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Robert Plant Announces New ‘Carry Fire’ LP, Debuts ‘The May Queen’ Single

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Robert Plant is showing Australia what it truly means to be a legendary frontman
by Brandon John  | Mar 26, 2018

Robert Plant’s message to fans several days back gives all the insight we need into the mind of a man whose worshipped back-catalogue of hits could easily become an albatross around his neck: “Man’s real home is not a house, but the road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot.”

A quote from writer and countryman Bruce Chatwin, it sums up the feelings he’s expressed to every interviewer who, for almost four decades, has been compelled to ask the ‘reunion’ question: Plant has no interest in stoking the embers of a lifetime ago, instead carrying his fire as he keeps pressing forward. He hasn’t forgotten the past, he just won’t be chained to it – a sentiment that carries right through his live show.

With a stick of incense burning away in his stage monitor, his promise to Sydney’s State Theatre of a glimpse into the “past and present” is certainly delivered on by a smattering of solo work to open the set, and our first gentle nudge into Led Zeppelin territory comes five songs deep in the form of acoustic number ‘That’s The Way’.


The ‘past’ is best served, though, by the folk and blues standards that have always been a part of Plant’s catalogue, and which prove a perfect fit for a Sensational Space Shifters lineup driven along by the guitar brilliance of Justin Adams and Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson, and bolstered by the violin skills of well-received opening act Seth Lakeman.

Adams’ sitar-esque guitar soon signals newest title track ‘Carry Fire’, and sees the stage steeped in projections of appropriately mystical imagery, the smoke from the incense rising. Next we’re met with a true  Zeppelin mainstay in ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’, and it’s here that Plant puts to rest any concerns that he may have lost a step since he first sent shivers down spines with one of the greatest voices in rock.

The quality of his vocals still shines through, bolstered as it is by a choir of reverb when stretched by the demands of certain higher, longer notes. And, while he may no longer be the banshee he was in his youth, he’s no faded talent. His voice has walked a long road, but continues to find itself right at home there.

It was perhaps most at home, of course, on the version of ‘Please Read The Letter’ that followed – a cut from his Jimmy Page collab album in 1998 reworked a decade later for the Grammy-accumulating collab record with Alison Krauss that would cement Plant as an enduring songwriting force – and it proved a crowd-pleaser for fans who’d followed all the way along on that journey.

The remainder of the set brought with it a perfectly-weighted combination of covers and Zeppelin classics that saw Plant at times watching ‘Skin’ Tyson with quiet reverence as the guitarist put his incredible abilities on display, and at others consoling a platinum blonde fan who’d been rebuffed by security as she attempted to work her way to front of stage: “Sorry, love”. Some things never change, others clearly do.

The countrified version of ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ that closed out the set didn’t thrill the way it could have, but the medley that followed the encore more than made up for it, with the classic pairing of ’69 cover ‘Bring It On Home’ and the still-monstrous ‘Whole Lotta Love’ bringing the crowd to their feet.

“Here’s one of our newer songs, from 1920,” Plant joked, as he transitioned back into another of the traditional folk songs that he’d brought back to life throughout the evening. “Sit down, you won’t like it.” But as the genuinely sensational musicianship of the Space Shifters saw ‘Whole Lotta Love’ return with a fury, those who’d followed his instructions were jolted back out of their seats.

It was a brilliant show, but watching Robert Plant and his expert band can’t help but bring about a sense of pity for singers left adrift from the bands with which they first launched themselves to stardom all those years back, now left belting out those same versions of those same hits, over and over. “Play ‘Stairway’,” as the saying goes.

It’s a fate that Plant never has to fear, though, as each night he picks and chooses his way through a glittering career as he sees fit, just as content to put his fresh stamp an old standard as he is one of his own hits. Rather than resting on his laurels in the house that Zeppelin built, Plant again reminds us that his real home is not a house, but the road.

