Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Robert Plant - Still Cooler Than You at the Beacon Theater

I had wanted to see this show but hesitated both due to the timing and the price.  Shows are getting expensive since my son has been attending with me so I didn't grab these when they went on sale.  A friend of mine called this past Saturday and made me too good an offer for third row center.  How could I say no?

Being well prepared for what the Band of Joy plays and more importantly how they play it, I was really looking forward to seeing the show.  Robert Plant has really aged quite gracefully for a rock star.  It was so refreshing seeing someone from the 70's re-work old classics and also play new music with such enthusiasm and joy.  He is playing what he wants, with whom he wants, exactly the way he wants.  It was great being along for the ride Sunday night.

Opening with a swampy Misty Mountain Hop, Plant and the band played a well planned mix of material from the Band of Joy album, some Zep covers and a couple of solo numbers.  The oldies were re-worked but very much enjoyable.  Houses of the Holy grooved and Ramble on rocked, Tangerine and Gallow's Pole were not all that unlike the original versions.  Rock & Roll got kind of a hillbilly treatment.  All were quite good.  Tall Cool One and In The Mood also worked well in this format. From the new album Angel Dance and House of Cards were particularly good. 

The band really plays well together and you can't ever go wrong having Buddy Miller as your guitar player. Buddy, Darrell Scott, and Patty Griffin all had solo spots with Robert Plant happy to sing back up or play some harmonica. In particular Darrell Scott was a revelation having not been familiar with his omission I am currently rectifying.

I for one can live without a Zep reunion, as much as I love them.  I could never be the same.  The O2 shows will have to do and there are plenty of shows out there.  You really need to check out the Band of Joy if they make it back here.  It was a truly great evening of music.

Here are a few clips of the Band of Joy.  Quality is so-so but you get the idea.  There is also a ROIO form London last fall that is easy to track down and it has excellent sound.  Search it out, it's worth the effort.

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