Thursday, June 12, 2008


(I got this image from the great blog Brooklyn Vegan). 

At the Robert Plant & Alison Krauss concert at the Wamu Theater at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, Robert Plant said that this tour was the first chapter in a long story, and I can only hope that that's true. This is a guy who turned down about $100 million to tour as Led Zeppelin in favor of touring with Alison Krauss for their already-classic album, Raising Sand. I can only hope that it's true: I'd love to see this tour again, and I hope Robert and Alison record more albums together. I mean, I love Zeppelin, and I'd love the chance to see them again, but this is exactly what Plant should be doing. 

They did nod to Zeppelin, though: first with a hilarious new arrangement of "Black Dog." Possibly Plant's most macho "Golden God" moment ever, the "Mighty Re-arranger" came up with a quiet but creepy new version that really showed him "taking the piss" as the Brits are wont to say. "Black Country Woman" and "The Battle Of Evermore" were also great, as was Robert's solo hit "In The Mood." 

What was so striking about the show was how Robert wasn't hogging the spotlight. There were points in the show where he faded to the back of the stage, singing backing vocals behind Alison. Who would've thought that the ultimate frontman would be doing that? By the way, Alison Krauss was incredible, what a singer. Her records almost don't do her justice. It was a near perfect show - although I wasn't that into T-Bone Burnett's mini-set. He produced their album (and he also produced upcoming albums by John Mellencamp and B.B. King, and will likely produce The Who's next album) and has a new solo album. I really respect the guy, but I wasn't digging his own material. 

The two things I would have changed about the show: (1) I thought Robert should have played some harmonica. It would have fit perfectly in many of the songs. (2) I wish guitarist Buddy Miller - an amazing musician - got to do one of his songs. In fact, I think he'd be a great candidate to produce the next Robert/Alison album. He knows how to work with legends, since he recently produced a Solomon Burke album called Nashville

In conclusion, a great show. I couldn't recommend seeing them enough. Long may they run. And if you don't have their album, go get it. 

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