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Jeff Beck Live at Montreal Jazz Fest


After counting down the days to the long awaited Jeff Beck  gig at the Montreal Jazz Festival (MJF), the moment finally arrived. JB took the stage for the second time on July 6th (the 9 PM concert sold out in 7 minutes so Jeff was nice enough to add on another set. No surprise on the 2 sell-outs when you consider that Beck is one of the few living legend guitar slingers who’s just as musically gifted and exciting to watch today as he was back in the late ‘60’s and early '70's.

Beck moved through the night serving up many of the tunes offered on his "Live from Ronnie Scott's" project. I was quietly hoping he would include some other classics like "Freeway Jam" and maybe even some vocal accompaniment to deliver us some oldies but goodies like "Lady" or "Superstitious". Yes I’m a demanding long time fan but that's what happens when you have to wait around for decades for the king of the whammy bar to finally show up in your neck of the Canadian woods.

Beck's unique erratic slapping and twitching on the tremolo bar coupled with a penchant for bending notes while thumbing his volume control dial is more aptly described by the master himself as a man who suffers "Musical Tourettes".

Winning the crowd over easily with a tune he and Jimmy Page put together "Beck’s Bolero", Beck then moved on to one of my hard driving favorites ‘Stratus". It is impossible to figure out what he is doing most of the time because of his complete use of every possible feature on his Stratocaster. One amazing thing that I realized at the end of the night is the fact that he never changed guitars once (despite the physical work out he gave it) nor did he ever once have to re-tune a single string ! Incredible when you think that he also did a bang up version of "Big Block".

Later on Beck came up behind Tal during her bass solo to join her on the upper part of the bass neck so that they were both playing her bass at the same time. As they worked through her improv solo, she segued into the melody for "Freeway Jam" which got the three thousand fans charged up.

The encore finished with a very haunting version of "Jerusalem" after which he put his guitar down and raised his arms up in down in praise and worship of his heavenly ‘60 series Strat.   There is no mistaking the fact that Jeff Beck is much more of an artist who just happened to pick up an electric guitar instead of a paint brush.

Seeing as Beck has admitted in public that he’s decided to forget about retirement, I can only hope he will try some new, different material with the band mates he brought together for the Crossroads Concert.  Tal Wilkenfeld on bass, Jason Rebello on keyboards and Vinnie Colaiuta on drums make for one heckuva a performance.  Each one of them a gifted musician in their own right and together it's absolutely explosive.

With Beck at the helm, this is a band that could knock out 2-3 more albums of great/original material. Jeff Beck certainly looks like he’s got lots of energy, stamina and above all musical genius to pull it off. Can’t wait to see what he’s going do next.

If you cant’ find a ticket to catch Jeff Beck in concert, get the DVD for "Live at Ronnie Scott's."  I only managed to see it for the first time following his gig in Montreal and it is truly the next best thing to a live show.  The interviews with Beck and guest appearances on stage make it a real collectors item for JB fans.

  • Jeff Beck: Official site, Live Stream, Tour DatesBio, Wikipedia
  • Amazon: Live At Ronnie Scotts CD, DVD, Best of Beck, Crossroads: Guitar Festival
  • Comments

    I love Jeff Beck but that is totally BS about the concert selling out in 7 minutes. I was able to get tickets to both shows 3 weeks before the concert. I landed 4th row tickets for the first show and 6th tickets for the second show.

    I have no doubt you are correct in your ability to buy tix weeks before the show. Sometimes what happens is a promoter will hold back some number of primo tickets and release them in the days or weeks before the show. So it could be the case that the initial batch of tickets was sold out and then more were released later on.


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