Double-bills are something of a rarity in the music business these days. When touring makes up the majority of most artists' revenue, few are willing to share the limelight (and let's be honest, the ticket sales) with another act.
On the other hand, it's good news for fans who essentially get two big names for the price of one, and although on paper it may seem that Beck and Yeah Yeah Yeahs have little in common musically, it's been several years since either have played Dublin – and so the crowds have turned out in force tonight at the 3Arena.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are up first, and just in case you'd forgotten, they're loud. Very loud. The New York trio take to the stage at 8pm and burn through a setlist that includes hits both old and new, from the spiky 'Zero' to the stomping 'Gold Lion' and electro-led 'Heads Will Roll' - as well as a number of songs from their debut 'Fever To Tell' (which, as Karen O reminds us, recently celebrated its 15th birthday). 'Maps' is still as vibrant and poignant as ever, while 'Y Control' and 'Date with the Night' round out a setlist that pleases fans both old and new.
Karen O, meanwhile, remains the frontwoman that you simply can't take your eyes off. She shimmies around the stage in her glittery jumpsuit, draping an arm around Nick Zinner as he wrestles another serrated riff from his guitar and even ventures to the front row of the crowd to encourage a singalong. At times, it's a struggle to hear some of her notes as they're drowned out by the sheer volume of Zinner's effects-laden riffs, but as ticker-tape bursts over the heads of the audience, both she and her bandmates are clearly delighted with the warm reception as they leave the stage.
It'll take a big show for Beck to follow that opening, but when has he ever let us down? Okay, okay... apart from arriving on stage over 20 minutes late, that is. But this is Beck at his showboating finest, with a crowd-pleasing set and a band of eight musicians in tow. Opening with 'Loser' and ploughing headlong into the likes of 'Devil's Haircut', 'Mixed Bizness' and 'E-Pro'. There are a surprising number of cuts from 'Guero' and a smattering from new album 'Colors', with the celebratory 'Dreams' being a clear standout.
Despite the ongoing sound issues - the bass is bone-judderingly loud and overwhelms the guitar and keyboards at various points, rendering them almost inaudible from where we're sitting - it's a solid setlist. 'Lost Cause' runs into an acoustic take on 'Debra', which in turn segues nicely into a crowd singalong of Prince's 'Raspberry Beret', while Beck's rambling story about renting a Hyundai at Dublin Airport for a road trip the last time he was here (and subsequently burning out the clutch at Powerscourt Waterfall) further endears him to the Irish audience.
As the 11pm curfew draws perilously close – and considering his late starting time - he leaves the crowd on tenterhooks as to whether he'll have to cut his set short or not. They needn't have worried; the show continues for another half hour, with 'Girl', 'I'm So Free', 'Up All Night' and an extended 'Where It's At' (with amusing band introductions and snippets of everything from Chic's 'Good Times' to the Stones' 'Miss You' and Talking Heads' 'Once in a Lifetime' in the mix) finally brings the show to a close.
It's becoming increasingly clear that post-Grammy-win Beck is not the artist he once was, which - depending on how dearly you hold his more sombre albums – is either a good or a bad thing. One thing you can't argue with, however, is that he remains a bloody good entertainer, nonetheless.