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SteveAJones

Robert Plant Band of Joy Tour 2011

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April 10, 2011 - Chicago

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Robert Plant cheerfully poses for a photo with a dedicated fan (Laura) whilst shopping in a record store

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Whether singing blues, folk or Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant sounds fresh

By Anders Smith Lindall

Apr 11, 2011

Chicago Sun-Times

There was a moment early in Robert Plant's set Saturday night at the Auditorium Theatre when the music fell away, a hush hung in the air and Plant sang delicately about getting older and "settling down." Then just as quickly his band leaped forward, the throaty scream of Buddy Miller's lead guitar split the silence, and the rocking-chair reverie was dashed.

It was a minute exchange, one little detail of a single tune — "Down to the Sea" — but it said much about the old soldier's current path. Decades past his iconic stardom as Led Zeppelin's "golden god," Plant's energy, vitality and curiosity are undimmed.

His voracious appetite for varied sounds is nothing new, of course. A shape-shifting ability to synthesize the styles of others has been Plant's hallmark, whether as an English teen devouring blues or during his much later explorations of West African desert rock.

The new disc "Band of Joy" continues down the same mid-American dirt roads as "Rising Sand," Plant's Grammy-winning 2008 duo disc with Alison Krauss. But in addition to further elaborations on its elegant country, folk and blues, this latest album has a sharper rock edge owed largely to co-producer Miller, a fearsomely talented singer and songwriter in his own right.

Touring with the same core roster that recorded "Band of Joy," Plant gave the musicians generous attention Saturday. He ceded the spotlight to Miller on the cutting country-blues "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go," to multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott for Porter Wagoner's stone-country classic "A Satisfied Mind" and to vocalist Patty Griffin's earthy gospel turn on the R&B nugget "Ocean of Tears."

Yet even at center stage, his presence didn't overwhelm. Yes, the signature lion's mane of curls was intact, along with the old habit of handling the microphone stand like a lover's body, and that remarkable, instantly recognizable voice, mellowed but uncompromised by age.

But the focus was squarely on the songs. Plant and his players gave a bit of guitar snarl to "Angel Dance" by Los Lobos. And they fused sultry sex appeal with creeping dread in "Monkey," one of two stately songs Plant pulled from an especially unlikely source, the intensely minimalist underground rock trio Low.

And, of course, they played Led Zeppelin. But "Black Dog," which opened the set; "Black Country Woman"; the closing two-fer "Houses of the Holy" and "Ramble On," and the encore take on "Tangerine" all sounded squarely of a piece with everything around them. Draped in gorgeous group harmonies, touched with haunted bouzouki or soaked in steel guitar, they came off rich, ringing and renewed.

Anders Smith Lindall is a Chicago free-lance writer.

http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/4764367-521/whether-singing-blues-folk-or-led-zeppelin-robert-plant-sounds-fresh.html

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In Music Reviews

Plant and his Band of Joy wow with wide ranging set at Riverside show

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Robert Plant and his Band of Joy put on a stellar show at the Riverside Theater Monday

night covering a wide swath of musical ground, from folk to Zeppelin.

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By Bob Purvis

Staff Writer

Photography by CJ Foeckler

Published April 12, 2011

A quick survey of the Riverside Theater lobby at Monday night's Robert Plant and the Band of Joy demonstrated the central divide among his fans: those that listen to NPR and those that listen to GNR.

But the weathered roadie looking types clamoring for a lasting Led Zeppelin reunion and soccer moms who fell in love with Plant's Grammy Award-winning collaboration with bluegrass-country singer Allison Krauss all had reason to smile at a show that covered a wide swath of sonic landscape.

Dressed in blue jeans and gray T-Shirt, the 62-year-old singer and his band took the stage to a standing ovation as they launched into a slowed down and spaced out take on the Zeppelin classic "Black Dog."

Again and again Plant demonstrated why he may be reluctant to return to being Led Zeppelin's singer, why would he when he could be that and so much more with his versatile backing band which featured veteran touring guitarist and solo artist Buddy Miller, Grammy winner Patty Griffin and veteran Nashville songwriter and session musician Darrell Scott.

From the gypsy folk turned explosive rocker "Down to the Sea" off his early '90s solo record "Fate of Nations" to a dusty and sparse spin on Zeppelin's "Black Country Woman," Plant seemed to revel in wrapping his still formidable yelp around a set that flirted with every style and sound in the American songbook.

