Dude. Robert Fucking Plant. Two nights at the Beacon! However, when tickets went on sale, TM's website kept shutting me out of the Saturday show. I could only buy 'em for Sunday, 1/30-- which was fine, and I did-- cuz 1) he's ROBERT FUCKING PLANT every day of the week. And 2) I didn't wake up at 10AM on a Saturday morning to get shut out of tickets.
Robert Plant!! The man fronted Led Zeppelin for fuck's sake. One of the original Rock Gods. And his hair! Curling, blond, lucious locks, down past his shoulders. ROBERT PLANT.
When Lo Faber & Aaron Maxwell of God Street Wine announced an acoustic show at Mexicali for Saturday, 1/29/11, I was super relieved/psyched I wouldn't have to miss it! This Sunday night RFP show was meant to be, yes.
Mates joined Erika and I for pregame at Harry's Burritos on the UWS, where frozen drinks pushed us over the edge.
Then we did the loud, short walk over to the Beacon.
Annnnd... walked in during North Mississippi Allstars' LAST SONG, which was a shame, but our timing was severely stunted by tequila and photo ops. That kind of shit can't be helped. I immediately bought a t shirt with a monkey on it. Robert Plant knows how to move merch.
We spent the duration of the stage-change, dissecting Robert Plant and The Band of Joy's backdrop, which was a really scary looking clown with Bells Palsy and an exploding ring on a tassled pillow, a monkey in an Officer's outfit to his left, and a cat wearing a dress and playing the saxophone to his right. In theory, those two things on either side would lessen the creepiness of the clown. Thusly, at the end of the show you will have done a total turnaround-- then in fact liking the clown. That's what he wants you to think. Do not trust the clown.
The Band of Joy consists of Patty Griffin (yes-- that Patty Griffin! - vocals and guitar), Darrell Scott (vocals, guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, banjo, etc.), Buddy Miller (guitar and vocals), Byron House (bass), and Marco Giovino (drums).
They hit the stage and opened with Misty Mountain Hop- a great choice to get the room pumped up^. The set was sprinkled generously with Zeppelin covers, which is great because when you're seeing Robert Plant in person, you want to hear him sing Zep, consarnit! He refuses to do a reunion tour, so it's likely the closest to Zep you're ever gonna get. Houses of the Holy, Tangerine, Ramble On. Gallows Pole felt like the most natural Zep selection for this particular sound-- it was absolutely stunning and gave me goose-bumps. The encore included a great Rock and Roll.
The non-Led Zeppelin songs of the set were soulful, traditional, Southern blues rock, with a bluegrassy feel. Plant originals, standards (tweaked into brilliant arrangements), and a few other covers thrown in for good measure. The traditional gospel (famously covered by the Dead) And We Bid You Goodnight was a sweet end to the show. Maybe the only thing that stuck out like a sore thumb was Tall Cool One-- and the only person you can really blame for that is Robert Plant. Are you going to hold Tall Cool One against Robert Plant? Just let it go already.
Plant announced that since The Band Of Joy is full of great talent, he wasn't going to be the only lead vocalist that night. So he moved to the back of the stage (good for some built-in rests as well) each time band members took their turns. Patty Griffin sang her song Move Up-- she's amazing. Also, cute dress. Total rockstar. Darrel Scott sang Satisfied Mind-- soulful ear candy. And Buddy Miller sang Somewhere Trouble Don't Go- a great rockin' Country tune in the big big city (with Plant on harp).
The show was awesome, because it's Robert Fucking Plant (and because The Band Of Joy is like an All-Star team of musicians). I spent much of the show coming to terms with the fact that I was watching THE Robert Plant perform. I tried to soak in every little hint of his voice coming out of the speakers & every single rock star pose onstage. Robert Plant. The frontman of the greatest rock band ever--- right there!!! Those lungs. And oh, the hair, the hair! My head asplode.
I didn't get a good pic of it from all the way up in the cheap seats, but there was a monkey playing the tambourine on the SubKick. Brilliant.
Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy, 1/30/11, Beacon Theater, NYC: 8.5^^ HUZZAHS! Dude. ROBERT FUCKING PLANT!!!
Misty Mountain Hop
Down To the Sea
Houses of the Holy
Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down
Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday
Twelve Gates to the City
House of Cards
Somewhere Trouble Don't Go
You Can't Buy My Love
Tall Cool One
I'm In The Mood
Rock and Roll
And We Bid You Goodnight
^ Though he opened up with Black Dog the previous night, which would have made me "piss meself" (out of happiness).
^^ Deductions for not going on tour with Led Zeppelin & Bonham's son.