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Plant/Krauss Manchester Apollo 7/5/08


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Plant/Krauss manchester Apollo 7/5/08

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss @ Apollo

Paul Taylor

8/ 5/2008

YOU wonder just how different the history of rock may have been had Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog and Black Country Woman started life with the banjo riff they have lately acquired.

Perhaps music shops would now be filled every Saturday with lank-haired banjo-pluckers head-banging their way through the theme to Deliverance.

But the reinterpretation of these hard-rocking anthems, using the sonic armoury of bluegrass, folk and rockabilly, makes perfect sense.

Like so much of Led Zep’s early music, these songs drew deeply from the well of American folk and blues. Pushing them now into this new yet old-fashioned setting is merely acquainting the songs with their spiritual source.

The seemingly chalk and cheese partnership of Plant, the leonine elder statesman of British rock, aged 59, and Alison Krauss, the crystal-voiced 36-year old queen of bluegrass, turns out to work just as well on stage as it did on the lauded Raising Sand album.

The producer of that album, T Bone Burnett, was on hand to see that the tastefully dishevelled soundscapes of the record also made it onto stage.

That meant growly tremolo-tinged guitars, double bass, baritone guitars, mandolin, fiddles, banjo and thunderous drums.

Sorrowful

This brew was at its most intense for the sorrowful Townes Van Zandt song Nothin’, the brooding mood pierced by agonised guitars and violins. It wasn’t country music and it certainly wasn’t heavy metal. You’d need a new expression…. perhaps heavy wood?

Other Led Zep greats to be dusted off included When The Levee Breaks, with twin violins replacing the guitar riff, and The Battle Of Evermore, propelled by mandolin.

But Krauss and Plant already had the highlights of the set in Raising Sand: a version of Allen Toussaint’s Fortune Teller, but with added New Orleans-style hoodoo, the exquisite Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us with its banjo and limping rhythm, the ghostly Trampled Rose and the mournful Killing The Blues - perhaps the best example of those two voices working together.

Another moment to treasure – Krauss singing Down To The River To Pray, from the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack, while rock god Plant dutifully joined the boys in the band on harmony vocals.

Doing this instead of a very lucrative Led Zep reunion tour, you get the impression that Plant is on a pilgrimage for the source of his musical loves.

You don’t get the depth of song coming from Worcestershire that you get from Texas and Tennessee, he told us, introducing Nothin’.

But then as Nashville resident Krauss launched into a bluegrass violin melody, she said: “We’ll play you one from home that probably came from here.”

Much of the folk music of America has its own roots in Europe. Perhaps Plant’s musical voyage takes him, ultimately, right back to where he began.

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For me the show was superrior than Birminghama couple of nights ago. The band seemed tighter, more relaxed ( especially Robert) and the crowd reacton more vocal than brum.

The sound too was superior with none of the echo that the NIA gave us.

Pretty much the same show as monday but I never remember set lists but no Black Country Woman tonight.

Highlights out of a quality show were Battle of evermore, when the levee breaks, nothin' please read the letter and again T Bones slot was damn fine.

I met up with several people who had been to the brum show and the overall concensus was that it was a better show.

The evening however was spoilt by a group of people who seemed determined to spoilt it for us and were disruptive in their own way throughout the show.

Who were these people?

The venures security team.

they wer an absolut epain, they would not allow pwople to stand, or take photos and were continually running up and down th eaisles targeting those who dare to take a pic. They made cut throat hand gesture to those who did, shining torches in people's faces and you could se people tense at the thoughtof perhaps sneaking a pic.

I got no pictures from this show.

it was disgraceful how they acted and seemed to revel in the power they had.

I can understand their role usually which is security, band and crowd safety not crowd intimidation. At one point I really needed the loo and on the way back was forcibly blocked as AK was singing. Whn she finished I was allowed to return to my seat. As soon as the next song started the same security guy was running up the aisle to target a pic taker.

You would have thought people were taking photos of a secret air base and not a concert.

It soured a great musical night.

So no pics for this one folks, sorry and I had a great spot too on the 6th row of my block.

Go and see them people even you doubters of this project.

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For me the show was superrior than Birminghama couple of nights ago. The band seemed tighter, more relaxed ( especially Robert) and the crowd reacton more vocal than brum.

The sound too was superior with none of the echo that the NIA gave us.

Pretty much the same show as monday but I never remember set lists but no Black Country Woman tonight.

Highlights out of a quality show were Battle of evermore, when the levee breaks, nothin' please read the letter and again T Bones slot was damn fine.

I met up with several people who had been to the brum show and the overall concensus was that it was a better show.

The evening however was spoilt by a group of people who seemed determined to spoilt it for us and were disruptive in their own way throughout the show.

