Neil Preston If you're a fan of Led Zeppelin, you're familiar with…
- Posted on Apr 30th 2011 12:20PM by Melinda Newman
Dressed in a blue T-shirt, blue jeans and cowboy boots, with a chartreuse feather hanging from his right belt loop, a relaxed Plant included no fewer than six Led Zeppelin tunes in his set with his new outfit, Band of Joy, including show opener, a shaggy 'Black Dog.' In some cases, the Americana roots collective turned the Zep songs on their sides, such as on the countrified 'Houses of the Holy' or the spooky 'Black Country Woman,' bolstered by Byron House on upright bass. Other times, they replicated them in fairly direct fashion, as with the sinewy 'Ramble On.'
Much of the rest of the set drew from Plant's latest album, 'Band of Joy,' including 'Angel Dance,' a gorgeous take on Richard and Linda Thompson's 'House of Cards' with Plant, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott and singer-songwriter Patty Griffin's three-part harmony soaring high above the melody; and a hypnotic, dark 'Monkey,' originally recorded by Low.
The Band of Joy is a jubilant one indeed with a staggering amount of talent, including bassist House, Scott, drummer Marco Giovino, and Griffin, who serves as Plant's main vocal foil during the show, and producer-guitarist-artist Buddy Miller, whom Plant referred to as "the captain of our ship."
And he's steering a seaworthy vessel, seemingly capable of backing Plant on whatever part of his storied career he chooses to draw from. Giovino's thunderous drumming turned Plant solo track, 'I'm in the Mood' into a tribal stomp, while Griffin beautifully played the part of Alison Krauss on a delicate version of 'Please Read The Letter,' from Plant and Krauss's Grammy-snaring 'Raising Sand.'
After exhorting the audience to 'Be Happy' and delivering a shout out to Jeff Beck, who had preceded Plant on the Acura Stage, Plant closed with a snaky take on Led Zep's 'Gallows Pole.'