Jeff Beck 311.
(photo credit: Shira Teger)
When Jeff Beck took the stage in Tel Aviv on Monday night, he wasn’t there to
perform. He wasn’t there to entertain. He was there to play guitar – and the
audience was lucky enough to be allowed to watch.
virtuoso strolled out in appropriate rock star attire: a white tshirt with the
sleeves cut off, a vest, track pants, boots, a silver armband, shaggy brown hair
and a classic white scarf. His impressive backing band of Rhonda Smith (bass),
Narada Michael Walden (drums) and Jason Rebello (keyboards) was likewise the
picture of a serious group of musicians.
Beck focused on his instrument
for the majority of the show, occasionally looking up to signal the band with a
Nobody said a word until after the seventh song, when Beck
credited Smith for an incendiary solo.
The band rocked through cuts like
“Stratus,” “Plan B,” “Led Boots” and “Angel (Footsteps).” Beck mixed in the old
blues hit “Rollin’ and Tumblin’,” an ethereal cover of “Over the Rainbow,” the
Beatles’ “A Day in the Life” and Sly and the Family Stone’s “I Want to Take You
Higher,” taking advantage of Smith’s growly vocals and a few contributions from
Still, the 19-song set was vastly instrumental, combining jazz,
blues, rock, metal and even some electronic elements. It closed with a tribute
to Les Paul that had the whole band rocking on “How High the Moon.” Despite
being a talent equal to contemporaries Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck
never grew as big as they did. For one, he’s more taciturn.
And he’s not
But he sure can play.
Even though Beck kept to his
corner of the stage for the entire concert and barely said a word, the show was
far from boring.
The man is a rock legend for all the right reasons.