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SteveAJones

Robert Plant Band of Joy Tour 2011

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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

That is the reason I posted that...they all handled it like the seasoned pros that they are, and the references to Tampa and Harris Teeter were hilarious. I could never figure out why so many people in my neighborhood shop at Harris Teeter (With Publix and Kroger practically in the back door). I guess seniors get a 5% discount there.

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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.

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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

I'll be there!!! Can't wait!!cheer.gif

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I'll be there!!! Can't wait!!cheer.gif

robert plant is great but guess what i heard all those songs before and u know what we all wanna hear them again robert .

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Robert Plant lets out 'The Voice' in Vancouver

By: Ethan Faber/Managing Editor, CTV British ColumbiaDate: Monday Apr. 18, 2011 8:22 AM PT

All of a sudden, there it was.

A little more than an hour into his sold out show at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre Sunday night, Robert Plant turned his back on the crowd, crouched down just a little and set his voice free.

He'd been keeping a tight reign on it all night, working carefully on country blues and gospel harmonies with the preternaturally talented Band of Joy.

No surprise, The Voice arrived during a smoldering rendition of Led Zeppelin's 1969 Ramble On, and magic did indeed fill the air. The playful smirk on the 62 year-old's grizzled face when he turned around revealed he knows a thing or two about his audience.

You see, Robert Plant has spent far more of his life on solo projects than he did fronting the band that's inspired pretty much every hard rock act in music history, but it's only lately that he's really begun to celebrate his early days.

Make no mistake. Plant is all about exploring new musical frontiers. But last night's combination of old and new is clearly what his fans have been craving. The singer, known for sweeping lyrics and a uniquely powerful voice, spent decades trying to escape the blast radius Zeppelin left behind when it crashed and burned in 1980. His work in the early post-Zeppelin years was inconsistent, his concerts almost devoid of references to the music that made him famous.

But something changed a few years ago, and now Robert Plant is in a comfort zone and on a roll.

His 2009 collaboration with bluegrass songstress Alison Krauss netted him an Album of the Year Grammy and his latest disc, titled "Band of Joy," is also getting plenty of critical acclaim. Now, Robert Plant seems more than happy to rekindle lifelong relationships with fans who want to thank him for providing the soundtrack to an infinite number of road trips, house parties and first kisses.

Plant's voice has changed considerably since his youth. He can't always reach the high notes, but he doesn't really need to. His voice is richer now and he's surrounded himself with other gifted vocalists.

The most powerful example of his penchant for collaboration last night was when he shared the microphone with Grammy winning singer Patty Griffin for a cover of the classic, "House of Cards." Plant introduced her as "the best singer in the band" and hard core fans may have been reminded of his haunting 1971 duet with folk songstress Sandy Denny on Led Zeppelin's "The Battle of Evermore."

From Denny to Krauss to Griffin, it seems Plant is well aware he sounds damn good with a woman. He also sounds damn good alongside a virtuoso guitar player.

If Jimmy Page was the perfect compliment to the early Plant's explosive voice, Band of Joy guitarist and co-producer Buddy Miller's more subtle, haunting sounds fit Plant's modern incarnation like a glove. Plant called Miller "the Captain of our ship" as together they took the Queen E on a moonshine soaked journey into the heart of American roots music.

When it was over, it seemed every face in the crowd was smiling and so was Robert Plant. He'd introduced his aging fans and their teenaged children to a relatively obscure but rich musical genre and they'd responded by standing on their feet and dancing for two hours straight.

He'd also let out The Voice for a few classics and safely put it back again -- the best of both worlds from a restless soul who seems to have finally learned how to explore new musical frontiers without turning his back on his legacy.

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110418/bc_robert_plant_review_110418/20110418?hub=BritishColumbiaHome

Edited by SteveAJones

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Review: Robert Plant churns out pure gold to eclectic Vancouver crowd

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Robert Plant, known as the iconic vocalist for '70s rock band Led Zeppelin, live at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on April 17, 2011.

Photo Credit: Mark van Manen, PNG

Robert Plant and the Band Of Joy with the North Mississippi Allstars

Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre

When: Sunday night

By Amanda Ash, Vancouver Sun April 18, 2011

Robert Plant is a musical nomad. He's sailed the spiraling seas of '70s psychedelia, scaled the jagged peaks of rock 'n' roll and wandered through the twisting backcountry of bluegrass. Today, touring in support of his new album Band Of Joy, he's rambling through the pastoral prairies of Americana.

