Yahoo! NewsHome - Yahoo! - My Yahoo! - Help

Reuters New Media

Click Here

 Home  |  Full Coverage  |  Top Stories  |  Business  |  Tech  |  Politics  |  World  |  Local  |  Entertainment  |  Sports  |  Science  |  Health 

Yahoo! NewsEntertainment Headlines

Wednesday March 24 2:51 AM ET Jeff Beck still got the flash

Jeff Beck still got the flash

Jeff Beck (Roseland Ballroom; 2,985 capacity; $30)

By David Sprague

NEW YORK (Variety) - Frank Zappa may have titled an album ``Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar,'' but of all of rock's original six-string heroes, only Jeff Beck still walks that walk unwaveringly -- a fact that's kept him from attaining the mass success of peers like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, while making him even more revered by his cadre of fans.

These devotees would have hung on Beck's every word Friday, had he uttered any. The lack of verbal communication didn't seem to dampen any spirits in the sold-out venue, though: In fact, the all-instrumental two-hour set was greeted with the sort of rapt attention (not to mention a fair amount of old-school air-guitar accompaniment) rarely seen at large-hall gigs these days.

Beck certainly didn't disappoint anyone who came expecting an evening of unreconstructed guitar heroics. Drawing primarily from ``Who Else,'' his first solo studio album in nearly a decade, he alternated between panoramic forays and more typically jagged tone-clusters -- even bringing the two together on pieces like the incendiary ``Blast From the East.''

Yes, Beck has a tendency to favor technique over emotion, as borne out by the number of crisp, pristine solos he was able to toss off without breaking a sweat, cracking a smile or involving his band mates in the least. That coolness derailed a few numbers, most notably ``Brush With the Blues,'' the noncommittal title of which pretty much reflects the detached sound.

Even so, the 55-year-old guitarist manages to take more chances than just about any of his surviving peers. Like Bob Dylan, he's constantly tinkering with his best-known material, often -- as with tonight's raving rendition of ``Beck's Bolero'' -- rebuilding it from the ground up.

His capriciousness isn't limited to his own material, either: Midway through the set, Beck began plucking out a version of the Beatles' ``A Day in the Life'' that wouldn't have been out of place on a supermarket Muzak channel until he unleashed a torrent of feedback-laced skronk that replicated the dramatic swell that bisected the original.

If that sounds old-fashioned, in many ways, it is. But thanks to Beck's refusal to ride the nostalgia wave, it wasn't even remotely out of date.

Presented by Delsener/Slater. Musicians: Jeff Beck, Jennifer Batten, Randy Hope-Taylor, Steve Alexander. Reviewed March 19, 1999.



Mar 29 | Mar 28 | Mar 27 | Mar 26 | Mar 25 | Mar 24 | Mar 23 | Mar 22 | Mar 21 | Mar 20

 Home  |  Full Coverage  |  Top Stories  |  Business  |  Tech  |  Politics  |  World  |  Local  |  Entertainment  |  Sports  |  Science  |  Health 

Questions or Comments
Copyright © 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters.
Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.