Who were these people?

The venures security team.

they wer an absolut epain, they would not allow pwople to stand, or take photos and were continually running up and down th eaisles targeting those who dare to take a pic. They made cut throat hand gesture to those who did, shining torches in people's faces and you could se people tense at the thoughtof perhaps sneaking a pic.

I got no pictures from this show.

it was disgraceful how they acted and seemed to revel in the power they had.

I can understand their role usually which is security, band and crowd safety not crowd intimidation. At one point I really needed the loo and on the way back was forcibly blocked as AK was singing. Whn she finished I was allowed to return to my seat. As soon as the next song started the same security guy was running up the aisle to target a pic taker.

You would have thought people were taking photos of a secret air base and not a concert.

It soured a great musical night.

So no pics for this one folks, sorry and I had a great spot too on the 6th row of my block.

Go and see them people even you doubters of this project.

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I was at the Apollo last night as well, and I managed to get a few pictures - see below! I took them in all innocence, as I didn't see any signs banning photography, and there wasn't anything printed on my e-ticket - so I happily snapped away, until as ledded says, I had a torch shone in my face, much to my astonishment. Miserable sods!

No matter, I enjoyed the show - I love Manchester Apollo as a venue, I always have done. It's so small and intimate, miles better than the arenas, which I just find soulless and echoey.

Anyway, here are my photos - hope you like them!

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I was at the Apollo last night as well, and I managed to get a few pictures - see below! I took them in all innocence, as I didn't see any signs banning photography, and there wasn't anything printed on my e-ticket - so I happily snapped away, until as ledded says, I had a torch shone in my face, much to my astonishment. Miserable sods!

No matter, I enjoyed the show - I love Manchester Apollo as a venue, I always have done. It's so small and intimate, miles better than the arenas, which I just find soulless and echoey.

Anyway, here are my photos - hope you like them!

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Nice one Lilith pleased someone got some :)

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I also witnessed the Hitleresque security pouncing on anybody who dared move out of there seats.Highlight of the evenings performance for me was a hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'The Battle of Evermore' with Alison taking Sandy Dennys parts to the outer limits of greatness.

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I also witnessed the Hitleresque security pouncing on anybody who dared move out of there seats.Highlight of the evenings performance for me was a hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'The Battle of Evermore' with Alison taking Sandy Dennys parts to the outer limits of greatness.

It was good wasn't it :rolleyes:

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I'm seeing persistent reports from this tour about over the top security measures. Could

anyone clarify if the security staff antogonizing the attendees are representatives of the respective venues hosting these shows or are they employed by the artists management? Similar hassles were experienced on JPJs solo tour in 1999, thanks to Robert Fripp's use of over the top henchmen employed to defeat tapers, as opposed to any problems with venue security staff. Has this "crowd control" been rather typical at Alison Krauss performances on her own in the past?

Edited by SteveAJones
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Man, that SUCKS about the beef headed security people.

What the hell are they scared of? Everyone who hasn't been under a rock knows these shows, any show, winds up on utube. I say give it up!

I suppose it could be annoying if everysinglebody had their phones up in the air, but most people don't do that.

If they are so scared of "boots" and such, artists should start considering taping all their own shows and making them available. :)

Edited by Hotplant
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Thanks for the reviews, all, and for the pics, Lilith, glad you managed to get some--and they are really good, too! It's too bad that there have to be these OTT security measures, though--no matter how great the show, it sours the mood. :(

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I'm seeing persistent reports from this tour about over the top security measures. Could

anyone clarify if the security staff antogonizing the attendees are representatives of the respective venues hosting these shows or are they employed by the artists management? Similar hassles were experienced on JPJs solo tour in 1999, thanks to Robert Fripp's use of over the top henchmen employed to defeat tapers, as opposed to any problems with venue security staff. Has this "crowd control" been rather typical at Alison Krauss performances on her own in the past?

Not that I know of; on the other hand, Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant...

I also witnessed the Hitleresque security pouncing on anybody who dared move out of there seats.Highlight of the evenings performance for me was a hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'The Battle of Evermore' with Alison taking Sandy Dennys parts to the outer limits of greatness.

I agree there is something very un-artistic about that aspect of the presentation; you would expect that in communist Russia. People from Manchester can be nice, but they are like people from everywhere; you must use common sense around them.

Man, that SUCKS about the beef headed security people.

What the hell are they scared of? Everyone who hasn't been under a rock knows these shows, any show, winds up on utube. I say give it up!

I suppose it could be annoying if everysinglebody had their phones up in the air, but most people don't do that.