The 62-year-old vocalist, better known as the yelping frontman of Led Zeppelin, is a musician of perpetual motion. Like his ever-shifting musical aspirations, Plant's career — especially in recent years — is akin to a walkabout. 2007's Raising Sand, the Grammy Award-winning bluegrass collaboration with songbird Alison Krauss, was Plant's first solo record that really severed the umbilical chord between the man with the cocker spaniel curls and the rock god from Zeppelin. His recent record, Band Of Joy, continues to tear him away from his "Whole Lotta Love" and "Stairway To Heaven" days, the newfound roots and alt-country soundscapes further solidifying him as a solo artist.

Sure, some may regard Plant's recent gypsy-esque traipsing through genres as a symptom of a greater malaise — perhaps exhaustion from being trapped in the Zeppelin black hole, and a desire to find a renewed musical identity — but as the wailing wonder illustrated to a sold-out Queen Elizabeth Theatre Sunday night, his smorgasbord of curiosities aren't necessarily a means for reinvention.

Plant's talents are as big as his hair; Feed the beast and it will prosper. In order for the British banshee to continue growing for another 40-odd years, the aesthetic explorer has started grasping a world of genres to grease his wheels.

Fans flocked to Queen Elizabeth Theatre in distinct pods, each clearly partial to one of Plant's many sounds. There were the hardcore Zeppelin fans with their t-shirt memorabilia from the '70s. There were the teen Zeppelin fans, who've found modern-day comfort in the band's honesty and power. And then there were the yoga moms, anxious to hear a few mellow tracks from Raising Sand.

The Zeppelin fans were the most prominent, as would be suspected. Ever since the 2007 Led Zeppelin reunion, which was held as a symbol of closure for the band's career that ended with the 1980 death of John Bonham, it seems as though the hard core disciples have been waiting for a second coming.

Although Plant was more interested in procuring attention for Band Of Joy, he wasn't necessarily at war with his infamous Zeppelin identity. Plant embraced his rock roots by kicking off the show with "Black Dog." It was a tip of his hat to the Mothership classics. He sauntered on stage, gave a friendly wave, and chopped the song's tempo in half, giving it a distorted, rootsy vibe. The song went well with the scent of marijuana that clung to people's clothing.

Plant seemed incredibly relaxed, kicking back and dancing along in his jeans and button-up shirt. He moved with ease into his next song, "Down To The Sea," another Zeppelin tune. He was joined by guitarist Buddy Miller, mandolin player/multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott and singer Patty Griffin, who built a flawless wall of spacey instrumentals and vocals behind him.

But when he transitioned to his Band Of Joy repertoire, everything fell into place. "Angel Dance" was cohesive, natural and comfortable. Everyone from Plant to his Band Of Joy looked as if they had just arrived home.

"We have a new record out we're very proud of," Plant said with a smile.

"We love you Robert!" the crowd cheered. The Zeppelin fans young and old, along with the yoga moms, were in collective love with the shaggy-haired vagabond. No one sat down. Judging by the crowd's shoulder shimmying, they would probably still love him, even if he did a duet with Justin Bieber.

"Who wants to rock and roll?!" one fan screamed.

"Freebird!" yelled another.

Okay, well maybe not all fans would appreciate a pop duet.

For "House Of Cards," Plant went all-out with seductive body wiggles and a few twirls of the mic stand. He also enjoyed letting his flowing tresses fall gently on his face--a perfect emotional display for a Herbal Essences commercial.

"Monkey" was up next, which combined soothing blue and purple lights with shades of psychedelia and some muddy blues. It was the perfect combination, serving as the ultimate expression of where Plant is in his career.

However, he didn't fail to throw a few more Zeppelin bones to the crowd before calling it a night. After playing a little slice of heaven, also known as "Please Read The Letter" from Raising Sand, he proudly dove into "Houses Of The Holy" and "Ramble On" to the audience's delight. It was a welcome change of pace from the more laid-back Americana grooves; those who had sat down during the mid-show slump were back on their feet and rocking the hand claps.

