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Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton in Toronto!

Discussion in 'Live Concert Reviews.' started by Foxhound, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Groovy Man

    Groovy Man I'm Not Like Everybody Else

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    And different crowd....

    ''different night, different venue'', maybe that's it.

    Let's see what Foxhound has to say later, maybe he could tell us more.
     
  2. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Before I post my own comments, here's another review that appeared on Monday in the "Toronto Sun":

    :guitar:
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2010
  3. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    Finally, here's a review that should hit the streets tomorrow in one of Toronto's "alternative" newspapers, the "EyeWeekly":

    :guitar:
     
  4. TheFeldster

    TheFeldster Mr Kite

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    I still maintain that these reviewers expect way too much. I've seen Clapton live, and am a big fan of him, and I also enjoy Jeff Beck, and I'm confident I would have gone and had a good time at the show, regardless of the "lack of psych in Crossroads" or their "late career bugbears". Nothing beats a live show, in my experience.

    Keep on rockin', guys :D
     
  5. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    I think it's mostly a case of "different reviewers". Here are my own observations:

    1. The joint "tour", immortalized already of course in t-shirts, was the second most curiously abbreviated tour of which I'm aware. (The Cream's reunion tour was the shortest.) This Clapton/Beck tour is confined to London, New York, Toronto and Montreal. Eric will now be performing a few concert dates with Roger Daltrey while Jeff is heading off to tour Australia with his band.

    2. An old buddy of mine, Dave, and his older brother had come in from out of town for the show. Their college age kids had chipped in together to buy the two of them nosebleed tickets for the concert. The kids though had no interest in attending the show....

    3. The stage was set up at one side of the rink. Floor tickets and lower level seats up to the end boards were all $225. I passed on the $225 tickets since the only ones that were still available ten days before the concert were in the corner seats at the opposite end of the rink. I had mixed feelings about attending the concert in a hockey barn but I finally broke down and bought a pair. Mine were $150 tickets fifteen rows up at the other end of the rink.

    4. I'm not entirely convinced that the show was completely sold out. There might have been some empty $225 seats at the sides of the arena.

    5. The view from that distance was helped along by a pair of TV screens although these weren't that big compared with the huge monitors at say Stones' concerts.

    6. The tickets gave a start time for the concert of 7:30 PM and start at 7:30 it did with Jeff Beck taking the stage. He cleverly ensured a standing ovation when he came out by playing the first few notes of "Oh Canada", which of course had the crowd rising to their feet. :lols: He then broke into "Eternity's Breath".

    7. He was accompanied by Montreal native Rhonda Smith on bass, a drummer and a twelve piece orchestra complete with conductor. No singer though. This is the fourth time I've seen Jeff in the last fifteen years and he's never had a singer so I wasn't surprised. I would of course have sneered at any less sophisticated fan who was expecting vocals. Jeff's style is to have his guitar take the place of vocals, substituting his notes for the words of a singer.

    8. It was therefore Jeff's guitar playing that carried the melody on such classical pieces as “Corpus Christi Carol” and “Nessun Dorma”. He often used a whammy bar, a.k.a. a tremolo arm, and I found the notes that flowed so freely from his guitar to be both plaintiff and spellbinding.

    9. He introduced his bandmates at one point and Rhonda Smith launched into an extended bass solo version of "Voodoo Child".

    10. Jeff ended his set with his crowd pleasing cover of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life". He ended up playing for exactly 45 minutes.

    11. But because there were no vocals, the focus of his set was entirely on his guitar playing. I therefore knew that Eric Clapton would be very hard pressed to top Jeff's set when it came to straight forward guitar playing.

    But I think I'll go to bed now. I'll finish this off tomorrow.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  6. eberg15101

    eberg15101 Senior Member

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    :lmao:
    that picture is perfect lol

    but more importantly, nice review, I can't say I like Jeff Beck at all, and I don't know if I'd pay 150$ to see Beck and Clapton... maybe, but probably not, I can't wait to hear the clapton portion of the review though:grinthumb
     
  7. Sox

    Sox Avoiding The Swan Song

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    I have nothing but respect for both Eric and Jeff. I have seen them both a few times though never together and have plenty of their records. What niggles me is what is expected of them time and again, I hear folk in pubs slating Eric its like they put him on a pedestal just to knock him off. Jeff uses his guitar as his voice so there is bound to be more effort in his technique so as to keep the crowds attention, Eric sings and uses his guitar in responce and as an accompaniment two different styles.
     
  8. Flower

    Flower retired

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    I agree!
     
