Wednesday, March 27, 2013
(Words - Tobias Hankde ¦Photos - Rodney Magazinovic)
While now into his sixties, Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant proved that age is no barrier when it comes to putting on an awe inspiring rock and roll gig, showcasing why he is renowned as one of the greatest singers of all time.
Striding onstage to the strains of Ennio Morricone’s famous theme song The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, Plant was joined by his new band the Sensational Space Shifters and wasted no time kicking off the evening with the first of many Led Zeppelin tunes with the guitar crunching Heartbreaker. Quick to tell the buzzing crowd this was “no cabaret show”, Ramble On followed and had people jumping out of their seats before Another Tribe, taken from Plant’s solo effort Mighty Rearranger, slowed things down with acoustic guitars and a softer sounding Plant.
Black Dog soon upped the ante and introduced Gambian Juldeh Camara, who added a tribal blues tinge with his use of the ritti, a one-stringed African Violin. Camara was ever present as the show continued, infusing Plant’s blues and roots sound with a taste of traditional African music.
Although his voice might not reach all the high notes of his younger days, Plant is still a force to be reckoned with, providing a great scream on the aforementioned Ramble On, while during Zeppelin classic Going To California it was like watching Plant in his prime as the crowd sang along.
Four Sticks was grandiose and his reinvention of Funny In My Mind (I Believe I’m Fixin’ To Die) instilled a country feel, but it was set closer Whole Lotta Love that really hit a nerve, finally bringing the predominantly over 40 crowd to their feet with rapturous applause. The applause continued well after Plant left the stage, only ending when he and his band returned for two more tunes, Bron Y Aur Stomp (about his now deceased dog Strider) and crowd pleaser Rock n’ Roll. Telling the crowd “the answer to all things is simple”, Plant and his band had the aisles full of middle aged dancing with a raging version of Rock n’ Roll before finally leaving the stage for good.
While the nostalgia factor was high, Plant is a bona fide rock legend, and his performance demonstrated that few can hold a candle to the British superstar. One only hopes that his next tour will be with that other band he once fronted, Led something…