Published on theMusic.com.au | 30.04.14
PERTH CONCERT HALL
24 April, 2014
“Guitar nerd heaven” may be a more appropriate descriptor of Perth Concert Hall for rock legend Jeff Beck’s WA sideshow. Like restless children at a school assemblY trying to impress their peers, certain audience members couldn’t contain their nostalgic excitement as the darkness fell over the venue and Beck’s backing band assumed their positions. Well dressed to fit the part, with a wrist support more reflective than a disco ball and hair that hasn’t changed since that era, Beck casually strolled out and Loaded his signature telecaster. Nine and the 1976 Jimi Hendrix hit Little Wing all saw a different guitar delivered from the artillery. “The reason for the change of guitar is because of the different tuning. Nothing else wrong with them – except the player I think,” Beck laughed, and that was one of three sentences uttered to the audience throughout the set. He used subtle gestures towards the crowd and his band mates to bridge a connection without the microphone. He didn’t need words, only six strings. ‘80s hits Where Were You and You Never Know were prime examples of his ability to convey true emotion without words.
Just when it appeared as if his backing band were going to sit in the shadows, Beck took stage right for ten minutes. Bassist Rhonda Smith strolled forward for a showcase that almost received a standing ovation. Beck joked that guitarist Nicolas Meier was “terrible” before handing the reigns over for the classical-esque Yemin. From there, classics Led Boots and A Day In The Life (The Beatles) melded into a super jam which showed exactly why Beck stands alongside Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Perhaps better suited to an outdoor festival, as some became restless, it was a after a second standing ovation from Cause We Ended As Lovers that Beck removed his white Stratocaster and casually strolled off stage.
Written by Daniel Cribb