Monday, January 31, 2011

Robert Plant "Nobody's Fault But Mine"

Here's a clearinghouse of thoughts on seeing Robert Plant in concert last week. None of these notes merit a full on posting, but all are worth a mention.

I'd kinda forgotten that Plant can play a pretty mean harmonica, which he did in his capacity as a back-up musician, when a Band Of Joy-er got took the spotlight.

Plant gave Buddy Miller, Darrell Scott and Patty Griffin each a chance to front the band, while he stepped into the shadows, taking on the role of back up singer. How the hell did Patty Griffin not spend her whole tune thinking, "Robert Plant is my freaking back-up singer!!!" (Maybe she did)

Neither Buddy Miller nor Darrell Scott look like those incredible voices could be coming out of their mouths. They're both kinda rugged-looking, but their voices are both clear and clean.

I wasn't surprised that, if he were going to play a few Zeppelin tunes, "Ramble On" was among them. But did I detect a slight note of embarrassment when the 60-something singer delivered a line written by his 20-something self that was lifted from---how hippie-ish!---Lord Of The Rings? "Gollum, the evil one, crept up and slipped away with her . . ."

While I could go on and on about how beautiful Patty Griffin's voice is (my friend John said, "If God was real, he'd have Patty Griffin's voice"), I don't know that I'd have ever described her as "sexy." Until I saw her shaking maracas and singing back up to "Nobody's Fault But Mine."

Speaking of Patty's singing, her many roles on this tour were interesting. She can simply be a back up singer, providing a fuller, higher compliment to Plant. She can fulfill the Alison Krauss/female counterpart role on "Raising Sand" songs like "Please Read The Letter." Or she can be a substitute Plant, tackling the waaay-high notes that Plant sang near the end of the recorded version of "Gallows Pole."

Not that the House Of Blues is small, but it must be one of the smallest venues Plant has played in many years. When he was touring with "Raising Sand," they were in much larger places.

Boston was the first stop of Led Zeppelin's first trip to America, over 40 years ago. Patty Griffin and Darrell Scott both played around town for years. And Buddy Miller and drummer Marco Giovino have family in Boston. Bassist Byron House must've felt left out. Especially when Plant introduced everyone in the band, but forgot him!

We were invited to an After Party, and Mr. Plant was there to Meet & Greet. After hanging out for a half-hour or so, waiting my turn, I realized that though I love him, I really didn't have anything I wanted to say to Robert Plant. So rather than stammer something stupid, we left.

The show-opening "Nobody's Fault But Mine"

"Angel Dance"

"Ramble On"

"Rock N Roll"

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