If they are so scared of "boots" and such, artists should start considering taping all their own shows and making them available. :)

You make some good points, Hotplant.

Edited by eternal light
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They were Apollo security and nothing to do with the band, A massive contrast to Birminghams security staff and other venues I have been to.

Except the band uses their venue in order to prosper, and at least indirectly employs their services.

Maybe there could possibly be a little bit of a respondeat superior (let the master answer) issue there, depending on who has delegated a duty to whom et cetera; you'd have to really check the fact pattern.

It would depend on whether an employer were vicariously liable for torts, but where is the tort? Is anyone really obligated to allow the audience to tape the concert?

When a concert-goer buys a ticket and attends a gig, he/she should be able to reasonably expect common courtesy from the venue staff, but not necessarily a license to tape the show.

As for asking people to remain seated during a performance, as long as the venue staff are reasonably polite, they have that right.

And naturally, you are free to leave, or should be, if there are no other facts apparent. Then again, you may want to listen to the music and decide to calmly stay in your seat and then leave after the show, and go home and take a nap.

Then later the next evening, you can review the situation, perhaps with Battle of Evermore gently playing in the background as you sip a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, wait for the slow cooker to yield some rosemary-garlic chicken, and quietly contemplate the memory of the previous evening's entertainment.

Edited by eternal light
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Except the band uses their venue in order to prosper, and at least indirectly employs their services.

Maybe there could possibly be a little bit of a respondeat superior (let the master answer) issue there, depending on who has delegated a duty to whom et cetera; you'd have to really check the fact pattern.

It would depend on whether an employer were vicariously liable for torts, but where is the tort? Is anyone really obligated to allow the audience to tape the concert?

When a concert-goer buys a ticket and attends a gig, he/she should be able to reasonably expect common courtesy from the venue staff, but not necessarily a license to tape the show.

As for asking people to remain seated during a performance, as long as the venue staff are reasonably polite, they have that right.

And naturally, you are free to leave, or should be, if there are no other facts apparent.

Not sure I understand some of your points, this isn't about taping a show, these guys were twitchy even if someone stood up. if the band weren't happy for pics to be taken then surely the same principle of stopping people taking pics at another venue would have applied. These are Apollo staff first and foremost and they were not courteous, they seemed to revel in the power they had. But thats security staff for you sometimes. It just seems strange in this day and age. And I have been to many venues where they haven't really bothered with pic takers. You should have seen the cameras at the 02 there were thousands of them and no one stepped in and that was a Zeppelin show.

There's being asked to reamain seated and there is making people feel guilty for standing up,

So you would leave would you? I bet you wouldn't.

We paid good money to have a show free from over zealous security running up and down. it was annoying, not that i didn't take any pics but their attitude to anyone who did. I got over 120 on Monday on the same tour, it says a lot about the venues security brief. :huh:

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I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening :D

Didn't make a set list because it was much the same as reported from earlier gigs.

My seat was much further back than I'd have wished, too far for any good shots. As it happened, picture taking was strictly forbidden! Glad you managed to take some, Lilith, thanks for sharing!

I sneaked one quick shot but it quickly prompted a security guy (nasty little shit) to come bounding over shouting the odds :-/

On a more positive note, such is the caliber of the musicians in this band their performance seems effortless. Without any fuss, or posturing, all this incredible music flows out...Ms Krauss's performance is exactly the same, she's fantastic!

Of course, midst all this, Robert's contributions were faultless :P

He looked so comfortable and happy. Such a big change of vocal style for him, so subtle and intricate. Never doubted this would be special, but hearing him singing this way exceeds my expectations, sets new boundaries...beautiful vocals.

I enjoyed the entire collection of songs last night ..personal favs, 'Nothin' and 'Battle of Evermore' Hoping they do 'When the Levee Breaks ' at Wembley...I do love the sound/ dynamic of banjo but the purist in me says not sure about this arrangement...could do with hearing this again.

Summing up, I'd say a very 'grown up' gig.... usually I hate sitting at gigs .....seemed the appropriate thing to do on this occasion, 'cept for the standing ovation! ;)

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Not sure I understand some of your points, this isn't about taping a show, these guys were twitchy even if someone stood up. if the band weren't happy for pics to be taken then surely the same principle of stopping people taking pics at another venue would have applied. These are Apollo staff first and foremost and they were not courteous, they seemed to revel in the power they had. But thats security staff for you sometimes. It just seems strange in this day and age. And I have been to many venues where they haven't really bothered with pic takers. You should have seen the cameras at the 02 there were thousands of them and no one stepped in and that was a Zeppelin show.

There's being asked to reamain seated and there is making people feel guilty for standing up,

So you would leave would you? I bet you wouldn't.

