Review: ‘Jeff Beck; Santana’

Guitar solo, anyone? Riff-a-mania pitted two guitar gods back to back, and surprisingly, the one known for stylistic variances chose to rewind 20 years and wallow in aggressive rock ramblings. Carlos Santana, on the other hand, churned out an impressive array of solos that emphasized interplay over histrionics and, in the end, provided the more satisfying perf.

Guitar solo, anyone? Riff-a-mania pitted two guitar gods back to back, and surprisingly, the one known for stylistic variances chose to rewind 20 years and wallow in aggressive rock ramblings. Carlos Santana, on the other hand, churned out an impressive array of solos that emphasized interplay over histrionics and, in the end, provided the more satisfying perf. This is Santana’s fourth summer tour in which the guitarist has paired his band with another quality relic — Steve Miller Band, Bob Dylan and Little Feat have been past tour mates — and as classic rock shows go, the ratio of ticket price to familiar music has been impressively high. And in this go-round, both acts are touring in support of retrospective packages: Santana’s three-CD set “Dance of the Rainbow Serpent” and Jeff Beck’s Epic “Best of.”

But the beauty of Santana’s set was its unfamiliarity: the lengthy solos that built off steady and rich percussion work; organist Chester Thompson’s two extended and multifaceted forays into tenebrous R&B; and a general reliance on Latin themes that avoided the often trite lyrics of Santana’s English work. Hits (“Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va”) were saved for encores.

Beck went for blaze from the get-go — one wham-bam solo after another with little room for the others who, beyond drummer Terry Bozio, seemed hardly interested in performing. Beck struck poses he originated umpteen years ago that have become guitar-god cliches, and they look no fresher on him than, say, Richie Sambora.

Sticking for the most part to recorded versions, Beck truly stretched on only one number, Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat,” and on that he eliminated its jazziness for the sake of note flurries. An added distraction was the placement of microphone front and center that gave the impression that a singer forgot to make the gig.

Most nights, Santana closes the show, and indeed much of Tuesday’s aud was there for the Oakland band. Beck wound up his 90-minute set playing to a good number of empty seats.

Jeff Beck; Santana

Greek Theatre; 6,187 seats; $35.50 top

Production

Presented by Nederlander. Reviewed Sept. 19, 1995.

Cast

Bands: (Jeff Beck) Beck, Terry Bozio, Tino Paladino, Tony Hymas; (Santana) Carlos Santana, Tony Lindsay, Chester Thompson, Myron Dove, Karl Perazzo, Raul Rekow, Billy Johnson.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Marketplace

    Leave a Reply

    No Comments

    Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    More Music News from Variety

    Loading