Robert Plant will continue his Australian tour in Melbourne, Adeliade and Perth next week, following an appearance at Bluesfest 2018 this weekend – limited tickets are still available.


https://tonedeaf.com.au/robert-plant-is-showing-australia-how-to-be-a-legendary-frontman/

 

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Robert Plant review: Whole lotta love in the room for rock veteran

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
State Theatre, ‪March 23

★★★★

In the year that marks not only his own 70th on the planet but half a century since the formation of the band that made him a rock icon, Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant remains a formidable singer and a vital musician.

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It can all be boiled down to rhythm and blues – the separate entities, not the genre – when it comes to the sound and feel of Plant and a band that's crucially far more than a group of guns hired to back him on tour.

The core Sensational Space Shifters have written and played with him in various guises for more than a decade, and the thrill they get vibing off each other is evident from the moment they lock into opener New World.

It's one of several tunes we hear from last year's Carry Fire and, along with the others from Plant's "solo" career, they do significantly more than pass the time while we wait in hope for the occasional Led Zep treat.

Whether it's the hypnotic Rainbow with its Moroccan hand drums or the warm country-folk of his celebrated collaboration with (the absent) Alison Krauss, Please Read the Letter, it all comes back to the groove, and invariably a blissful one at that.

Even when we get the first call back to the great old days with a gorgeous and at first musically faithful That's the Way, by its end that acoustic rock meditation too finds a shimmy we never knew it had.

Of the other Led Zeppelin songs, at least two come wonderfully out of the blue as folk stompers taken back to their roots before we get the thrill of recognising them (notably Misty Mountain Hop) while the rest provide the instant joy of familiarity; an enormous, iconic guitar riff doesn't hurt, either (Whole Lotta Love).

Plant is inevitably not the dynamic, thrusting frontman of yore, and the rock screech may no longer be in his vocal toolbox but, given his age, that's as it should be. Instead, he comes across as the dignified, eccentric, golden-voiced mystic he has long aspired to be, and it's a pleasure to spend a couple of hours with him and his band.

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters play at the Opera House Concert Hall on March 26 and 27, the Palais Theatre, Melbourne, on April 1 and 2, and at Bluesfest, which takes place in Byron Bay from March 29-April 2.

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/robert-plant-review-whole-lotta-love-in-the-room-for-rock-veteran-20180325-h0xxb3.html

 

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On ‎3‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 12:16 AM, zeplz71 said:

But as for what I’ll be doing in five years time, I haven't got the answer. I haven't got a clue.

Fair enough. It reminds me of something he said way back in 1988, perhaps to Chris Tetley, which was "How many more years are we going to be talking about my records anyway, really?" I can't believe that was his outlook THIRTY years ago.

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33 minutes ago, SteveAJones said:

Fair enough. It reminds me of something he said way back in 1988, perhaps to Chris Tetley, which was "How many more years are we going to be talking about my records anyway, really?" I can't believe that was his outlook THIRTY years ago.

Thirty??? Yowza - hard to believe he felt that way 30 years ago! 

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Whole lotta love for Plant at Bluesfest
 
by Cathy Adams
31st Mar 2018

THE questions on everyone's lips ... would he play Led Zeppelin, and has he still got it?

As Robert Plant left the Crossroads stage after more than an hour and a half, the resounding answer was yes, and yes.

Robert Plant was charismatic. Conttributed Bruce Davis
Robert Plant was charismatic. Conttributed Bruce Davis

The Bluesfest headline act did not disappoint the thousands of fans who crammed into the tent to see him.

Diehard Zeppelin fans got to see their music legend in fine form, and the younger crowd got a glimpse of the magic that catapulted the band into the history books as one of the greatest.

The set was a class act in professionalism, something his competing act in the Mojo tent could learn a lesson about. As my fellow Bluesfest buddy put it: " He showed the music and the crowd respect".

Sure, we all wish Page and Bonham (RIP) etc could have been there with him, but the Sensational Shapeshifters were just that, sensational.