We paid good money to have a show free from over zealous security running up and down. it was annoying, not that i didn't take any pics but their attitude to anyone who did. I got over 120 on Monday on the same tour, it says a lot about the venues security brief. :huh:

Intentional infliction of severe emotional distress on an audience would not be a very nice thing for a venue staff to do, as it would, conceivably at least, interfere with the peaceful enjoyment of the concert, which is a reasonable expectation when a concert-goer buys a ticket.

I certainly hope the staff respected the rights of the audience. Again, hypothetically speaking, the question of a respondeat superior (let the master answer) issue arises when someone even indirectly employs someone who harms another, thus violating their right. A small amount of overzealous behaviour on the part of the staff might not reach the level of an actual tort, though.

Intentional infliction of severe emotional distress is a tort, and there is a reasonable expectation of common courtesy, which would be considered a duty on the part of the staff, I would think. But as long as they were reasonably gracious about the whole thing, any complaints should be easily remedied by slight changes in the behaviour of the staff.

Ideally, an employer retains the staff who perform their duties in a reasonable and appropriate manner, even if it is sometimes a competitive market. Selective hiring, training and promotion of staff usually solves most problems, along with setting a goal to maintain a culture that accommodates everyone's rights in a balanced manner.

Edited by eternal light
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Intentional infliction of severe emotional distress on an audience is not a very nice thing for a venue staff to do, as it interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of the concert. I certainly hope the staff respected the rights of the audience. Again, the question of a respondeat superior (let the master answer) issue arises when someone employs such an overzealous staff; intentional infliction of severe emotional distress is a tort, and there is a reasonable expectation of common courtesy, which would be considered a duty on the part of the staff, I would think.

well perhaps its time someone 'tort' them how to behave towards an audience. :blink:

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I thoroughly enjoyed the whole evening :D

Didn't make a set list because it was much the same as reported from earlier gigs.

My seat was much further back than I'd have wished, too far for any good shots. As it happened, picture taking was strictly forbidden! Glad you managed to take some, Lilith, thanks for sharing!

I sneaked one quick shot but it quickly prompted a security guy (nasty little shit) to come bounding over shouting the odds :-/

On a more positive note, such is the caliber of the musicians in this band their performance seems effortless. Without any fuss, or posturing, all this incredible music flows out...Ms Krauss's performance is exactly the same, she's fantastic!

Of course, midst all this, Robert's contributions were faultless :P

He looked so comfortable and happy. Such a big change of vocal style for him, so subtle and intricate. Never doubted this would be special, but hearing him singing this way exceeds my expectations, sets new boundaries...beautiful vocals.

I enjoyed the entire collection of songs last night ..personal favs, 'Nothin' and 'Battle of Evermore' Hoping they do 'When the Levee Breaks ' at Wembley...I do love the sound/ dynamic of banjo but the purist in me says not sure about this arrangement...could do with hearing this again.

Summing up, I'd say a very 'grown up' gig.... usually I hate sitting at gigs .....seemed the appropriate thing to do on this occasion, 'cept for the standing ovation! ;)

So glad you had a great time Plantonic :D Can't wait for London!!!

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well perhaps its time someone 'tort' them how to behave towards an audience. :blink:

Maybe by rewarding those who best exemplify the behaviour that is most desirable under the circumstances, and otherwise politely letting people know what kind of performance you would like to see in the future, being very positive about the whole thing.

You want to encourage people to be on their best behaviour, but not in any threatening way, so you can reach your goal with the least amount of blood, sweat and tears. In other words, there should be a fairly painless path to improvement that is reasonably easy to follow, so you have the least resistance to change and the most favorable results.

Edited by eternal light
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I also witnessed the Hitleresque security pouncing on anybody who dared move out of there seats.Highlight of the evenings performance for me was a hauntingly beautiful rendition of 'The Battle of Evermore' with Alison taking Sandy Dennys parts to the outer limits of greatness.

Thought it was brilliant...so was Nothin...there again thought the whole show was brilliant! B) All in all a great performance from both Robert and Alison and a really great grown up night out!! Pity the security team didn't see it that way we were hardly unruly teenagers!!

Thanks for the photos Lilith...I only dared have one attempt with my mobile and as I was sat behind the tallest man in the world it was totally unsuccessful!! :(

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Everyone should have stood up and remained standing; it would have drawn the band's

attention to the oppressive security tactics. I hope neither ever plays in that joint again.

Then I'd have seen nothing all the way through!!! Couldn't see a thing during the standing ovation. It's only the security that let it down Steve....otherwise its a nice venue...much more intimate that then MEN. Pity they demolished the Hard Rock years ago......I remember Zep playing there in 72!!

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