June 29, 2013
Robert Plant: The Gold Standard
|Photo by Jana L.|
|Photo by Jana L.|
Last night was a beautiful, rare warm evening in Berkeley, a perfect night to be at the Greek Theater and Robert was In the Mood to party. To be honest, some of the reworkings of the Zep-tunes were reworked better than others and the more faithful renditions were the highlights of the night, including “Going to California,” and “What is and what should never be.” Though, all of the songs sounded bigger and more open when played live in the warm summer night. In fact, the only thing missing was the raw energy of Jimmy Page’s guitar. The prospect of the reunion rumors coming true next year would be Zeppelicious! Bobby P opened the night with “Babe I’m gonna leave you” and went on to play “Friends,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Black Dog.” He also included almost unrecognizable psychedelic versions of the old blues classic "Spoonful" and the old folk classic, "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down."
Last year, Led Zeppelin was honored at the Kennedy Awards for their 12 years of sheer awesomeness before the tragic death of drummer John Bonham ended the band prematurely. (Though the tribute is 20 minutes, it is well worth watching for Zep-heads) While fellow British bands, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, may claim greater popularity, few bands have been as influential as Led Zeppelin. Led Zep albums, to me, always seemed at least a step or two above those bands in terms of poetic and artistic ambition and accomplishment. The Beatles and the Stones were mere pop bands while Led Zeppelin was Rock and Roll. There was always a chaotic edge to their songs that was dangerous and complex and full of sheer awesomeness. And, last night at the Greek, Robert Plant recaptured much of that excitement and beauty. Definite contender for show of the year.