 

Robert Plant and the Sensational Shapeshifters were simply sensational.
Robert Plant and the Sensational Shapeshifters were simply sensational.

The crowd got to hear some new tunes, as well as some of Plant's older stuff - the beautiful Mayqueen - but when the notes rang out for That's the Way, the crowd went wild.

Gallows Pole came later, but it was Whole Lotta Love that tore the house down.

A charismatic Plant didn't just hit play on the classics, he transformed them in a soaring transcendental tribute to the originals.

And while the very long wait in the carpark afterwards wasn't ideal, hearing " there's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold" waft across the misty fields seemed a fitting end to the night.

 

https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/whole-lotta-love-for-plant-at-blues/3375666/

 

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Robert Plant cemented his legendary status at The Palais Theatre

By Kate Streader

http://www.beat.com.au/music/robert-plant-cemented-his-legendary-status-palais-theatre

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Robert Plant’s signature mop of curls may be grey, but he’s still the same rockstar the world fell in love with in the ‘60s. Defying the laws of time with a voice that has barely changed over the past 40 years, Plant is a testament to the fact that rock’n’roll never dies.

Assuming their positions onstage and tearing straight into a ferocious rendition of Led Zeppelin classic ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters set the tone for the evening straight off the bat. Following up with ‘The May Queen’ from the band’s latest album, Carry Fire, the set was certain not to be a one-note affair.

The band continued to pull out an assortment of tracks from Plant’s solo career including ‘Mighty Rearranger’, ‘All the King’s Horses’ and ‘Carry Fire’, Zeppelin tracks ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’ and ‘Going to California’ and a few covers including the 1920’s hit ‘Little Maggie’, for good measure.

Decades of experience as a performer and a reputation for his charismatic presence were evident in every facet of the performance, be it his quick wit when replying to shouting audience members – such as the woman who yelled for Plant to take his shirt off, to which he replied “at this time of night? I’m not fucking doing that” – to the way he simply exuded a level of confidence and comfort on the stage.

Plant’s humility shone through as he often drifted to the fringes of the stage while his bandmates took over and he simply watched on in awe, clapping and dancing from the sidelines. Despite being 69 years old, his body never stopped moving to the rhythm. Though he never danced as a man trying to maintain a rock’n’roll persona or someone trying to grasp onto their youth, but as someone who is genuinely passionate about the music they make and can’t help but feel it with their entire body.

The Sensational Space Shifters are no Led Zeppelin, and they’re not trying to be. Rather than trying to live up to the band’s iconic legacy, they put their own spin on Zeppelin classics such as ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ and ‘Bring It On Home’, never deviating too far from the original but still injecting their own sound. The Sensational Space Shifters proved they are a tight unit too, producing an absolutely flawless sound teeming with guitar, drum and violin solos and showcasing their dexterity with an electric lute, mandolin, double bass and a fiddle all appearing throughout the performance.

The crowd ate up every minute of it, Plant could’ve sung ‘Happy Birthday’ and the audience would have thought it was genius. Everyone was completely consumed by the energy in the room, with ‘Please Read The Letter’ creating a singalong effect whilst ‘Gallows Pole’ had everyone on their feet dancing and ‘Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You’, complete with an exceptional acoustic guitar solo, earning the band a standing ovation.

Finishing with a bluesy rendition of ‘Misty Mountain Hop’, it felt like finishing a good meal – everyone was full and satisfied – though nobody was refusing dessert, which was served on a platter when the band re-emerged with a medley of ‘Bring It On Home’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’.

There were several moments throughout the evening where Plant’s face would erupt in an immense smile or he would let out a sly wink or laugh to a bandmate, and it was truly heart-warming to see someone so in love with what they do after so many years. If one thing is for certain, Robert Plant is and will always be a rock god.

Highlight: The setlist was the perfect balance of Plant’s solo career and Zeppelin tracks.

