Filmed in 2016 at The Hollywood Bowl, this CD/Blu-ray set celebrates guitar icon Jeff Beck's 50th Anniversary in recorded music, and covers much of the material that's made him a musical treasure for half a century. With a crack band behind him that includes Jonathan Joseph (drums), Rhonda Smith (bass), Carmen Vandenberg (guitar) and Rosie Bones (vocals), the guitarist also brings up some special guests, such as Buddy Guy, Jan Hammer, Jimmy Hall, Billy Gibbons, and Steven Tyler.
Fans of Beck's days in the Yardbirds will marvel at stellar renditions of "Over Under Sideways Down", "Heart Full of Soul", and "For Your Love", with longtime collaborator and Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall handing the vocals. Hall's potent vocals however are a better fit on a sizzling take on "Morning Dew", while the guitar legend simply wows on a bombastic "Beck's Bolero" as well as the engaging "Rice Pudding". A real treat for fans will be the pairing of Beck and his old buddy Hammer for some sensational dips back into Beck's mercurial jazz-rock material, such as "Freeway Jam", "You Never Know", "Cause We've Ended as Lovers", "Star Cycle", and "Blue Wind", each one filled with sizzling guitar & synth battles and the latter piece also including some powerhouse drumming from Joseph. "Big Block", one the standout tracks from Beck's excellent Guitar Shop album, gets royal treatment here, and vocalist Hart gives one of her always jaw dropping performances on the emotional "I'd Rather Go Blind" amid a slew of gutsy solos from Beck. Speaking of gutsy solos, Jeff dukes it out with blues legend Guy on a killer "Let Me Love You" and the ZZ Top axe slinger Gibbons on "Rough Boy". As if that wasn't enough, toss in Aerosmith belter Tyler on rampaging takes of "Train Kept a Rollin' " and "Shapes of Things", a full cast jam to Prince's "Purple Rain", a drop dead classic rendition of The Beatles "A Day in the Life", and vocalist Bones shining on a few of Beck's newer songs, and you have one hell of a fun and packed set of of classics and a few covers that shows the maestro is still one of the most unique and impressive musicians on the planet.
Eagle Vision's audio & video presentation here is excellent as always, and though there are no special features or supplemental material, you do get the full show on Blu-ray and two accompanying CDs. It's easily one of the best live albums of the year, and a wealth of guitar firepower for your money. Long Live Jeff Beck!
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The Revolution Will Be Televised
Over Under Sideways Down (with Jimmy Hall)
Heart Full of Soul (with Jimmy Hall)
For Your Love (with Jimmy Hall)
Morning Dew (with Jimmy Hall)
Freeway Jam (with Jan Hammer)
You Never Know (with Jan Hammer)
'Cause We've Ended as Lovers (with Jan Hammer)
Star Cycle (with Jan Hammer)
Blue Wind (with Jan Hammer)
I'd Rather Go Blind (with Beth Hart and Jan Hammer)
Let Me Love You (with Buddy Guy)
Live in the Dark
Scared for the Children
Rough Boy (with Billy F. Gibbons)
Train Kept A-Rollin' (with Steven Tyler)
Shapes of Things (with Steven Tyler)
A Day in the Life
Purple Rain (with Jan Hammer, Beth Hart, Jimmy Hall and Steven Tyler)