Jeff Beck, the world's greatest rock guitarist, awes a sold-out crowd in Vancouver

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      British guitar legend Jeff Beck blew away the sold-out crowd at the Centre in Vancouver last night, performing his Stratified renditions of everything from the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" to The Wizard of Oz's "Over the Rainbow". But his amazing licks wouldn't have seemed nearly so fine without the superb backing of a crack band composed of former Prince bassist Rhonda Smith, keyboardist Jason Rebello, and monster drummer Narada Michael Walden.

      Beck performed selections from his latest album, last year's Grammy-winning Emotion & Commotion, but also went back in time to the '70s Blow By Blow period for his gorgeous adaptation of Stevie Wonder's "Cause We've Ended As Lovers". Another highlight was his uplifting rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing".

      For his encore Beck returned to the stage clutching a brownish Les Paul, then performed a swinging tune in tribute to its creator, whose playing in the '50s first inspired Beck to take up music in the first place. Thanks again for that, Mr. Paul.

      I realized while Beck spun his magic that I'm one very lucky dog, having seen him perform in five different decades. I saw him in the '70s on tour with Aerosmith at the Seattle Kingdome, in the '80s with Rod Stewart at the Pacific Coliseum, in the late-'90s at the Queen E. Theatre, in 2000-something at the Commodore, and then again last night.

      If you've never seen Jeff Beck live, I suggest you put it on your bucket list. Or at least go out and buy a copy of Wired.

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      Barb Carmichael

      Oct 28, 2011 at 12:36pm

      JEFF BECK and Band were all that and some more ! we loved it had a BLAST ! ♥

      Bruno Madsen

      Oct 28, 2011 at 1:09pm

      I was there. It was phenomenal. One of the few guitarists who can bring tears to my eyes he's so good. The sound was pristine, the band was fantastic (although Tal Wilkenfeld is a better bassist – but not by much). Could have done without the vocals – once you've heard Imogen Heap do 'Rollin' and Tumblin' with Beck, nothing else even comes close. Good opener too. Tyler Bryant is someone to keep an eye on.

      Simon Chivers

      Oct 28, 2011 at 2:16pm

      I was there too. Thought the song selection was somewhat less intense than the Jennifer Batten era (youtube the Japan 99 songs and be blown away) but even with a less muscular songlist, he is still heads and shoulders above all others.


      Oct 28, 2011 at 4:38pm

      Rocknroll? The Greatest?

      You wrote that like Keef Richards didn't exist and Jeff Beck played somefing other than jazzy blues rock.


      Steve Newton

      Oct 28, 2011 at 4:51pm

      sorry, Sleeps. I meant to say "world's greatest LIVING rock guitarist."

      Brien Comerford

      Oct 28, 2011 at 6:49pm

      I assert that Jeff Beck is the greatest guitarist ever. Beck is in his prime at age 67. That's amazing. I

      Brien Comerford

      Oct 28, 2011 at 6:58pm

      Jeff Beck has mastered hard rock, funk, blues, jazz fusion, electronica, rockabilly and now he's doing opera and classical. He creates a galaxy of tones, notes and sounds with only his bare fingers and a few effects. His eclecticism and fretboard virtuosity are peerless. He does not need a vocalist because his guitar can roar, cry, rejoice, lament, rejoice, celebrate and be replete with pathos. American guitarist Steve Lukather aptly stated that when God play's guitar he uses Jeff Beck's fingers.


      Oct 28, 2011 at 8:56pm

      Wait a frackin tick. RnR is about an animalistic sexual excitment set to a rock beat beyond all else.
      Jeff Beck looks and sounds more like a pop star than a rocknrolla.
      I just watched the Amsterdam '95 clip again. Keef looks and sounds like the ultimate 6 string rocker in the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band. I had ground floor 7 rows back, right beside the catwalk in '06 and he still had it all then. My roll's still riding on the Stone rocker .

      Steve Newton

      Oct 28, 2011 at 11:32pm

      Hey Brian with a "e" back there before Sleeps: that's what I meant to say.