Lowlight: Waiting in line for 45 minutes at the merch desk.

Crowd favourite: ‘Gallow’s Pole’.

 

 

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^^He played Mighty ReArranger, cool! Hope it pops up on Youtube.

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I went to that show and also the next night where he had a slightly different set list including "Thats the Way" which was brilliant. Both nights were great. He's still got it even though more subdued obvioulsy.

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RP2018.jpg

Robert Plant, ‘golden god,’ ages gracefully in solo career

By Bo Emerson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Though he recently met with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, who were his mates in perhaps the greatest rock band of all time, Robert Plant doesn’t want us to make a big deal about that.

So, while quashing thoughts of any Led Zeppelin reunions, Plant, who will celebrate his 70th birthday this year, spoke about his latest tour with the Sensational Space Shifters, which brings him to State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park on Friday.

He spoke from Austin, Texas, where he had just arrived from his home in England to record a song on the new album from his former love interest (and former bandmate) Patty Griffin.

Q: How do you end up doing a rockabilly tune like the Ersel Hickey song “Bluebirds Over the Mountain,” on your new album “Carry Fire”?

A: I like these side trips. Nobody gets excited about them but me. … We’re given these ridiculous gifts that we sharpen and meld and bend and twist throughout time, and if we stay in the one groove, I don’t see the benefit of that. It might be more fun being an accountant.

Q: What did you think about winning the UK Americana Award?

A: I think they were short of people. … Ozzy Osbourne wasn’t available. Actually, there’s not many Brits that you can say have sung alongside all these weirdo crackpots like the Milk Carton Kids, Steve Earle, Alison Krauss, Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott, Byron House. … I’ve played and sung with some amazing people who have given me so much more color, both to my gift and talent and to my own view of the whole deal about music. I’ve been very, very lucky. I could have just been a rock singer.

Q: You’ve got Elle King opening the show. What do you look for in an opening act?

A: You want somebody who’s different to what you’re like. Somebody who has a different appeal, will make the evening go one way or the other, and challenging maybe. You can’t have too many golden gods.

Q: How did you team up with Chrissie Hynde (on “Bluebirds”)?

A: I’ve known her, been an acquaintance for too many years. In the ebb and flow of gigs and venues and concerts and stuff, you meet a lot of people. Some people you gravitate toward; some people you don’t. She has a particularly original style. It’s a very alluring voice she carries inside that little frame of hers.

Q: You have a big birthday coming up.

A: So they say.

Q: Does it make you more reflective?

A: It makes me much more careful about eating lamb bones. … I had a meeting the other day with the other two chaps from the old band. And I thought, “Geez, this is it.” I didn’t see any dragon suits (a reference to Jimmy Page’s elaborately embroidered trousers) and I didn’t see any bare chests (a reference to Plant’s own Led Zep-era practice of going shirtless). Very well, John Paul Jones did fall off his chair. But he did it on purpose. They looked good.

Q: That’s a tantalizing bit of news. Why would you be meeting with those fellows?

A: Because there was nobody else around to hang out with. … Please don’t suggest … I wouldn’t leave the Sensational Space Shifters for anybody else. Except for, perhaps, Pink.

 

CONCERT PREVIEW

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters

Opening acts: Elle King and Seth Lakeman. 8 p.m. Friday, June 8. $53-$458. State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park, 4469 Stella Drive NW, Atlanta. ticketmaster.com.

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I still haven't found the CD but I also haven't been searching either. I would like his older stuff I would imagine but what I heard sounds good. 

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21 hours ago, reids said:

Great concert. I was there. 2nd row. I posted a review, w/ Set List and pictures in the RP tour section at bottom of main page.

R😎🎸👍

 

 

65F5AD12-B0F7-4001-851C-B4CBC408CABE.jpeg

Awesome! Thanks for posting this. Glad you had a great time ......seeing Robert this coming Friday in Toronto. Can’t wait !

