Cat Posted April 25, 2008 Share Posted April 25, 2008 Copyright New York Times Company Jul 22, 1990 By Peter Watrous LEAD: Of all the ancient rock dreadnoughts supplying audiences with a vestige of the 1960's and early 1970's, Robert Plant has survived the best. Having shed the worst of his Led Zeppelin mannerisms and left them to countless heavy metal bands, he's instead tried to work out a balance between the hippie experimentalism of Led Of all the ancient rock dreadnoughts supplying audiences with a vestige of the 1960's and early 1970's, Robert Plant has survived the best. Having shed the worst of his Led Zeppelin mannerisms and left them to countless heavy metal bands, he's instead tried to work out a balance between the hippie experimentalism of Led Zeppelin and the necessities of pop music making. And oddly, the hippie experiments of the 60's and 70's have suddenly become fine again: during one tune at his concert at the Brendan Byrne Arena tonight, a sample of an Arabic voice filtered through the song, sounding completely up to date. In concert, Mr. Plant's pieces, and occasional tunes by Led Zeppelin, are stretched out and fooled with, avoiding for the most part the quick and easy resolution of typical pop songs. The most exciting section of the tunes was often the end, where the band, if not actually improvising, put on a convincing imitation of a band improvising, with long instrumental sections slowly shifting and permutating while Mr. Plant sang or occasionally added a harmonica solo to the mix. And sampling helped: during ''Tie Die on the Highway,'' from his most recent album, ''Manic Nirvana,'' snippets of all sorts of music added to the ethereality of a video playing behind him, where Arab and Indian images of musicians and performers merged with film from Woodstock. Mr. Plant was putting himself in the ecstatic tradition, shared by various cultures, in which music is meant to create a trance. And while it's a nice break to have all this going on, at times Mr. Plant traded one kind of obviousness, rock simplicity, for another more exotic one. During one video, Mr. Plant drew on Arthurian England for inspiration, featuring a sword fight, a castle and a moat, which didn't make too much sense. The concert was broken into halves by an acoustic set featuring ''Liars Dance'' and the Led Zeppelin tune ''Going to California,'' which had the audience standing and shouting loudly. But it was quickly back to the riff-based rock in which riff after riff was layered like a shag haircut, and the audience kept its fists in the air. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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