Plant and the band played several covers during the set, none more surprising or inspired than their takes on the chilling track "Monkey" from Minnesota indie rockers Low, and the dusty desert rambler "Silver Rider" off Low's 2005 album "The Great Destroyer."

But the Band of Joy was most certainly a band with Plant handing the reins over to Miller and Griffin at times as he faded into the edges of the spotlight to accompany on harmonica. And Scott's drew a standing ovation with his stunningly powerful take on the Porter Wagoner tune "Satisfied Mind."

Plant talked about the influence of black American music on him and his English brethren growing up between the stomping gospel tune "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down" and a rockabilly spin on Rev. Gary Davis' "Twelve Gates to the City."

The biggest response of the night came when Plant bookended the set with another Zeppelin tune as the band launched into a version of "Ramble On" that took on an interesting flamenco indebted interlude.

The band returned to uproarious applause for a nostalgia soaked encore that ended with a cover of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall." It was a fitting end to a night that proved Plant and his iconic voice could be all things to all people, exploring sounds new and old in a timeless era he jokingly called "1962011."

Show openers North Mississippi Allstars put on a southern blues and rock clinic stirring the crowd with a slew of instrumental jams and no frills rock flush with jaw dropping guitar solos.

http://onmilwaukee.com/music/articles/bandofjoy.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Plant delivers rootsy Americana

REVIEW: The rock icon showed himself an adventurous performer,

whether recasting hits or delving into the soul

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Article by: Jon Bream, Star Tribune

Updated: April 13, 2011 - 12:50 AM

The long golden ringlets, the rock-star poses and the microphone-stand strut are still the same. But the songs don't remain the same when Robert Plant sings them.

The voice of Led Zeppelin brought his solo tour to the sold-out State Theatre in Minneapolis Tuesday. There was no bare chest, "Stairway to Heaven" or Jimmy Page. This was the 62-year-old British rock god's continuing exploration of American music, with an emphasis on the rootsy Americana of his 2010 album "Band of Joy." There were a handful of Zeppelin songs, but they were re-imagined to fit his current, no-earplugs-necessary but still essential sound.

The 105-minute concert was tremendously exciting, not in a rock 'n' roll thrilling kind of way but in an artful, deeply enriching, adventurously musical kind of way. While playing with probably the quietest drummer in his plugged-in career, Plant led an all-star American band that was organic and refreshing. Adept at the blues, bluegrass and Bob Dylan, they also mixed in Eastern, Indo-jazz and world-music elements.

The MVP had to be Buddy Miller, whose guitar was equally edgy and eerie. Darrell Scott offered a spice-rack full of seasonings on mandolin, banjo and other stringed instruments. Patty Griffin's voice provided the perfect contrast to Plant's, whether high and lonesome or mournfully soulful. Vocally, this concert was more about close harmonies than preternatural wails, more about nuance than power. The Golden God did cut loose once or twice (noticeably on Zep's "Ramble On") but he was more about heartfelt singing, delivering the haunting, spiritual "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down" and a backwoods harmonic moan on Zep's "Black Country Women."

The lyrics of the five Zeppelin numbers were familiar but not the musical treatments. The opening "Black Dog" was an undulating swamp excursion with wah-wah guitar while "Tangerine" became a pedal-steel-kissed plaint. The slowly building "House of the Holy" was less memorable than Richard Thompson's "House of Cards," with its Eastern meets Appalachia construction. That and other "Band of Joy" numbers made the night, especially "Silver Rider" by the Duluth band Low. It started with seductive sweetness and evolved into a languidly dreamy piece, with undertones of surf guitar and orchestral harmonies. It sounded like an American answer to the mystical magic that Plant made with his old band.

Photo Gallery: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/119739729.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Thanks everyone for the reviews and Youtube videos of the Riverside performance on Monday!

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Ramble on: Robert Plant's set list from the State Theatre thriller

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Magical, mystical Mr. Plant Star Tribune photo by Renee Jones Schneider

by John Bream

Star-Tribune

April 13, 2011

No, I'm not dazed and confused because of the lateness of the hour. Here are a few post-concert reflections about Robert Plant and his Band of Joy's exciting concert (read my review) at the soldout State Theatre on Tuesday.

