Jeff Beck – ‘Live In Tokyo’ DVD Review
Filmed in April 2014 at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan, following the surprise US tour he did with Brian Wilson the previous fall. On that tour, Beck introduced a couple of new songs from an as-yet unreleased new album, including "Yemin," which also turns up here.
Fans of Beck will be thrilled with pretty much everything about this set. The master delivers spirited versions of classics like "Blue Wind," "Led Boots" and "Rollin' and Tumblin'" as well as his unique version of the Beatles' "A Day In The Life," which has left more than one fan dazzled and dazed by its beauty.
It is not, of course, a one man show. Beck's backing band, fairly new at the time of the filming, more than hold their own. Drummer Jonathan Joseph and bassist Rhonda Smith make for a very powerful (if at times a bit busy) rhythm section. The style of guitarist Nicolas Meier compliments Beck without ever stepping on his spotlight.
Those wanting a simple explanation of what Beck does from this concert will be disappointed. He manages to spread his wings across jazz, funk, rock, blues and ballads without blinking. The medley of "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat / Brush With The Blues," long a staple of his live shows, is a particular gem. Even when he veers off into a display of technical flash and fire, he never loses the soul which is always at the heart of his playing.
The heavy as hell "Big Block" is captured here in a stunning performance. And of course, when he wants to cut loose, there is still no stopping him. A moving rendition of "'Cause We Ended As Lovers" from Blow By Blow, a stellar take on Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" and a powerhouse "Rollin' and Tumblin" are among the highlights.
The actual sound and visual here is fantastic. Sharp image and crystal clear sound give the viewer the old "next best thing to being there" feeling, without question. All in all, Live In Tokyo is a must for fans of Jeff Beck and his mastery of the guitar. Casual fans may find it a bit indulgent at times, but then again, it's doubtful anyone falls on the "casual" side of the fence when it comes to Mr. Beck these days.
Live In Tokyo Track Listing:
2. "Little Wing"
3. "You Know You Know"
5. "Angel (Footsteps)"
8. "Where Were You"
9. "The Pump"
10. "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' / 'Brush with the Blues"
11. "You Never Know"
12. "Danny Boy"
13. "Blue Wind"
14. "Led Boots"
15. "Corpus Christi"
16. "Big Block"
17. "A Day in the Life"
18. "Rollin' and Tumblin'"
19. "'Cause We Ended as Lovers"
20. "Why Give It Away"
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