 

cheers

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44 minutes ago, ohjimmy said:

Awesome! Thanks for posting this. Glad you had a great time ......seeing Robert this coming Friday in Toronto. Can’t wait !

 

cheers

Great!!! Thanks. Have a fun time!

R😀👍

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Robert Plant Busts Out ‘Hot Dog’ In Richmond

Jun 13, 2018 - By Scott Bernstein

Vocalist Robert Plant is currently on the road for the latest North American leg of a tour in support of his Carry Fire album. Plant and his band The Sensational Space Shifters brought the run to Virginia Credit Union Live! At Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, where they had a big surprise in store to begin their encore.

Robert Plant led his ensemble through “Hot Dog” to start Sunday’s encore. Plant hadn’t played the country-tinged song from Led Zeppelin’s 1979 album In Through The Out Door since January 28, 1994 as per Setlist.FM’s records. Guitarists Justin Adams and Liam Tyson, drummer Dave Smith, keyboardist John Baggott, fiddler Seth Lakeman and bassist Billy Fuller do a fine job of backing Plant on the long-lost gem.

The band went on to end the show in Richmond with a medley that incorporated parts of “Bring It On Home,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Santianna.” Next up for Plant is a performance in New York City tonight.

Hot Dog:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6tL3k3-xg8

 

https://www.jambase.com/article/robert-plant-busts-hot-dog-richmond

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

Robert Plant Busts Out ‘Hot Dog’ In Richmond

Jun 13, 2018 - By Scott Bernstein

Vocalist Robert Plant is currently on the road for the latest North American leg of a tour in support of his Carry Fire album. Plant and his band The Sensational Space Shifters brought the run to Virginia Credit Union Live! At Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia on Sunday, where they had a big surprise in store to begin their encore.

Robert Plant led his ensemble through “Hot Dog” to start Sunday’s encore. Plant hadn’t played the country-tinged song from Led Zeppelin’s 1979 album In Through The Out Door since January 28, 1994 as per Setlist.FM’s records. Guitarists Justin Adams and Liam Tyson, drummer Dave Smith, keyboardist John Baggott, fiddler Seth Lakeman and bassist Billy Fuller do a fine job of backing Plant on the long-lost gem.

The band went on to end the show in Richmond with a medley that incorporated parts of “Bring It On Home,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Santianna.” Next up for Plant is a performance in New York City tonight.

Hot Dog:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6tL3k3-xg8

 

 

https://www.jambase.com/article/robert-plant-busts-hot-dog-richmond

 

The YouTube link sends me to the thread start for some reason.

Edited by Zepfan2001

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Robert Plant played Forest Hills Stadium w/ Sheryl Crow

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/robert-plant-played-forest-hills-stadium-w-sheryl-crow-pics-review-setlist/

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Robert Plant held back the rains last night at Forest Hills Stadium for a memorable performance with the Sensational Space Shifters. The ageless and ever-evolving Plant will turn 70 later this year, continuing to move forward with new music and updated takes on classic Led Zeppelin tunes. Plant and the Space Shifters came into being in 2013 and have released two albums, 2014’s Lullaby and . . . The Ceaseless Roar and last year’s Carry Fire. Like their mystic front man, the band draws on global roots, with West African rhythms, Eastern strings and hard-rocking guitar that stands up to Jimmy Page’s original riffs that made Zeppelin’s music the powerhouse of its day.

robertplant-foresthillsstadium-07.jpg?w=

Clouds and light rain lingered over New York since early morning, but the skies began to brighten by the time tour mate Sheryl Crow was ready to open. Crow performed an upbeat set of familiar hits and paid proper homage. “Robert Plant is an architect of everything we do,” she said. Then, as the sun went down, Plant and crew took the stage, wasting no time setting a bluesy tone with “The Lemon Song.” From the Space Shifters’ first album, “Turn It Up” did just that, showcasing guitarists Justin Adams and Liam Tyson. Shifting to acoustic guitars, the pair supported Plant on “Going to California” and a rousing “Gallows Pole.” From his 2007 collaboration with Alison Krauss, Plant sang “Please Read the Letter,” another reminder of just how varied his career has been. Alternating between old and new, “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You” from Zeppelin’s first album was followed by “The May Queen” (no relation to “Stairway”) from the current Carry Fire.

