Jeff Beck – Veil Of Darkness (Wardour-104)


Veil Of Darkness (Wardour-104)

The Centrum, Worcester, MA – November 8th, 1989

(73:18):  Intro, Savoy, Guitar Shop, Sling Shot, Big Block, Behind The Veil, Freeway Jam, Where Were You?, Stand On It, Goodbye Porkpie Hat, Day In The House, Two Rivers, Blue Wind, People Get Ready, Goin’ Down (with Stevie Ray Vaughan)

“The Fire Meets The Fury Tour” featured Jeff Beck, touring the US for the first time in almost a decade, co-billed with Stevie Ray Vaughan.  The November 8th show in The Centrum in Worcester was the ninth show of the six week long tour and the night before a big show at Madison Square Garden in New York.  

Veil Of Darkness is the first silver pressed release to feature this show.  The tape is very good to excellent stereo.  The music is very clear and powerful.  The taper makes some comments throughout the show, like commenting how the new music isn’t as groovy as the old, cheering on Terry Bozzio and asking his girlfriend for the time.  

It has the presence and vitality of a classic Lampinski recording.  The label fixed the pitch, adjusting it to a quarter of a semitone higher than the original.  

The setlist remains pretty much unchanged.  Running just over an hour, it contained the entire Guitar Shop LP plus a handful of he more well known songs from the seventies.  Later shows like Sacramento also include “Train Kept A-Rollin’,” but Beck wouldn’t introduce that song until Austin on November 26th.    

The tape begins as they come onto the stage to play “Savoy” and the title track.  The  music is strange, complex, and over the heads of many in the audience.  But there is a lot of subtly pouring out in numbers such as “Behind The Veil.”  Beck’s accompanying band Tony Hymas on keyboard and Terry Bozzio on drums are obviously very talented.  The lack of bass or second guitar gives the music a light air, one with much possibilities.  (Beck himself described the LP as such in an interview with Steve Rosen in the September 22nd, 1989 Bam Magazine interview, calling it “an abstract, whatever you will type of record.”)

“Freeway Jam,” the first older tune in the show, receives a really nice reaction from the audience as does the new song “Where Were You?”  In fact, with Beck alone on stage playing the piece, the audience are very respectful and add their whistles of support at the appropriate times.

The rest of the band come in for “Stand On It” and the mournful “Goodbye Porkpie Hat,” the second older tune in the set.  “Day In The House” is the only song of the night with vocals.  Sung by Terry Bozzio in his best Frank Zappa voice, it also is the most dated song courtesy of Hymas’ keyboard accompaniment. 

“Two Rivers” is the final new song in the set, a gorgeous and melodic excursion before the segue into “Blue Wind.”

The Curtis Mayfield cover “People Get Ready” is followed by “Goin’ Down.”  Stevie Ray Vaughan joins the band onstage and handles vocals.  The audience goes nuts while the band play, watching Vaughan effectively steal the show from Beck.  It’s a poignant moment knowing Ray Vaughan would be gone in less than a year.  

Veil Of Darkness is a suburb release by Wardour.  It features a great show in excellent sound quality.     

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