Plant spent nearly two hours playing show-and-tell with the crowd. His setlist, a healthy combination of Zeppelin's Plant and solo Plant illustrated his journey to the fringes of music and back. And no matter where he ventures next, he's proved he's fully capable of turning those songs, too, into pure gold.

Photo Gallery: http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Review+Robert+Plant+churns+pure+gold+eclectic+Vancouver+crowd/4631965/story.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant signing autographs in Seattle 4/20/2011

Robert Plant- Ramble On -Seattle

I was in Portland and he never signed anything...in fact they wisked him away with a towel on his head!

I was ever so bummed,but read in a number of places on this forum that they usually do rush him through with something on his head....but now see this the very next day!Should we in Portland take this personal?!I thought he loved us over here!

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Robert Plant at Wanee Fest 2011 - brief part of Angel Dance

A friend of mine was running a booth there and just so happened to turn his back for just a second and missed Plant who was out checking out the merch. He apparently bought some beads from his stand.

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:cheer::banana::chickeddance::cheer::banana::chickeddance::cheer:

In the words of the Pointer Sisters: "I'M SO EXCITED...and I just can't hide it!"

You see, the LOOOOONG WAIT is finally over, as in just about 24 hours, I'll be at Robert Plant's Band of Joy concert at the Greek Theatre here in the green hills of Griffith Park, Los Angeles.

I've had to endure him touring the east, south, midwest, southwest...and now he's where he belongs, the Golden West, amongst the Children of the Sun.

I am so stoked for the show...a BIG FU to all the haters and nattering nabobs of negativity. I love the new Band of Joy album(can't wait to hear Buddy Miller, Patty Griffin and the rest of the smokin' band) just like I did Raising Sand. He seemed so happy at the two Raising Sand shows I saw, and that's all I care about; him doing what makes HIM happy, fuck all the rest.

I'm hoping to hear all of the Band of Joy album, hopefully a few Raising Sand, or some early blues/gospel/Americana covers...as well as maybe some early Plant solo stuff. Any Zeppelin he deigns to perform is gravy, and totally up to him; I am not going in with the expectation, or even desire, to hear Zeppelin tunes.

I purposely have avoided looking at youtube clips, as I like to be surprised when I see a show; I don't want to know too much in advance. But I have perused the setlists on occassion, and I have noticed lately he doesn't always do "Silver Rider".

Man, the two Low covers are two of the songs I have most been looking forward to hearing in concert. I know there are some posters here that are close to, or have connections to Mr. Plant; please, PLEASE PLEASE could you see it in your heart to mention to Percy that it would be LOVERLY if he could play BOTH Monkey AND Silver Rider at the Greek tomorrow night?

In fact, of the recent setlists I have seen, a setlist similar to the ones he performed at either Louisville or Minnesota would be choice!

Tomorrow night will be my 36th Robert Plant concert, if you count the 14 Led Zeppelin shows I saw.

Then there were 8 solo Plant shows from 1983-1993...7 Page & Plant shows...followed by 6 more solo shows from the 2002 Dreamland tour to Raising Sand in 2008.

And tomorrow at the Greek makes 36.

See y'all(or at least those members who are from Los Angeles) there! :thumbsup:

Edited by Strider

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I'm in the West but I still can't go. This has been quite a tour. Anyway, here is more of Seattle.

Edited by Silver Rider

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Concert review: Robert Plant and Band of Joy at the Schnitz

Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

By Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

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Portland, OREGON - April 19, 2011 - Robert Plant and the Band of Joy hit the stage at the

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Tuesday night. Ross William Hamilton/The Oregonian

Robert Plant took "Black Dog" and a few other Led Zeppelin songs for a walk through the roots-rock swamp Tuesday night with a group that more than lived up to its name, Band of Joy.

Plant has hooked up with some musical geniuses from Nashville and Texas and blended his English hippie-folk vibe with their earthier version of Americana. The result is Richard Thompson meets Porter Wagoner, to name two of the artists whose songs that were covered at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and is both a continent and a generation removed from the heavy metal of Led Zeppelin and a reminder of how great Plant's old band really was. By the time Plant sang about the big-legged woman who ain't got no soul in a voice that was two octaves lower and a lot more soulful than the way he did it in 1971, one thing was obvious:

This wasn't the Led Zeppelin reunion your father's been dreaming about.

