Sunday, July 20, 2008

Concert Review

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Cleveland, 07.15.08 from John Soeder on Vimeo.

SET LIST: "Rich Woman," "Leave My Woman Alone," "Black Dog," "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us," "Through the Morning, Through the Night," "It's Goodbye and So Long to You," "Fortune Teller," "In the Mood," "Black Country Woman," "Bon Temps Rouler," "Trampled Rose," "Green Pastures," "Down to the River to Pray," "Nothin'," "The Battle of Evermore," "Please Read the Letter," "Gone Gone Gone"(encore) "Stick with Me, Baby," "You Don't Knock," "One Woman Man," "Your Long Journey"

Last Tuesday, M'Lady, our young miss, her young man and I went to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. This unlikely collaboration has grown on me since I first heard "Raising Sand" last year. Some of the songs, most notably "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us" have improved considerably since they were recorded. The wonderfully re-worked "Black Dog", a note perfect version of "The Battle of Evermore", an interesting take on "In the Mood" and "Gone, Gone, Gone" were all show highlights.

The average age of the crowd was around 45 which made for some interesting people watching. And while I imagine that Robert Plant was the main draw for the audience, they were very respectful of Alison Krauss when she took center stage on her own. Krauss has a wonderful voice which she can wield like a sword when she chooses to. She cut loose a number of times during the concert and proved she can be a much more assertive singer than her bluegrass recordings would suggest. I am sure she made a number of converts by the end of the show.

But the most interesting part of the concert for me was the "stage presence" on display. When T Bone Burnett played "Bon Temps Rouler" with the band, I almost felt sorry for him; the charisma vacuum was almost palpable. When Alison Krauss performed by herself you could tell she was used to being in the spotlight and commanding a crowds attention. However, Plant was on a whole other level. His Led Zeppelin days taught him how to handle audiences up to 100,000 and keep them in the palm of his hand. Not to mention that he is a bona fide rock star who just can't help the occasional hair flip or mike stand twirl. Even when Plant took a back-up role to Krauss, trying diligently not to be the "rock star", it would leak out anyway.

Overall, a good, solid show which ended up taking both Plant and Krauss into new musical territory. Not to mention that the entire band seemed to be having a ball. And after everyone had taken their bows and said their "Good nights" the last thing Plant said to the audience was "Freedom".

No comments: