The long-running Austin City Limits PBS music program is about to celebrate its 40th season of broadcasting kickass performances. On October 4th, Beck will return to the ACL stage and kick off the new season with his first Austin City Limits appearance since 2002, and Rolling Stone has your exclusive sneak peek with this epic, nine-minute rendition of set closer “Where It’s At.”
You’ve already seen Beck’s “Loser” from ACL; now watch as the singer turns the middle portion of the Odelay hit into a spoken word, call-and-response gospel. “The problems, they get too much to handle. They get all tangled up,” Beck ad-libs while toying with yards of microphone wires. “Sometimes you just need a friend to take you in their arms and tell you everything will be alright.
“I’d like to ask you if it would be okay if we had permission to ask you to get up into the air. I would ask you with a formal response, if I had time I would get parchment,” Beck riffs in a unique way of encouraging fans to get their hands in the air before launching back into the track’s chorus. As an added bonus, there’s also a harmonica solo that segues into a live performance of the early Beck folk cut “One Foot in the Grave.” Beck’s ACL performance, taped back in April, features a career-spanning setlist that’s heavy on his recent LP Morning Phase.
On Friday night, PBS will air the two-hour special Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years, a retrospective of the show’s impact on music television featuring performances by Willie Nelson, Gary Clark Jr., Alabama Shakes and Jeff Bridges, among others. The show will kick off with a cover of Sam & Dave’s 1968 soul hit “Wrap It Up” by Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard, Bonnie Raitt, Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr. & Grupo Fantasma on horns.
There are many more Austin City Limits episodes still to come as Nine Inch Nails, Jeff Tweedy and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds all have season 40 episodes in the can, and October alone will see Sam Smith, the Avett Brothers, Austin’s own Spoon and Ryan Adams all stopping by for ACL tapings.
UPDATE: PBS has posted Beck’s full, hour-long performance