It wasn't that Plant didn't acknowledge his past -- six of the 18 songs the band played were Zep classics -- but that he re-shaped it to what he's doing now and to his love of American music. "Black Dog" sounded like it came off side two of a Creedence album. "Tangerine" was more like the Flying Burrito Brothers, with a pedal steel foundation from Darrell Scott and a beautiful vocal from Plant. "Ramble On" had everything you'd want in a set-closer: harmony from Scott, Plant and Patty Griffin, a howling vocal break from Plant that was echoed for effect, and a crescendo that made his "The Lord of the Rings" influenced-lyrics about Mordor and Gollum sound profound instead of silly.

The Led Zeppelin songs were greeted with enthusiasm but not with the nostalgic outbursts that are so common on reunion tours, when fans leap to their feet for their old favorites and slump back down for the new stuff. The setlist flowed easily between Led Zeppelin covers, songs from the "Band of Joy" album, and lead vocals from Griffin, Scott (a gorgeous take on "A Satisfied Mind," the song Wagoner took to the top of the country charts in 1955) and Buddy Miller, who chugged through "Somewhere Trouble Don't Mind."

Miller was such a powerful, positive force on guitar and on the overall sound that one was to look at Band of Joy is that he's the leader, the alt-rock Jimmy Page that Plant plays off. It's Miller who has the connections to Scott and Griffin and the rhythm section of Marco Giovino and Byron House and Miller who produced the album. Miller wore a Russian fur hat and a silver jacket and played a variety of leads (and what looked like a theremin on "Monkey") while Plant was the shaggy old lion at center stage and Griffin the gospel force at stage right. Plant is 62 now and doesn't often try for the high notes but can still let out a roar, the lion in winter reminding us who's king.

Band of Joy's presentation and performance was all about the music. No video screens, tasteful lighting, a bare-bones stage, no fog or fireworks. Everyone onstage was locked in the same groove, and the obvious next step is to write some original songs. There's only one Plant-Miller composition on the album, and covers of Los Lobos and Thompson and Townes Van Zandt, however well-chosen, won't get this band to the heights that are within its reach. The next Band of Joy album could be better than the last one, or it could be like "Raising Sand," Plant's one-and-done collaboration with Alison Krauss. Whatever he does, at least he's moving forward and not stuck in the past.

Photo Gallery: http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2011/04/concert_review_robert_plant_an.html

Edited by SteveAJones

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Concert Review: Robert Plant and the Band of Joy - Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA 4/20/11

By Dusty Somers, Seattle Post-Intelligencer (BLOGCRITICS.ORG)

Published Thursday, April 21, 2011

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If one has any questions about why Robert Plant revived the Band of Joy moniker for his current tour, an evening with the new incarnation makes it abundantly clear. It turns out that the pre-Led Zeppelin project name fits the current lineup perfectly, with Plant himself acting as the grizzled, gleeful pied piper of joy.

At Wednesday night's show at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Plant spoke of finding paradise as a senior artist, which his relaxed, impish demeanor between songs further confirmed. He's having a hell of a time up there, and that joy spread through the audience unhindered.

Flanked by the enormous talents of Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin, Plant kicked off the set with a reinvented, down-home rendition of Zeppelin's "Black Country Woman," an appropriate opener to a night of re-imagined numbers. With 2007's Raising Sand with Alison Krauss and 2010's Band of Joy, he has proven eager to explore new territory, and this current tour finds him melding Zeppelin hits, covers new and old, and gospel-inflected traditionals into one delicious bluesy, folky stew.

Much of the first portion of the show found Plant and Co. mining the new album, with performances of Los Lobos' "Angel Dance" and Richard Thompson's "House of Cards," along with Plant and Miller's arrangements of the traditional "Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday" and "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down." The haunting Low cover "Monkey" saw Plant and Griffin harmonizing under chilly blue lights to great effect.

Interspersed with these early songs were moments when Plant said he wanted to introduce some of his friends, ceding the stage and lead vocals to Miller, Griffin and multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott. Miller belted out a rousing rendition of his wife Julie's "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go," underpinned by Plant's churning harmonica. Scott sang perpetual cover "A Satisfied Mind," which brought his voice together with those of Miller and Griffin in gorgeous harmony. Griffin - clearly a crowd favorite - opted for Teddy McRae and Sid Wyche's heartbreaking "Ocean of Tears."

