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Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy – Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL

30 July 2010 5,623 views 3 Comments

This review and picture by Shawn Geurin

Robert played to a sold out crowed of predominately 50 year olds. Last time he was in Tampa was 1998.  Rumored he spent part of the day walking Clearwater Beach.  Same 1:45 minute set. Sound was outstanding from 5th row, not obnoxiously loud. Robert was in great mood, very little talking though.  He sounded excellent.  A few mis-steps along the way (abbreviated Tall Cool One and Over The Hills transition).   Gallows Pole lacked the thunder I was longing for.   Robert allowed time for each member to showcase their skills.  This venture is a bit too soft for my taste. Encore included Rock And Roll.  Leaving, I did not feel I had just attended a Rock’ N’ Roll show.  However, the immense talent(s) produced a very enjoyable show.



For Plant, it’s all about looking ahead

Review by Curtis Ross at The Tampa Tribune

CLEARWATER – If nostalgia is the death of creativity, then Robert Plant has both feet firmly planted in the land of the living.

Yes, Plant revisited the catalog of Led Zeppelin several times during his Friday night concert before a sold-out Ruth Eckerd Hall audience of 2,180. But the songs were rearranged and in some cases heavily reworked.

And his Zeppelin choices were the ones the fit in well with his new band and the material from his upcoming album, both named Band of Joy.

“Down to the Sea,” from 1993’s “Fate of Nations,” opened the show and set the tone with its dark mix of folk and swamp-rock.

Buddy Miller, who Plant introduced as “the king of psyche-billy guitar,” sang lead on the reverberating blues of “Trouble,” while Darrell Scott had his turn on “Satisfied Mind.”

Guitarist Scott was the MVP of the evening, also adding harmonies, mandolin, banjo and a particularly gorgeous pedal steel solo on “Tangerine.”

Plant’s musical heart currently resides in the U.S. south, and blues, country and gospel figured heavily into the set, particularly on the rave-up “12 Gates to the City,” which worked in a bit of “In My Time of Dying,” and “Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down.”

Plant was in fine voice, even if he did keep the banshee wail of old in check. He’s clearly enjoying his new band, as well as reminding his audience that he’s only rarely looked back, much less stood still, in the almost 30 years since Led Zeppelin’s demise.

Betty LaVette’s superb opening set, drawing heavily from “Interpretations,” her recent album of British rock covers, was a treat for her fans and a smashing introduction for anyone unfamiliar with her. LaVette’s been in show business for 42 years, as she told the crowd, and she knows how to win over an audience, with impassioned, soulful vocals on material ranging from George Jones’ “Choices,” to her closer, a thrilling take on The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me.”


Review: Ex-Led Zeppelin vocalist Plant delivers memorable Clearwater performance

Review by David Dorsey at

CLEARWATER — If God decided to visit us here on Earth and sing, he would sound like Robert Plant did Friday night.

Plant, after all, did sing a new song titled “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down,” and he also performed a Los Lobos song titled “Angel Dance.”

Approaching his 62nd birthday Aug. 20, Plant has remade his image. He has remade many of the Led Zeppelin songs that made him famous in the 1970s. But the British vocalist also has furthered himself as an artist by going back to his musical roots, American blues.

Robert Plant has formed a new band called Band of Joy, which took on the same name of Plant’s first band, prior to Led Zeppelin, in the late 1960s.

Band of Joy will release a new CD Sept. 13. The band performed to a sold-out audience at Ruth Eckerd Hall, playing for almost two hours and diving into his vast catalogue from Led Zeppelin, his solo work since leaving that band in the late 1970s, his duet work with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss and the forthcoming songs on the new release.

Plant no longer attempts those high, screaming notes as he did during his prime years with Led Zeppelin. He seems to realize that he doesn’t need to. His voice, infused with melody, soothed the audience at times and got them rocking and on their feet at others.

The first three songs seemed like a warmup, because the concert really took off with song No. 4, “Please Read the Letter,” in which Patty Griffin, not to be confused with comedian Kathy Griffin, took over the duet role held by Krauss.

And then the band got the Led out, so to speak, playing a revamped version of “Misty Mountain Hop.”

Other Zeppelin tunes with a new brand of sound included “Tangerine,” “Houses of the Holy,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” and “Gallows Pole,” which closed the 19-song set.

After a brief break, the band returned for a four-song encore of “Harm’s Swift Way,” a new song, followed by Zeppelin classics “Thank You,” and “Rock and Roll.”

Band of Joy is comprised of four multi-talented members: Darrell Scott (acoustic guitar, mandolin, octave mandolin, banjo, accordion, pedal steel and lap steel guitar), Byron House (bass), Marco Giovino (drums and percussion) and Buddy Miller (electric guitar, baritone, 6-string bass, mandoguitar).

As a bonus, Plant wound everything down with a soothing, mellow goodbye called “We Bid You Goodnight.”

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  • Frank Bianco said:

    Saw the show at Ruth Eckerd from front row center. An amazing show with intricate music and distinctive vocals. The show sounded great and I could feel the weight of the audience expectation on the stage and how professional everyone in the band was. I loved the Tecante encore beverage of Mr Plant who did not mention in Over the Hills about his Alcapulco Gold. He and his opener were all great and an amazing night. Saw him in Cleveland in 1977 and 1985, Tampa in 1998 and 7/30/2010 and he has always been a gentleman and great entertainer –a class act.

  • Kurt Anderson said:

    Two Shows – One Word: Wonderful.

    Friday night July 30 at Clearwaters Ruth Eckerd Hall was just spectacular. Like the reviewers here I concur about the sometimes mystical and always unexpected twists and turns of the evening. Of special mention were In The Mood and Houses of the Holy. Nicely reworked as well was Misty Mountain Hop. The new material was neatly woven into the set list. As always the acoustics of Ruth Eckerd Hall brings out the best in whoever performs there, in Robert’s case even more so.

    It was such a striking performance that I and my fellow Zep head buddy decided to make the run across Florida to see the last night of the tour in Miami. Same set, completely different feel. This one was outside in a rather sultry Miami evening (face it it was downright muggy out there) and that made the crowd more subdued. The sound seemed to come out and get lost in that thick air, but the performance was just fantastic. Seeing it twice with all that new material was really something. I can’t wait for the new album.

    Ever onward. There is no turning back. This is where he is now so enjoy it folks.

    Review by Kurt Anderson

  • tommy mcmichael said:

    robert plant blew into miami’ bayfront park like a catagory 5 hurricane.From the very beginning of Down to the sea,you just knew it was gonna be one of those nights.In spectaculer fashion Mr. Plant and pals stormed through nearly 2 hours of pure enjoyment.He continues to defie space and time. Of the dozen or so times I’ve been fortunate enough to witness such an icon [led zep 4/15/77 St louis]this show was truly breathtaking. Mr. Plant has proven over the years to be head and shoulders above any vocalist on gods given earth. when the show ended with ‘we bid you goodnight’ I had to pinch myself to be sure this wasn’t a dream. Thank you Robert Plant. On a sidenote at the end of the show Plant said see you in september.[hint hint maybe with jason]PEACE….

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