Jeff Beck is a boss. Ranked as one of the top guitarists of all time, Beck has been an amazing innovative force, from his stint in the Yardbirds (as Eric Clapton’s replacement) to the formation of the Jeff Beck Group (with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood) to his collaboration with Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice to his stellar solo career, which has included several Grammy Award-winning albums.
Last Thursday, August 11, at the Chumash Casino Resort, Beck treated the audience to highlights from his kick-ass new album, Loud Hailer, as well as some of the greatest songs of his career. Beck and his red-hot band, composed of Rosie Bones (vocals), Jimmy Hall (vocals), Carmen Vandenberg (guitar), Rhonda Smith (bass), and Jonathan Joseph (drums), started the night off right with the bluesy jam/call to arms “The Revolution Will Be Televised,” before moving on to the frenetic fan-favorite instrumental “Freeway Jam” from his 1975 album, Blow by Blow.
From there, the band proceeded with a rotation of new and old tunes, at first featuring Bones on lead vocals, including “Live in the Dark,” — during which she danced voluptuously while Beck Fender-bended — “O.I.L,” “Scared for the Children,” and “Right Now.” This was juxtaposed with classic songs on which Hall got to shine, including “Morning Dew,” “Shapes of Things,” a beautiful rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and an awesome cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” — during which Smith and Vandenberg rocked hard with the maestro while Joseph kept it funky. Beck’s signature instrumental hits were interspersed between the vocal numbers, including a rousing rendition of “Beck’s Bolero” and a sublime “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers.”
The encore — during which Beck and company received a standing ovation from the rapt audience (a quarter of whom migrated right up to the edge of the stage to take pictures and receive communion in Beck’s holy rock ‘n’ blues glory) — consisted of Muddy Waters’ “Little Brown Bird” and The Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.” As Beck and the band took their bows and thanked the crowd to thunderous applause, an ardent fan in the back proclaimed: “We love you, Jeff!” Well said.