Plant shared the spotlight, by letting Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott and Buddy Miller each sing a song while he became a backup singer (and harmonica player behind Miller).

During the traditional spiritual "Wade in the Water," Plant threw in a Zeppelin line "In my time of dying." Hmmmm.

A great student of American music, Plant apparently failed to realize he was in the home state of Low (he sang two of the Duluth group's songs) and Bob Dylan (he closed with Dylan's "A Hard Rain Is A-Gonna Fall").

Wasn't surprised that there was only one tune from the Grammy-winning 2007 Alison Krauss duo album, "Raising Sand." (It was a Page/Plant oldie, "Please Read the Letter.") This show (and tour) emphasized material from last year's "Band of Joy" -- six of the 12 numbers were played Tuesday.

The truncated North Mississippi Allstars — just guitarist Luther Dickinson and his bro Cody on drums — were disappointing as the opening act. It felt like a jam session in their basement. Highlight: Luther playing an electric guitar with a cigar-box body.

Set list:

Black Dog/ Down to the Sea/ Angel Dance/ Black Country Woman/ House of Cards/ Monkey/ Somewhere Trouble Don't Go (sung by Buddy Miller, Plant on harmonica)/ Silver Rider/ A Satisfied Mind (a Porter Wagoner cover sung by Darrell Scott)/ Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down/ Q What a Beautiful City > Wade in the Water/ Patty Griffin song ????/ Please Read The Letter/ House of the Holy/ Ramble On ENCORE Tangerine/ Harm's Swift Way/ A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/music/119752214.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant & the Band of Joy at Hard Rock Live 4/14

By Chris Gray, Broward/Palm Beach New Times, Thursday, Apr 14 2011

Robert Plant raised a lot more than sand on that 2007 album with Alison Krauss, one of the very few Americana albums to go platinum since O Brother, Where Art Thou? He also raised five Grammys in February 2009 Raising Sand was released too late to make the '08 awards and resurrected a solo career that had been overshadowed by a levee-breaking flood of new/reissued Led Zeppelin product and that group's November 2007 reunion concert at London's O2 Arena. Not surprisingly, Plant has decided to extend his rootsy honeymoon with both a new group and album named after his and John Bonham's pre-Zep rockers, Band of Joy. Released in September, the album includes hillbilly-gospel standard "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down," Los Lobos' "Angel Band," and two from Minneapolis slowcore trio Low's 2005 LP, The Great Destroyer with a couple of key substitutions: A-list Nashville utility man Buddy Miller in for Sand/O Brother's T-Bone Burnett as producer and bandleader and flaming-red Austin singer/songwriter Patty Griffin as Plant's main female foil.

Details

Robert Plant & the Band of Joy, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $44 to $89.

http://www.browardpalmbeach.com/2011-04-14/music/robert-plant-amp-the-band-of-joy-at-hard-rock-live-4-14/

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert's having a great time with this music as usual and putting on a great show. I saw him at the Beacon in NYC back in January and he did not disappoint. Thanks for all the reviews Steve!

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A great student of American music, Plant apparently failed to realize he was in the home state of Low (he sang two of the Duluth group's songs)

(critic's words, not Steve's)

That's funny because the night before in Milwaukee, he introduced one of their songs and said the next evening he would be in their homestate. He even asked Patti how to pronounce "Minneapolis."

Edited by imPLANTed

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(critic's words, not Steve's)

He even asked Patti how to pronounce "Minneapolis."

^ ^ ^

Perhaps an attempt at humor alluding to the unpronounceable symbol for "the artist formerly known as Prince", arguably Minneapolis' most famous resident.

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Saw Robert last night (4/14) in Hollywood, Florida. It was a very enjoyable show until some of the amps blew out during Please Read the Letter. I was one of the louded noices I ever heard...actually happened twice. During the middle of the song Robert turned the stage monitors around to point to the audience so we could hear they a little better. They didn't stop the show to truly fix exerything. So HOTH and Ramble On did not sound very good...too bad because those were probably the two songs I wanted to hear the most.

When they came back on for the encore they played Gallows Pole and that was it. The PA was fine for this, not sure what they did, but it sounced really good. I was expecting a few more songs or at least another attempt at the songs that you couldn't hear very well. The entire show lasted 1.5 hours.

