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The Song Does Not Remain The Same

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Robert Plant brought his Band of Joy to Minneapolis Tuesday night. If you were hoping for Zeppelin-era power vocals, you were at the wrong show. If you were wanting to see Robert Plant and Band of Joy perform their songs and some stripped down and rearranged Zeppelin faves, he gave you exactly what you wanted.  As a long time Zeppelin fan, but being too young to have ever been to a concert, I had been waiting for this for a long, long time. Robert Plant brought his brand of American music to the sold out State Theater, complete with gospel, blues, bluegrass, Eastern and jazz influences.

When Buddy Miller struck the opening notes to “Black Dog” to kick off the show, it was almost unrecognizable as the songs were rebranded to fit Plant’s new folksy sound, but I just loved it. I thought I was going to faint.

Acoustically, the 105 minute show was perfect. No ear plugs necessary. Plant was in good voice. He talked some, introduced a few of the tracks, interacted with the crowd a lot and spoke of his influence. To hear the stories from the horse’s mouth was unreal.

Plant allowed his all star cast of musicians including Buddy Miller, Darryl Scott and Patty Griffin take the lead on a tune or two and was more than fine showing off the talents of the other band members.

The group did four other Led Zeppelin tunes: “Black Country Women”, “Houses of the Holy”, “Ramble On” and “Tangerine”. Tangerine was the first song in the encore. The stage lights were completely dark, save for the lights on the side of the stage so no one trips on anything and I saw Plants fluffy golden ringlets come bouncing around the corner. Plant took center stage and stood at the mic. Darryl Scott strummed the first few chords of Tangerine, the stage lights came back up in an orange hue and I just sat, stunned.  I just kept repeating, “No way. NO way. No WAY.”  I still get chills thinking about it and I don’t know if I should admit this to you or not because I wear combat boots and hate crying, but it was Tangerine that actually brought me to tears. If you tell anyone I told you that, I’ll pound you into the ground.

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