The latter part of the show featured Plant heading further back in time with "In the Mood" from his 1983 album, The Principle of Moments, and the 1998 Plant/Page (and later, Plant/Krauss) collaboration "Please Read the Letter." The audience, most of which were respectfully seated for the middle part of the performance, leaped to their feet with the opening chords of "Houses of the Holy," and stayed there for an extended cut of show-closer "Ramble On."

The encore featured Townes Van Zandt's "Harm's Swift Way" from the new album, Zep's "Gallows Pole" and the traditional "And We Bid You Goodnight."

Plant remains a musical giant, with a voice that's only been enriched with age. His decision to surround himself with a brilliant musical architect in Miller, the golden-throated Griffin and the ridiculously talented Scott makes for a band that has no trouble acting as the purveyor of joy.

http://www.seattlepi...Joy-1347862.php

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant summons ghosts but is still magical

Robert Plant's joyous, magical concert with Band of Joy at the Paramount Wednesday, April 20, referenced a bit of Led Zeppelin

but mostly hearkened back to British folk and Americana roots.

By Charles R. Cross

Special to The Seattle Times

Concert Review

Robert Plant was only five minutes into his Paramount show Wednesday before he was summoning ghosts.

"Welcome to another incredible evening ... live from the Edgewater Inn," he joked.

It was the first of a half-dozen references he made to Led Zeppelin's 1968 Seattle debut. That concert, in what is the now-shuttered (Mercer) Arena, was only their second ever American show, but it became infamous for a "mud shark incident" at the Edgewater that can't be described in a family newspaper. Plant was 20 at the time.

At 62, Plant is still strong of voice, and seemed delighted to be on stage. Backed by a stellar band that included Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin stars in their own right he delivered a show that felt like a revival of sorts. He let Griffin and Miller sing lead on one song each, which added to the party feel. Plant joked that he was a "senior" artist, but he showed no signs of that.

The show had a decidedly Americana feel. The set included covers of tunes by Los Lobos, Townes Van Zandt and even Porter Wagoner's "A Satisfied Mind." There were a few Zeppelin songs, but both "Gallows Pole" and "Houses of the Holy" had slower arrangements, with minimal screams.

Plant's current band is named for his 1965 Band of Joy, a group he formed with John Bonham. Most arrangements hearkened to the British folk and American roots music that has long been Plant's obsession.

Apart from the Edgewater jokes, he also dedicated "Rock and Roll" to the Kingsmen, noting Seattle had "always been a very special place for me and my bands."

Plant is a wealthy man, and turned down a rumored billion-dollar offer for a Zeppelin reunion tour. He tours now because he enjoys it, and that was evident onstage.

That joyousness was most apparent on a reworking of "Ramble On," a song Plant originally wrote in 1968, and which appeared on "Led Zeppelin II" with the line "in days of old, when magic filled the air," a reference to "Lord of the Rings."

At the Paramount, 42 years after his first Edgewater visit, Robert Plant sang the song as if he were recalling his own past.

And once again it was magical.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/musicnightlife/2014840440_plant22.html?syndication=rss

Edited by SteveAJones

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Review: Robert Plant delivers `Joy'-filled Greek show

By Jim Harrington

Oakland Tribune

April 23, 20111

There's part of me that wishes Robert Plant never met producer T-Bone Burnett.

For if T-Bone hadn't helped turn the British rocker into a first-rate Americana artist -- something that started with Plant's Burnett-produced collaboration with Alison Krauss, 2007's "Raising Sand" -- then maybe we'd have seen a Led Zeppelin reunion tour by now. And that's really what we're all waiting for, right?

Well, for better or worse, it looks like we'll have to just keep on waiting.

The 62-year-old vocalist achieved so much success with "Raising Sand," which won five trophies at the 2009 Grammy Awards and has been certified platinum in both the U.S. and the U.K., that it won't be necessary for him to draw from the Led Zep nostalgia well anytime soon.

Instead, he's hit the road in support of a second batch of rootsy Americana songs, last year's "Band of Joy," which wasn't produced by Burnett but sure sounds as if it was. The Burnett vibe -- typified by sparse arrangements that walk the line between country and pop, usually colored through a stark juxtaposition of warm vocals and steely cool electric guitar -- was even more noticeable as Plant and company performed Friday night at U.C. Berkeley's Greek Theatre.

