Tuesday, December 4, 2007


That's the rumor circulating on the web right now: that Led Zeppelin and Metallica will be headlining Bonnaroo in 2008. Of course, Robert Plant has been bullish in every interview that the upcoming Zeppelin reunion concert is a "one-night stand" (although Jimmy Page clearly hopes that they'll do more). Plant has stated that next year, he'll be touring with Alison Krauss for their awesome collaboration, Raising Sand. Of course, he could do that and hit the festivals with Page and John Paul Jones in the summer. Bonnaroo is the perfect festival for Zep: it kind of has the hippie spirit that Plant at least has. He's always been more into the psychedelic and garage rock scenes than hard rock and metal. In fact, being associated with hard rock and metal seems to annoy and embarass him. Bonnaroo would also be a great place for him and Ms. Krauss to perform, if he was of the mind to perform with her and with Zep in the same weekend. John Paul Jones kind of did that last summer: he performed with a bluegrass band that he produced called Uncle Earl, and then also at the "superjam" with Ben Harper and ?uestlove from The Roots. Man, if Zeppelin didn't do a U.S. tour, but just played Bonnaroo, that would be crazy. Last summer, The Police were one of the headliners - but they also did a fairly extensive tour. But if Bonnaroo was the only opportunity to see Zeppelin in the U.S... that would be pretty insane.

Add to that Metallica. One of my favorite bands, but a surprising choice for the festival, given James Hetfield's conservative politics and the fact that he's always had a disdain for hippies. But if they play a set like the ones they did at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit a few weeks back (they covered Rare Earth, Nazareth, Garbage and The Dire Straits!), that could be a cool deal for Bonnaroo.

Although Bonnaroo always books lots of jam bands, I wonder what happens when tons of rockers come just to see Zeppelin and Metallica? While I've never been to the festival, there's been many years where the lineup has been tempting. I've just never wanted to take the time off, pay for the plane fare, and go through the trouble of camping. I've always read that the festival has been incredibly well-run, treats the concert-goers well, and has been enviornmentally conscious. But I wonder if this brings it dangerously close to a Woodstock '99 type scene.

But despite what I said in an earlier post, I think that if this turns out to be my only chance to see Zeppelin, I may have to buy a tent.

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