The ironic thing about this is that Zeppelin played some of the loudest shows every and rarely did this happen. When Robert tones it down...then he busts the amps...go figure?

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Music

'Den' to air Plant's Nashville gig

Published: April 14, 2011

NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) -- The music-themed TV series "Artists Den" is to feature a concert performed by Robert Plant and his Band of Joy in Nashville, its producers said.

Now in its third season, the show airs on public television. Plant and his backup musicians are to appear on the April 22 episode.

"A rare snowy day in Nashville, Tenn., set the stage for an even rarer event -- an intimate concert by rock icon Robert Plant, at the War Memorial Auditorium," a release said Thursday. "Performing with his new, Grammy-nominated group aptly titled the Band of Joy -- Plant played both Led Zeppelin classics and new songs that continue to have an impact on the music scene today."

"To work your craft, you've got to be close in with your musicians, so I enjoy intimacy now. I can't say that I'd be in a hurry to go to Madison Square Garden again," Plant said before he taped the concert.

http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/Music/2011/04/14/Den-to-air-Plants-Nashville-gig/UPI-58931302797629/

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant rocks the Paramount

The venerable rock artist whose primal scream became a new form of singing with the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin performs Wednesday, April 20, at Seattle's Paramount Theatre.

Robert Plant, the venerable rock artist whose primal scream became a new form of singing, first with the Yardbirds, then Led Zeppelin, started out in 1966 with a group called Band of Joy and that's what he calls his band now, too. Along with the North Mississippi Allstars, the Band of Joy performs at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $55-$85 (877-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org).

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/musicnightlife/2014777682_plant15.html?syndication=rss

Edited by SteveAJones

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Post-Led Zeppelin Robert Plant comes back to Portland with new band, Band of Joy

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Photo Credit: James Fortune

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By Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

Published: Friday, April 15, 2011, 12:00 PM

Anyone still dreaming of a Led Zeppelin reunion should know this: Robert Plant once made a pledge to KBOO when he heard someone at the independent Portland station say they would never play "Stairway to Heaven."

The story says everything about who Plant is as a person and a musician. He knew that somewhere in the U.S., "there's gotta be a place that rains as much as my home on the Welsh borders." He was driving from Portland to Lincoln City, planning to take the coast highway to Eureka, just "exploring this beautiful land" and listening to KBOO. Someone at the station was playing the Jive Five, a Sixties soul group, and Plant was loving it. Then, during a pledge break, a challenge was thrown out: send us some money, and we'll never play "Stairway to Heaven" again. Plant pulled over and pledged $1,000 -- and he wrote the lyrics to the song!

"It's not that I don't like that song," Plant said at the SXSQ music festival in 2005. "It's just that I've heard it before."

When Plant comes back to Portland on Tuesday with his new group, Band of Joy, he'll play a few Zep classics, but they'll be blues-ed up and run through Nashville and the Mississippi Delta by the man who titled one of his recent albums "The Mighty Rearranger." Plant is an Americana artist now, not a heavy metal dinosaur, and just because he's been opening with "Black Dog" and mixing in "Black Country Woman," "Houses of the Holy," "Tangerine," "Ramble On" and "Gallows Pole" doesn't mean he's cashing in on his past.

Far from it. He's left millions and millions of dollars on the table (guarantees for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour reportedly approached $200 million) because he'd rather challenge himself and play something fresh, first with Alison Krauss and T Bone Burnett on the "Raising Sand" album and tour and now with a band that includes alt-stalwarts Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were ready to take the money and pretend it's 1977 and Led Zeppelin was playing the Kingdome; Plant walked away and moved on.

The path that Plant took from Led Zeppelin to Band of Joy can be traced on his solo album covers. In "Pictures at Eleven" and "The Principle of Moments," he's all about the Eighties, with a slick look and sound that's a half-step away from Robert Palmer or Hall and Oates. By 1998's blues reunion with Page, "Walking Into Clarksdale," it's become more about the music. By the time Plant released the underrated "Dreamland" (2002), he's disappeared completely into the songs. Plant's last four albums show him digging deeper into the American sound that's always fascinated him, working with the best producers (Miller, Burnett), casting a wide net for songs to cover (Los Lobos, Richard Thompson, Townes Van Zandt, and Low on "Band of Joy") and putting his famously strong voice back in the mix to push the music forward.

