Thursday, July 18, 2013

12 July 13

SouthSide has finally basked within the grace of THE rock god of all rock gods inside Valhalla. And with one word, it was AMAZING, blogspot readers! 

Tonight, this reviewer kicked off her double-header Friday night adventure around town with a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to see Robert Plant along with his touring band Sensational Space Shifters when they headlined day 3 of the 33rd Taste of Chicago. This legendary rocker and band simply wowed the crowd of hundreds of thousands with classic Led Zeppelin as well as a few eclectic fusion of African/blues/soft rock during this near two hour performance ...and it went beyond hearing the some of standards like Stairway To Heaven, Kashmir (SouthSide's favorite Led Zeppelin song) and Immigrant Song. No, blogspot readers, Robert Plant performed a rare blues standard Spoonful (loosely based on A Spoonful of Blues,  a song recorded in 1929 by Charley Patton here in Chicago) to a semi-acoustic yet very moving version of Going To California and other songs in between.

With his setlist comprised of songs highlighting Led Zeppelin through the years (as well as his solo song - In The Mood), Robert Plant and Sensational Space Shifters revived certain songs with a fresh sound that incorporated either an earthy/tribal vibe (with the inclusion of African instruments) or an experimental/cosmic soundwave. Amidst the eclectic fusion, you could also hear a bit of Eastern influence within that West African mix to give the music a somewhat sultry dance groove. This unique combination heard throughout the performance kept many (even the hardcore) Zeppelin fans groovin' on the grassy field of Grant Park ...sometimes you could even hear parts of the crowd singing along with the band to their favorite songs. Performing songs like Baby I'm Gonna Leave You, Gonna Make You Sweat (which had the crowd singing the "ah ah ah" part) and Black Dog, this reviewer enjoyed how Robert's voice hasn't aged with time almost sounding the same as the recorded Zeppelin. Yes, his raspy soulful blues style can still give SouthSide the thrilling chills especially when singing Whole Lotta Love.

Yet, he also added more instrumental jams and bridges to allow fans, a wonderful diverse showing of young and old crossing all generation, bask what was the some of the legendary band's very best, blogspot readers. Basically, this was as close to a real Led Zeppelin concert it was going to get for this reviewer and many others attending the performance. The classic Led Zeppelin hits like Whole Lotta Love (featuring a few bars of Bo Didley's Who Do Love at the bridge), In The Mood, and What Is And What Should Never Be garnered plenty of cheers from the crowd especially during the beautifully moving version of Going To California. It was so moving that a couple got engaged, blogspot readers!  The crowd (when this reviewer took a minute to observe) was thoroughly enjoying themselves with lively dance circles and bouts of singing the lyrics like during Going To California. And when it was over, Robert and the band left this crowd hungry for more Led Zeppelin ...or just for more Robert Plant in general as he appeased their appetites with hot version of Rock and Roll as an encore.

If you get a chance, check out Robert Plant presents Sensational Space Shifters as they tour the US at particular music festivals this summer, blogspot readers. It's an experience you're never going to forget...

The Sensational Space Shifters band is Robert Plant, Patty Griffin (vocals, guitars), Juldeh Camara of JuJu (African violin and banjo and vocals), Justin Adams of JuJu (guitar, bendir and vocals), John Baggott of Massive Attack (keys), Liam Tyson of Cast (guitar, vocals), Dave Smith of JuJu (drums) and Billy Fuller of JuJu (bass, vocals).

For more information, visit Robert Plant's official website for tour information and more.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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