Last night (January 26, Australia Day, woohoo), I saw Jeff Beck at the Palais in Melbourne. I’ll write a full review for the next issue of Mixdown magazine, but in the meantime here are a few thoughts and observances for anyone who’s interested. Beck’s playing again at the Palais tonight, so CLICK HERE to see if there are still tickets available.
Okay, thoughts in dot-point form cos they’re fun.
· Beck appeared to have a pair of Marshall Plexis on stage, (although only one of them was turned on – I guess the other was a spare) and a Fender combo. My vision sucks at the best of times (but at least I have cool glasses), so I couldn’t quite tell what models they were.
· He played one of his signature Fender Stratocasters for the whole show, and only needed to retune once, about an hour into the gig, despite his frequent and mind-destroying whammy bar use.
· On drums, Mr Vinnie Colaiuta. Frank Zappa’s favourite improvisation buddy, and an important part of why Megadeth’s ‘The System Has Failed’ album is so friggin’ cool. Vinnie threw in lots of double-kick work, and stole the show several times.
· On bass, Tal Wilkenfeld. She’s only 22 and her playing is frighteningly good, especially her solo during ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.’
· Beck long ago chucked away guitar picks, and it’s inspiring if not a little intimidating to hear what he can do with just his fingers and a whammy bar. Surprisingly, most of his vibrato comes from rapidly pushing and releasing the guitar’s tremolo bridge with the side of his picking hand, instead of from his fretting hand.
I won’t spoil the setlist for those who are yet to see this tour, but Beck’s playing is as good as ever, and his band is amazing. If you’re in Melbourne and you haven’t already got a ticket for tonight, GO GO GO GO GO!!!
Remaining Jeff Beck Australian tour dates:
27 Jan Palais Theatre, VIC
29 Jan Brisbane Convention Centre, QLD
30 Jan Enmore Theatre, NSW
31 Jan Enmore Theatre, NSW