cause
  • Ship in the Bottle
  • Fourteen Rivers Fourteen Floods
  • Loser
  • Nobody's Fault But My Own
  • Lord Only Knows