"Band of Joy" is more than just an album title. It's also the name of Plant's new group, a reboot of the blues-rock ensemble he worked with before joining Led Zep. This version features Plant, percussionist Marco Giovino, bassist Byron

House, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, vocalist Patty Griffin and guitarist Buddy Miller (who coproduced "Band of Joy" with Plant).

And the one thing that was made abundantly clear during Friday's concert, which drew a near-capacity crowd of mostly fans old enough to have bought "Led Zeppelin IV" on eight-track tape, is that this is a real band -- not just a megastar backed by some random players. Scott, Miller and (of course) Griffin each took turns on lead vocals, and none disappointed.

The question on seemingly everybody's lips going into the show was how much Led Zep would the band play? As it turned out, Plant was comparatively generous on this night -- much more so than on some other dates of the tour -- and flew the Zeppelin to the tune of a half-dozen songs, a third of the 18-number set.

Not every Zep number, however, works for this band. The crowd would find that out at the very start of the show as the troupe opened with "Black Dog," the immortal "Led Zeppelin IV" rocker that was zapped of all its power and urgency through a plodding country/folk-rock arrangement.

The troupe would redeem itself quite nicely a few songs later with a subdued, yet moving take on Zep's "Black Country Woman," from 1975's "Physical Graffiti," and then as it softly peeled its way through "Tangerine," from 1970's "Led Zeppelin III."

Moving beyond Zep, Band of Joy would fill its set list with scads of other well-chosen cover songs, like Los Lobos' "Angel Dance," Porter Wagoner's "A Satisfied Mind" (sung by Scott), Uncle Tupelo's "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down" and, best of all, Richard Thompson's "House of Cards." Those are some mighty fine picks I wish Plant was programming my Pandora playlist.

The band's harmony vocal work was stellar throughout the night, and the musicianship was also top-notch. Plant's surrounded himself with some real ringers, especially Griffin, a country star with a blues belter's swagger.

The Band of Joy closed the main set with two Zeppelin favorites," Houses of the Holy" and "Ramble On," and then returned with one more, "Gallows Pole," in the encore. It closed the concert in appropriate fashion with the old Grateful Dead a cappella number "And We Bid You Goodnight," which was surely Plant's way of tipping his hat to Bay Area fans.

http://www.mercurynews.com/rss/ci_17914508?source=rss&nclick_check=1

Edited by SteveAJones

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Robert Plant plays Denver

By Kimberly Nicoletti

Summit Daily News

April 21, 2011

I've always been one of those classic rock fans; as a teen, I tried to block my ears at sleepovers when my friends insisted on blaring pop radio tunes. When my Catholic peers burned and smashed their Led Zeppelin records after hearing rumors that Led Zeppelin sold their souls to the devil or that if you play the vinyl backwards, you'd hear homage to Satan, I ignored the hype and begged them to simply hand the albums over to me. But alas, they were committed to saving my soul. So I bought my own Led Zep albums, and since then, I've replaced them with CDs and MP3s.

In fact, I just purchased Robert Plant and the Band of Joy's fall 2010 release (and, of course, I had to laugh when the formerly accused devil worshipper placed a happy clown on his cover and actually named his backup crew "Band of Joy." Don't see any Satanic homage there, except in Rolling Stone's four-star review noting "sweet, elegant folk that still swings like Satan's barn door"). As it turns out, a year after his first commercial recording, at age 17, Plant formed a group called the Band of Joy with drummer John Bonham. Now he's revisiting the name, saying, "(then) I was playing everybody else's stuff and moving it around, and it's kind of ... time to reinvoke that attitude and sentiment," according to his bio. "I wanted to bring my personality to other people's songs and kick the door open a little bit ... or edge it open with my hips."

In the late 1960s, Plant, Bonham, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones became The New Yardbirds, which evolved into the legendary Led Zeppelin. When Bonham died in 1980, the Led Zep era died with it (except for those of us who kept it alive), but Plant pumped out solo albums and projects with Page. His creations ranged from West Coast psychedelic rock, roots blues, African vibes and traditional folk. And still, he didn't stop expanding his music tones; in 2007 he collaborated with Alison Krauss to produce "Raising Sand," which earned six Grammies, including album of the year.

