Jeff Beck: Live in Tokyo (Blu-ray Review)

Jeff Beck Live in TokyoJeff Beck is undeniably one of the world s greatest guitar players. Technically brilliant, he is renowned for pushing musical boundaries and has excelled across many different genres from rock and jazz to pop and blues. Live In Tokyo was filmed at the Tokyo Dome City Hall in Japan on April 9th this year. These Japanese dates were the first to feature Jeff Beck s new backing band of Jonathan Joseph (drums), Nicolas Meier (guitars) and Rhonda Smith (bass) and the setlist includes some material from his new, as yet unreleased, studio album. In contrast to Beck s previous visual releases, both filmed in small clubs, Live In Tokyo is filmed in a major concert arena and has a very different, more expansive feel. Jeff Beck is a true guitar legend and this show captures him at his very best.  

Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo

The Show 

As is customary when being exposed to new music and artists that have been around longer than I’ve been alive I have to preface the bulk of this review and say that I have never listened to a Jeff Beck song or have seen him live or on television. I just know that when he was a young man he was one of three super guitarist-Gods that were part of the Yardbirds, which featured Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. That was about all I knew of him – that and the fabled story of why Kiss changed the name to “Beth” from “Beck.” They did not want to cause confusion or an uproar all those years ago.

Moving on to Live in Tokyo – the show takes us to the Tokyo Dome and features Jeff Beck’s new backing band comprised of Nicholas Meier (guitar), Jonathan Joseph (drums), and Rhonda Smith (bass). The band absolutely gels with Beck and it shows. No one plays on stage to try and take the spotlight from anyone else. It’s a magical fusion of some great tunes and fanatic sound. Yes, this Blu-ray has amazing sound quality and I don’t really care if it gets spoiled but I will say that Jeff Beck: Live in Tokyo is a reference disc in terms of audio quality. You can read more about that in the audio section.

Jeff Beck and crew run through some familiar songs, other gems seldom played, and a couple of yet to be officially released tunes. The band doesn’t miss a beat and plow through them as if they’ve been playing them their whole lives. Another thing that I didn’t know was that Jeff Beck is more of a finger pick style player than a more traditional player. Yes, if you’re familiar with his style, unlike me, then you would obviously know that, but I wad floored at his style of play. He shreds, strums, finger picks, etc., and it hurts watching it, because fine pricking is hard, in my opinion. I’m sure his strumming hand is one big callus.

I’m also glad that in watching Live in Tokyo the show moved at a very brisk pace and never staled or got boring. It’s a 90-minute set and in no way does it ever come off as self-indulgent or as a show-off piece. In any event – Jeff Beck: Live in Tokyo is great show and outside of being at the venue that night, a great Blu-ray experience, as well. Enjoy!



Little Wing

You Know, You Know


Angel (Footsteps)



Where Were You

The Pump

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues

You Never Know

Danny Boy

Blue Wind

Led Boots

Corpus Christi

Big Block

A Day In The Life

Rollin’ And Tumblin’

Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers

Why Give It Away


Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080i

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail: I think this is one of the only widescreen 2.40:1 releases that Eagle Rock has put out in the time that I have been reviewing their material. I think it lends itself really well to the show and it gives it a more epic feel to it. Prior to this show Beck had been playing small venues, so too see this performance captured in all its widescreen glory was awesome and epic in a sense. The Blu-ray transfer has captured that experience. Contrast levels are balanced, sharpness is on point, and detail is pristine.

Depth: I’m just part of the crowd. You can get lost in the oceans of people at the show but that is the Blu-ray’s intention. Depth of field is spectacular and you’ll feel like you’re sitting in the front row.

Black Levels: Black levels don’t crush and they remain jet black, deep, and inky. You cannot ask for anything more.

Color Reproduction: The lighting can get really bright and harsh but the Blu-ray counters that by making sure that none of the colors bleed into each other. Pixilation was also nuked.

Flesh Tones: Everyone looks great, natural, and happy. Their complexions are not betrayed by this Blu-ray transfer.

Noise/Artifacts: This is a noise, debris, artifact-free Blu-ray.


Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo


Audio Format(s): DTS-HD MA 5.1 (96/24-bit), LPCM 2.0 (96/24-bit)

Subtitles: English, German, Spanish, French, (bonus features only)

Dynamics: The power lossless soundtrack on this Blu-ray is nothing short of mind blowing. All of the instruments get their fair share of the spotlight and by spotlight I’m talking about channel separation. Jeff Beck is front and center and the rest of the band back him up without jumbling it up. Everyone knows where he or she needs to be.

Low Frequency Extension: Rhonda gets down and funky on the bass and the LFE channels show her some true love as it pumps up the groove in just about every song.

Surround Sound Presentation: The surround sound channels were used mainly for ambience and audience reaction and they do a good job of not smothering the music with crowd noise.

Dialogue Reproduction: Jeff Beck is an instrumentalist. The only vocals heard on this performance come from bassist Rhonda Smith as the band closes out the show.


Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo


The extras on this Blu-ray are a tad light – there’s a short featurette where the band comments on the set list and another featurette where the band talks about what it was like to play for the Jeff Beck. They’re actually pretty entertaining feauturettes.


  • Set List Commentary (HD) – Jeff Beck and company discusses the set list.
  • Band on Band (HD) – The band talks about the tour, sharing the stage with each other, and playing in Japan.


Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo


I was simply floored by Jeff Beck’s performance on this amazing Blu-ray. His backing band nailed their parts and all had a great time. As was previously mentioned, the video and audio specifications were killer and the extras could have been beefed up a bit. Overall, Jeff Beck: Live in Tokyo is required viewing, I mean, required listening. 😉


Order Jeff Beck: Live in Tokyo on Blu-ray!

Jeff Beck Live in Tokyo


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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