Jeff Beck @ The Tivoli, Brisbane (01/04/2010)
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While ordering a beer from the bar, there’s a couple of middle-aged blokes next door and the conversations goes something like this; ‘blah, blah, blah, Jimmy Page. Blah, blah, blah, Frank Zappa, Blah, blah, blah, (enter some other guitar god)…’. Nope, it’s not your average night at the Tivoli.
Rather than the usual tightly packed stage-front being the sought-after position, tonight the crowd is very evenly spaced. If there’s a random step somewhere, grab it, ‘cause a Jeff Beck show is sure to be about making sure you can clearly spy that fret board. Wielding his signature white Fender Stratocaster, Beck slinks out wearing a pair of sunglasses in the sparsely lit theatre. He takes his position on the opposite side of the stage to the mic stand and that answers that question; there will be no singing tonight. Immediately though, any hunger for vocals is suppressed as melody, rhythm and groove completely fill the room.
Beck has been named in the top 20 of Rolling Stone’s 100 All Time Greatest Guitarists and that must make him one of only a handful still walking the earth. His band, as one would expect, is phenomenally talented and tight. Backed by just the basic rock staples of drum, bass and keys the sound emanating was far beyond that of their radio played peers.
Beck’s guitaring display leaves no style-stone unturned. Fast, furious, chunky metal riffs; Space aged, effect soaked ambient beauty; Throbbing, bad-ass blues; and more.
While most tracks go by and don’t require a title, there is a few recognisable, popularised tunes. An ethereal, minimalist piece is quickly embraced as Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Even Van Morrison made an appearance in the form of Beck’s unstoppable instrumental version of Days Like This, but it’s the unexplainable, never-before-seen technical mastery that really deserves (but unfortunately needs to be seen to be believed) the accolades. With a room full of obvious guitar-nerds, aficionados and wannabe critics, Jeff Beck played largely to a mob of open mouthed rubber-neckers, and when the wailing ceased the gushing began.