robertplant-foresthillsstadium-09.jpg?w=

Due to local noise restrictions, the show had a hard stop of 10 pm, but no one went home disappointed after encores of “I’m in the Mood for a Melody” and “Whole Lotta Love.” Plant’s legendary pipes are still capable of scaling heights, and the Sensational Space Shifters are an impressive collection of multi-instrumentalists more than capable of living up to one of rock’s most enduring legacies.

Forest Hills Stadium is also a venerable venue. Home to the U.S. Tennis Open until 1978, its musical legacy includes The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and local boys Simon and Garfunkel. After a long hiatus as a performance space, it now offers an impressive lineup of concerts during the summer months. Upcoming shows will feature Roger Daltrey, Arctic Monkeys, Van Morrison and Willie Nelson, David Byrne and The National.

robertplant-foresthillsstadium-10.jpg?w=

SETLIST: Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters @ Forest Hills Stadium 6/13/2018 
The Lemon Song (Led Zeppelin song)
Turn It Up
The May Queen
Rainbow
Going to California (Led Zeppelin song)
Please Read the Letter (Robert Plant & Alison Krauss cover)
Gallows Pole ([traditional] cover)
Carry Fire
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You (Joan Baez cover)
Little Maggie ([traditional] cover)
Fixin’ to Die (Bukka White cover)

Encore:
In the Mood
Bring It On Home / Whole Lotta Love / Santianna / Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin song)

 

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2 hours ago, zeplz71 said:

Thanks for these links. Some great pic’s of a great show! Had my fingers crossed he’d play Hot Dog like in Richmond a few nights earlier,but no go. R n R with Sheryl Crow was a lot of fun though. Cheers.

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Robert Plant Revisits Led Zeppelin And Examines The Blues Tradition On Father's Day In Chicago

Jim Ryan , Contributor

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 As the lead singer of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant sold nearly 300 million records worldwide during a recording career that stretched from 1969 to 1982, making the group one of the best-selling in the history of recorded music.

But it’s his desire to push the music forward at all times that has defined his solo career. Plant rarely looks back. And when he does it’s strictly on his own terms.

At only 69 years of age, he’s a bit younger than some of his contemporaries. For the sake of comparison, Paul McCartney turned 76 today, while Daryl Hall, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and Sammy Hagar are all 70. That’s right – the lead singer of Led Zeppelin is younger than the singer of Hall & Oates.

One of the great frontmen in rock and roll history, Plant commands the stage with a youthful exuberance, twirling the mic stand and working the crowd into a frenzy during a set that revisits Led Zeppelin while shining a light on his vastly underrated solo catalog.

On stage at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park yesterday, temperatures climbed to nearly 100 degrees on a humid Father’s Day outdoors in Chicago. But Plant remained in stunning voice throughout.

“Now come on, Chicago! Let’s go!” he said midway through “Four Sticks” second in the set. From 1971’s Led Zeppelin IV album, Sunday night marked the first time Plant has dusted off the Zeppelin track so far on this tour.

Not only did he premiere “Four Sticks,” he actually opened the show with three straight Led Zeppelin classics. “The Lemon Song” (complete with closing scream) and “What Is and What Should Never Be” bookended the premiere.

The frontman teased the crowd with a reference to Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop,” before launching into “What Is and What Should Never Be” instead. “Suckers!” he joked as the crowd began to catch on to the ruse.

“What do you think about Mexico today? Slapped those Germans around the back of the head!” he exclaimed excitedly in response to the stunning soccer upset which had unfolded earlier in the day on the World Cup pitch. The “Golden God” was in affable spirits throughout.