Though his heavy sound has mellowed a bit since his early days, the songs remain the same in terms of his signature voice and a "Zeppelin III" vibe fusing acoustic and powerful electric. He employed "Raising Sand" bandmate Buddy Miller to co-produce his latest album, saying "he's like a curator of a rock and roll museum packed away in three or four guitar cases, and you could take these guitars out and tune them accordingly ... and create some juju," according to his bio.

Plant's gig in Denver is one of just a dozen in his North American tour, which began April 8 in Louisville, Ky., in support of his recent release. So far, the album's been nominated for two Grammy Awards (best Americana and best solo rock vocal performance) and hit the charts in a variety of music magazines' year-end best-of lists.

While Plant is powerful to listen to via recording, his live performances deliver a presence filled with visceral acoustics and sensual sounds. Though I didn't see him live until the 1990s (backed by Mid-Eastern musicians pounding and grooving out an incredibly voluptuous beat), Plant still had that magic, mystery and sexual energy that extended to the edges of Pepsi Center with a powerful presence, making me wonder if he really had made a deal with the devil.

Wherever he pulls his mojo from, it's still going strong, and Denver's one of the fortunate few cities to receive it.

If you go:

Who: Robert Plant

When: 8 p.m. (doors at 7) Wednesday

Where: Fillmore Auditorium, Denver

Tickets: www.livenation.com

Cost: $54.50 general admission, plus service charges

http://www.summitdaily.com/ARTICLE/20110422/AE/110429964/-1/RSS

Edited by SteveAJones

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Thanks Steve, for all these articles...reading them is getting me amped for tonight's concert!

Did you notice the writer of the Seattle Times review? Charles R. Cross, the author of a couple of good Led Zeppelin books, Heaven and Hell & Shadows Taller than our Souls, not to mention Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain bios and being the founder of Backstreets, an excellent Bruce Springsteen fanzine along the lines of Dave Lewis' Tight But Loose.

All in all, a far far better writer than the likes of Stephen Davis...trade in your copies of Hammer of the Gods and LZ 1975 for Cross' excellent LZ:Heaven and Hell; you won't be disappointed.

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Thanks Steve, for all these articles...reading them is getting me amped for tonight's concert!

Did you notice the writer of the Seattle Times review? Charles R. Cross, the author of a couple of good Led Zeppelin books, Heaven and Hell & Shadows Taller than our Souls, not to mention Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain bios and being the founder of Backstreets, an excellent Bruce Springsteen fanzine.

I did notice that and everytime I'm in Seattle I always make it a point to visit the local book shops. Some time ago I read in USA Today that Seattle is the most literate city in the nation. There's probably not enough left untold to justify a Seattle-centric Led Zeppelin book, but oh, man the stories that have already been told. It was great to see yet another chapter written with Robert's return to the Paramount.

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Well, I am at the Greek Theatre...have been since 8am this morning. First in line, waiting for tickets to be released.

Last time around for the Raising Sand tour, I got front row pit tix for me and my date. Hope I'm lucky again today.

Wonder if Plant will visit Amoeba or the Bodhi Tree while he's in LA.

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Sound-check has started...Plant's doing That's the Way right now @ 4:55pm PST.

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Sound-check has started...Plant's doing That's the Way right now @ 4:55pm PST.

Full report when you have time:-)

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I enjoyed the show at the Greek last night. Great musicians (six of them) and some really nice (and surprising in a good way) arrangements of Zep and Plant songs. (Nice harmony with Patty singing "I'm in the mood for a melody..."

During the show, Robert had a bit of a cryptic comment. (Not unusual for him, I know.) It was something like, "I noticed the smell ofsulfurr just as the door was closing , and now I'm happy to be here in something so colorful." My best guess is that something went bad with the T-Bone/Krauss collaboration and now he's very happy with his current band. (?) Does anyone else have a clue? I read that he tried making a follow-up album to Raising Sand but the sound just wasn't what they wanted. Mentioningsulfurr makes it sound more dramatic than that though. Maybe some kind of romantic complication? Or maybe it's just Robert having fun making provocative comments.

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Your guess is as good as mine. I read too that the material they had recorded for the RP/AK followup wasn't what Robert was looking for so it was abandoned. He said they might continue it in the future, but no specific time frame was given.

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