  9. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    12. I had taken in a fabulous Eric Clapton concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1995(?) which consisted entirely of Eric covering old blues classics. A set of old blues classics into which Eric could intersperse searing guitar licks would have been a more than adequate way to follow-up Jeff's blistering fusion guitar set.

    13. The break between Jeff's set and Eric's set wasn't much more than fifteen minutes. The fellow alley dweller known as Red that I'd brought with me was a big Eric Clapton fan and she was waiting for her idol's appearance with rapt anticipation.

    14. Eric arrived backed by a bass player, drummer, Chris Stainton on keyboards (both piano and organ), another keyboardist who may have been handling both synthesizer and mellotron duties since I detected strings that I hoped weren't canned at points during Eric's set, and two black female backup singers. He never did introduce his band though.

    15. The first two numbers Eric performed were acoustic - "Driftin' Blues" and the unplugged version of "Layla" which has always struck me as being a completely emasculated version of the original. After a set of Jeff's blistering guitar leads though, I found Eric's opening numbers to be a letdown.

    16. Now Eric was never a great singer but he's evidently been losing his voice lately which is why he needed the backup singers to add some punch/projection.

    17. After he electrified his most crowd pleasing numbers was the reggae influenced "I Shot the Sherriff" which Eric performed as a full fledged calypso number with the aid of his backup singers. It was about the liveliest number he performed.

    18. He played "Cocaine" but I could not have found it all that inspiring because I just had to check to make sure it really had been part of his set. In fact, I didn't notice Eric playing any seering extended guitar solos at all. Red was disappointed in the omission of "Bell Bottom Blues" and "I Can't Stand It" from his set.

    19. Eric played for about 45 minutes before being joined on stage by Jeff Beck. With both of these guitar legends sharing the stage together, I expected some serious joint guitar pyrotechnics. But it was not to be. Eric played the bandleader and front man, but Jeff was the hotshot young guitar god throughout the rest of the performance. While Jeff pealed off solos, Eric was content to strum rhythm guitar. Jeff was the flashy one, while Eric was workmanlike. I guess that's why they call Eric "Slowhand".

    20. One of the numbers they performed was a very interesting instrumental cover of "Moon River" with Jeff's guitar and whammy bar taking the place of the vocals.

    21. Their cover of Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want to Take You Higher" was a crowd pleaser. The backup singers certainly got into that one. My buddy Dave had a dissenting opinion though. He didn't think the tune was done justice without the presence of brass.

    22. They performed a well received version of "Crossroads" as their encore in which Eric finally traded some guitar licks with Jeff.

    23. They never did perform the original version of "Layla" though which was a big disappointment since Jeff was there to fill in Duane Allman's guitar parts. Neither did they perform Jeff's signature "Beck's Bolero" which was also quite the disappointment since Eric would have been there to fill in the guitar parts that Jimmy Page had originally added to the track.

    24. The show was over by 10:35 PM.

    25. Red professed her profound disappointment in Eric's performance. In her own words, Eric looked "old and tired" in comparison to Jeff. She had come in with the expectation that Eric would prove to be the star of the show but she left with a newfound appreciation for Jeff.

    26. My buddy Dave disagreed. He thought Eric was just fine. But Red and I later agreed that since Dave had probably not seen a big time act for over thirty years and had never even seen any kind of event at the Air Canada Centre, he wasn't going to be difficult to impress.

    27. Now Jeff Beck has for many years been my favourite guitarist so I wasn't the least bit surprised. But I'll reiterate a point I've made on a number of occasions. Jeff delivers his best music playing for someone else. Whether for the Yardbirds, Donovan ("Goo Goo Barabajagal"), Rod Stewart ("Infatuation"), Buddy Guy ("Mustang Sally") or Mick Jagger, that's when Jeff comes off the best musically. Unfortunately, Jeff doesn't take direction well from others. That's why he could never have made beautiful music as part of the Rolling Stones for very long. Mick and Keith being control freaks, Jeff would sooner rather than later have ended up clubbing one of the two over the head with his guitar.

    It's therefore a good thing that Jeff typically needs no direction when it comes to adding the guitar parts that take a song from the ranks of the very good to the transcendent. The problem is that on his own he very rarely provides himself with any good songs. His signature piece, "Beck's Bolero", was actually written by Jimmy Page. Jeff is a great guitarist, but his music is too outré to capture the imagination of the record buying public. Sometimes I actually think he should be left to experiment by himself in the basement of some monastery.

    28. So my final verdict was the same as the one I held before buying the ticket - Jeff is the better guitarist, but Eric remains the better musician.
     

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    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  10. Foxhound

    Foxhound retired

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    This was the review published in the "Montreal Gazette" on their show the following evening in Montreal:

     

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