Review of July 6 appearance at Molson Ampitheatre–Toronto
Originally published in Toronto sun
By JANE STEVENSON
TORONTO - Robert Plant is really taking the title of his new solo album — Mighty Rearranger — to heart on his latest solo tour which touched down at the Molson Amphitheatre last night.
The 56-year former lead singer of British rock giants Led Zeppelin performed a set list brimming with his previous band’s classics — nine of the 15 songs to be exact — but most of them were drastically, sometimes unrecognizably, rearranged with the help of Plant’s current five-piece group, Strange Sensation.
As the singer himself explained to the 12,000 people present for the hour-and-40-minute show: “We’re going to delve, we’re going to go forwards, we’re going to go sideways, and then we’re going to have our Geritol.”
Maybe it wasn’t a concert for Zeppelin purists, but these ears found the reinvention of the older songs made for a more challenging, interesting evening of music.
Opening with the moody Zep favourite No Quarter, which was turned into a percussion-heavy celebration, most of the crowd didn’t appear to mind the new arrangements either.
In fact, they appeared besotted immediately by Plant’s mere presence on stage with one group of fans waving a banner that said, “Birmingham Odeon/72/Rock On,” presumably referring to a previous show they’d seen.
But it wasn’t all aging boomers amongst the cross-generational audience who turned out for this aging rock god, who was in good, strong voice whenever he let out one of his trademark wails, and still had some good dramatic and theatrical moves left in him, including dancing with his microphone stand while incense burned at the front of the stage.
Coming in a close second to Plant, in terms of charisma, was scissor-kicking guitarist/mandolin player Justin Adams who also wasn’t shy about indulging in some mystical stage moves that including waving a drum stick over his head or letting out a gypsy yell, while the best musician award goes to tight-sounding, wildly economic drummer Clive Deamer.
Other reworked Zeppelin tunes receiving the biggest crowd response were Black Dog, That’s The Way, Street Corner Girl, Gallows Pole, Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You, and finally Whole Lotta Love, which began as a bluesy shuffle before logically building to an exciting rock anthem.
Of the new five songs, the excellent first single, Shine It All Around, and encore number, The Enchanter, came across the best. Not coincidentally, they both conjured up the mighty Zeppelin rock sound.
Opening for Plant last night was Swedish retro psych-rockers The Soundtrack Of Our Lives who performed a six-song, 35-minute set highlighted by their breakout hit, Sister Surround.
In fact, the group, led by prophet-like lead singer Ebbot Lundberg — he of the long hair, beard and tunic attire — wrapped up their Plant opening gig last night and played a second show afterwards at the Horseshoe.
WHAT HE PLAYED:
Shine It All Around
That’s The Way
Street Corner Girl
Tin Pan Valley
When The Levee Breaks
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
Whole Lotta Love
Posted in sr2005 |