Coming The First Night (Wardour-094)
The Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA – February 15th, 2001
Disc 1 (55:39): Earthquake, Star Cycle, The Pump, Brush With The Blues, Roy’s Toy, Blast From The East, Dirty Mind, Angel (Footsteps), Psycho Sam, Nadia, Rice Pudding/Jack Johnson/Savoy, Behind The Veil
Disc 2 (33:05): Loose Cannon, Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Led Boots, A Day In The Life, Where Were You, Goodbye Porkpie Hat/What Mama Said
After You Had It Coming was released in the first week of February, 2001, Jeff Beck began a tour of the US in Seattle on February 15th in The Paramount Theatre. Coming The First Night documents the show with a flawless stereo audience recording.
Beck appeared on the nationally syndicated radio program Rockline the night before. Among the topics discussed during the interview, Beck said regarding the tour that things were still a “bit edgy” and there was a “lot of work to do” because of the new drummer Andy Gangadeen.
He also mentioned that the greasy hands on the cover of You Had It Coming were his, and that the rumored tour with him, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, mentioned in December, was not going to happen because of scheduling conflicts.
Other interesting tidbits include his denial that he was considered to replace Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd in 1968, he never played with Jack Bruce and didn’t play on Donovan’s “Hurdy Gurdy.”
The concert begins with “Earthquake.” Written by Jennifer Batten, who made a name for herself playing with Michael Jackson on Bad, Dangerous, and HIStory, it is as close to nineties underground heavy metal as Beck ever went. The tone of Beck’s guitar and the angular riffs are reminiscent of early Entombed in some places. Whether it was intentional or not is debatable.
Although this is the first show after You Had It Coming was released in the States, many of the new songs already had been debuted the previous December in Japan because the album was released their several months earlier.
The new song is followed by two from There And Back, “Star Cycle” and a heavy version of “The Pump.” Both are tight and sound great but are strangely dated compared to the rest of the setlist, especially the Jan Hammer tune with its fascination with the synthesizer effects. Except for references to “Rice Pudding,” “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” and a full performance of “Led Boots,” they stick to the new album, Who Else? and Guitar Shop.
The new song “Roy’s Toy,” with its adventurous drumming, is one of the more interesting songs played that night. And according to reviews, during “Dirty Mind” some guy who was obviously drunk came dancing down the aisle and made it to the second row where he met a security guard who escorted him back to his seat.
“Loose Cannon” is played almost as a jam with short bass solos by Randy Hope-Taylor. It’s followed by the Muddy Waters cover “Rollin’ And Tumblin'” with Batten providing the vocals (the only song with vocals the entire night).
The show ends with his cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life,” and as the song ends Beck shyly introduces the band. For the encores they play the sublime “Where Were You” and a medley of “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” with a slightly different, more rock oriented arrangement, of the techno-industrial tune “What Mama Said” from Who Else? There is also a short reference to “Rosebud” from the new album.
Coming The First Night uses the cover of the latest album as a back drop for a nice live shot of Beck from the era. This is such a good recording and concert that it’s surprisingly it’s never been issued before. In fact, not many tapes from this tour have been pressed. The most common is the Los Angeles show from the following week (Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Scarecrow 105/106). This is a great title from Wardour worth having.