Onstage, Plant has been first among equals, singing with soul and playing the harmonica while generously giving Miller, Griffin and Darrell Scott a turn at lead vocals. Griffin just won a Grammy for Best Traditional Gospel Album for "Downtown Church," a record produced by Miller that is a wonderful indication of what the vibe is around the Band of Joy tour.

-----------

Coming up: Robert Plant and the Band of Joy When: 8 p.m. Tuesday Where: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 S.W. Broadway Tickets: $40-$85, plus service charges, www.ticketmaster.com Website: www.robertplant.com

http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2011/04/robert_plant_and_the_band_of_j.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant fan hoping for a 'whole lotta love'

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Young super fan Ethan Faber wearing his adorned Led Zeppelin t-shirt.

By: Ethan Faber/Managing Editor, CTV British Columbia

Date: Friday Apr. 15, 2011 12:14 PM PT

Dear Robert Plant. Thank you for ditching the red jump suit. That's what you were wearing back in 1985 when I first saw you at the Pacific Coliseum. You strutted on stage and announced you were in the mood for a melody.

You weren't kidding. But something wasn't quite right.

Don't get me wrong, our first encounter was a very big deal.

You see, your picture had adorned the walls of my bedroom, the inside of my school locker and the front of my t-shirts since I could remember. But the red jump suit just wasn't you.

Now, thanks to your current incarnation which lands at the Queen E on Sunday night, I think I finally understand what was going on. You were looking for a new identity, and who can blame you?

After all, you'd spent the entire 1970's fronting the most popular rock band in the world, and you'd paid a dear price. Being away on tour when your young son died from a sudden illness, almost dying yourself in a car accident, watching Led Zeppelin crash and burn after the death of your best friend, drummer John Bonham, and all of it happening before you were 30 years old.

No wonder you exchanged the ripped jeans, flowery shirts and Middle Earth jewelry for that jumpsuit.

No wonder you sailed around on a sea of 1950's nostalgia with The Honeydrippers.

No wonder you looked so uncomfortable for that much anticipated reunion at Live Aid. You needed a clean break. You needed to find yourself again.

The title of your new disc, "Band of Joy," tells me you've done both. Bringing back the name of the band you and Bonham founded as teenagers before Jimmy Page plucked you both out of obscurity tells the world you're ready to celebrate your past rather than run away from it.

It's about time.

You sound comfortable again as you continue to explore American roots music. You sound excited again as you take us on another journey into a little known but incredibly rich musical culture. You did it before when a trip to Morocco gave us 1975's Kashmir, your favourite song from the Zeppelin canon.

I'll confess, I've been reading reviews from the Band of Joy tour and I'm excited to see you're experimenting and improvising with a few Led Zeppelin melodies again. But that's not because I only want to hear the songs that made you famous; it's because it tells me you're whole again.

Welcome back, old friend.

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy play Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Sunday night. Tickets start at $83.50 through Ticketmaster.

http://www.ctvbc.ctv...ishColumbiaHome

Edited by SteveAJones

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April 15 -Wanee Music Festival, Live Oak, Florida (near Seminole)

Black Country Woman

Encore

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

Edited by Silver Rider

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Thanks for the articles Steve. The Stairway pledge bit, was particularly funny! Really shows Robert's sense of humor.

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Anyone going to the Jazz Fest in N.O. to see Robert and BOJ? He will be following Jeff Beck on the same stage the first Friday of the festival. Ought to be interesting - looking forward to seeing these two legends back to back.

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I was at the Hard Rock, Hollywood show on Thursday night and thought it was awesome! I've been a fan forever but this was my first time seeing Robert. I absolutely loved the version of Black Dog! I thought he looked and sounded amazing and I thought the band was great. I think they handled the amp mishap really well too and for me, it didn't take a thing away from the show. I can't wait to see Robert and Band of Joy again! :D

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Anyone going to the Jazz Fest in N.O. to see Robert and BOJ? He will be following Jeff Beck on the same stage the first Friday of the festival. Ought to be interesting - looking forward to seeing these two legends back to back.

That sounds pretty cool. Won't be going to it unfortunately. But, will be going to the ACL Festival in September. Hopefully Robert plays here. He's played this before, but the lineup has not been announced, since the GA tix have yet to go on sale. We'll see and can only hope!

Edited by SuperDave

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