TVD Live Shots: Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, Ann Wilson, and Deborah Bonham at FivePoint Amphitheatre, 7/20

On Friday July 20th, Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers, Ann Wilson, along with special guest Deborah Bonham, joined forces for their long-awaited Stars Align Tour at FivePoint Amphitheatre. For classic rock aficionados, this was a “bucket-list” tour that brought together these legendary musicians for one incredible night of music mastery under that stars in beautiful Irvine, CA.

Kicking off Friday’s show was blues vocalist extraordinaire, Deborah Bonham. While many know her as “the late John Bonham’s sister,” I don’t feel the reference truly gives her the respect warranted as a world-class musician. Although her set was abbreviated, it was evidently clear that she deserved to be on the same stage with the likes of superstars Beck, Rodgers, and Wilson.

Next up was the multi-talented musician and front woman of Heart, the incomparable Ann Wilson. I was blown away by her incredible vocal range as she covered several tracks from her 2018 release, Immortal. Although fans seemed to resonate with the 1977 classic, “Barracuda,” I found myself hanging by a thread as she killed The Who’s “The Real Me,” from their 1973 masterpiece Quadrophenia. It was an amazing tribute and left me wanting more from this once in a lifetime talent.

After a brief intermission, legendary rock vocalist Paul Rodgers took the Five Point stage to an amazing “pre-show” standing ovation. With over 50 years in the music business, he still stands tall as one of the greatest vocalists to ever grab a mic (and to this day still sounds near-flawless). Orange County fans were treated to a 14-song set that spanned his entire career including classics from Free, Bad Company, and their incredible cover of “Ready for Love” by Mott the Hoople. The set concluded with an encore of Free’s “All Right Now” with a near capacity crowd singing along with Paul in perfect harmony.

Headlining the night was none other than guitar virtuoso, Jeff Beck. At 74 years of age, this guy has not missed a beat and still ranks as one of the premier guitarists of all time. His innovative sound transcends generations and was on full display for the now full-house in South Orange County. With only an hour and 20 minutes or so to perform, he floored his fans with 18 power-packed classics that showcased why he reigns supreme. From the opening notes of “Pull It” to the final crescendo of “Going Down,” (an Alabama State Troupers cover), this set had everything a Jeff Beck fanatic could want and more.

Pound for pound, the 2018 Stars Align Tour was by far one of the best shows I have been to this year. Where many tours have lots of fillers and very little substance, this one is jammed to the brim with all sorts of musical goodness. Whether you are into stellar vocals, out of this world guitars, or just love incredible musicians, this show has it all. Well worth the price of admission—and a rock ‘n’ roll show for the ages.

JEFF BECK

PAUL RODGERS

ANN WILSON

DEBORAH BONHAM

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