Over the course of ninety minutes in Chicago, Plant and his six-piece backing band, the Sensational Space Shifters, put a surprising emphasis on the Zeppelin canon, adding their unique spin to eight tracks Zeppelin put to tape, plus one more that exists primarily amongst the bootleg community (Bukka White’s “Fixin’ to Die”). The full set consisted of 13 songs, only two of which - "The May Queen" and "Carry Fire" - came from his latest studio album, October's Carry Fire (his eleventh).

In addition to his role as band frontman, Plant seemed to take equal pride in his role as de facto emcee. His storytelling on stage Sunday night was particularly sublime.

“Just south of Memphis on Highway 61 was a town called Tunica, Mississippi,” he explained in his intro to the 2014 solo track “Turn it Up.” “It was the home to so many people who came to Chicago in the 30s, 40s and 50s and brought the music to us all,” he continued, adding a local connection to the story, referencing the origins of Chicago blues that were of particular influence on Led Zeppelin.

“Just a little further south from Tunica across the river to Shreveport, Louisiana…” said Plant, picking the story back up a few songs later and establishing a breathtaking rendition of “Gallows Pole. “His name was Lead Belly and this was one of his songs."

Plant’s fascinating story of the blues tradition made the connection between his Zeppelin output and his solo catalog through a pair of songs released nearly forty-five years apart.

Led Zeppelin recorded their version of “Gallows Pole” for release in 1970 on Led Zeppelin III. On album, the track is powered by a bevy of acoustic and electric guitar. Sunday night, however, it more closely resembled a blues based, fiddle-fueled hootenanny driven as much by live violin.

The best example though of Plant’s ability to put a contemporary spin on a familiar tune was in his live handling of “In the Mood.” From his second solo album The Principle of Moments in 1983, the cut is one of his most well-known solo tracks. But on-stage Sunday night, keyboards and violin drove the performance in front of a drumbeat that lent it a shuffle, rendering it nearly unrecognizable but no less satisfying.

In terms of the Led Zeppelin material tackled, it was the softer moments that revealed the true power of Plant’s still remarkably strong voice. He’s notorious for the care he takes of his instrument and it was most obvious during “Going to California” and “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You.”

While the trademark scream unleashed at the climax of the latter would be impressive from a vocalist half his age, it was the pure delight he took in uttering lines like, “Someone told me there’s a girl out there / With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair,” that was palpable during the former.

But while the show’s more tender moments may have belied Plant’s vocal strength, it was the more rocking moments that seemed to resonate most with the crowd.

Robert Plant performs at Fox Theater on February 28, 2018 in Oakland, California.

Space Shifters guitarists Justin Adams and Liam “Skin” Tyson team up on guitar to offer their interpretation of many a well-known song and Jimmy Page guitar part.

Sunday’s set closed with a spirited, amped up take on a medley which weaved seamlessly between “Bring it on Home” and “Whole Lotta Love.” The latter, in particular, stayed surprisingly close to the Zeppelin original. It speaks volumes on Plant’s catalog that one of the most rocking songs in the history of rock music didn’t even necessarily seem like the obvious, hands down choice as show closer.

In a solo career where Robert Plant has consistently tried new things, nostalgia be damned – and seldom failed – there’s inspiration to be taken in his steadfast refusal to reform what’s left of Led Zeppelin merely to make the quick buck. Things are far more interesting when he follows his muse wherever it leads.

Jim Ryan is a Chicago based writer/broadcaster who's interviewed a Ramone and a Rolling Stone. Follow him on Twitter @RadioJimRyan or visit online at radiojimryan.com. radiojimryan@gmail.com


https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimryan1/2018/06/19/robert-plant-sensational-space-shifters-led-zeppelin-fathers-day-jay-pritzker-pavilion-millennium-park-chicago/#267e797d7f67

 

 

 

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