Zepfanman has finally seen (a fourth of) Zeppelin. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters played at 7pm on the final day (Sunday, 7/14/13) of Louisville’s annual Forecastle festival. The performance was the icing on the cake of an epic weekend of music, with a set on the main Mast Stage between Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and The Avett Brothers.
I don’t rave about it very often anymore, but you may have gathered that Led Zeppelin is where this site gets its name. My uncle Jim gave me their boxed set on cassette in 1990 and the band quickly turned into my teenage obsession. After the death of their drummer, John Bonham (in 1980, three days before I was born), Led Zeppelin disbanded and its remaining members have continued to tour in various groups ever since. Until this month, I hadn’t had the opportunity to see any of these acts live.
So how was Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters? For the people who came to hear Led Zeppelin, the show was excellent. For the average festival-goer with a passing interest in classic rock, it was probably less sensational. I chuckled a little bit at the 80s tune “In the Mood.” The bass sounded great in “Tin Pan Valley,” although Plant doesn’t really have the voice to rap. He played two other Mighty ReArranger songs, Howlin’ Wolf’s “Spoonful,” and the rest were great renditions of classic Led Zeppelin songs. It was a particular treat to hear “Going to California.”
I haven’t read up much on the Sensational Space Shifters, but I enjoyed the Spanish guitar (in Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You) and the eclectic sounds and singing from Gambian Juldeh Camara (particularly in the West African-sounding rendition of “Black Dog”; and I’d really like to know what he was singing in his native tongue). Plant wafted incense from the stage into the crowd, and even as the rain started falling during “What Is and What Should Never Be,” I was definitely feeling the love. Mother Nature may have cut their set 30 minutes short at Forecastle, but that’s all part of summer festival fun, right?
I wonder, as our world collides
I want to reach out there
Across the great divide
– From “Another Tribe”
- Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You (Joan Baez cover)
- In the Mood
- Tin Pan Valley
- Spoonful (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
- Black Dog (Led Zeppelin song)
- Another Tribe
- Going to California (Led Zeppelin song)
- The Enchanter
- What Is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin song)
Plant and his band are moving up the East Coast for the final week of their tour before they hop over the pond, back to the UK.
More of my Forecastle photos on Flickr.