It was Thursday, July 28th, that I got to see who is in my mind one of the greatest rock singers of all time: Robert Plant. Famous as Led Zeppelin frontman, the artist is currently touring Europe world with his Sensational Space Shifters, with whom he also recorded his latest studio album Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar (review here).
Just in time for the start of the main act, I arrived at the well-filled Arena Wien and found a great spot on the lawn near the stage with excellent view. Just as good as the view was the sound that night, which was lengths better than of Wolfmother’s concert at the same location.
Then and now
At about 9 pm, Robert Plant emerged with a huge banner carrying his feather symbol in the background. Himself on vocals and diverse membranophones, he brought five other musicians with him: Juldeh Camara on nyanyeru (an African one-string fiddle), Liam „Skin“ Tyson on guitar, Justin Adams on bass, John Baggot on keys and Dave Smith on drums.
What’s known is the different musical approach of the ensemble (compared to Plant’s earlier times). Not focusing on one specific genre, the artists freely mix styles and rhythms. The result is a colourful medley with folk and country elements as well as foreign African sounds paired with Led Zeppelin classics and the well-known mighty riffs.
Diverse and versatile
This diversity lead to an interesting setlist that included Poor Howard, Rainbow and Turn It Up from Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, a cover of Willie Dixon (Spoonful), the traditional Little Maggie, and lots of Led Zeppelin medleys that included (parts of) What Is and What Should Never Be, No Quarter, Dazed and Confused, Whole Lotta Love, Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You and Rock and Roll for the encore.
The band not only convinced the audience by its versatility and range of styles, but also by the quality of performance. Robert Plant still has a great voice and a very individual approach on singing that one recognizes immediately. Furthermore he really secured a great atmosphere by continually including the audience and performing with lots of energy. This concert meant a great deal to me – and without any exaggeration: it was truly sensational.
Author: Robin Frank
More info / photo credits: