Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Featured, Robert Plant, TBL News, Tour Watch

Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy – Tower Theatre, Philadelphia

26 January 2011 2,691 views One Comment

Robert Plant at Tower Theatre, Philadelphia

My wife and I were fortunate to attend Robert’s show on 1/26/11 at the Tower Theatre in the Philadelphia area with a couple of dear friends.  It was near blizzard like conditions, with the area receiving 12-16 inches of snow within 24 hours, about 4 inches just during the show.  But the show was fully attended, as most braved the elements to see Robert and The Band of Joy.  In the bathroom, I overheard one fan saying he traveled over 130 miles one way for the show, which speaks to the loyalty to Robert’s fans after so many years.  It was clear that Robert and the band appreciated the crowd and put on a spirited performance in return.  The Band of Joy appears to play a bit tighter than the band assembled for the Raising Sand tour.  And Buddy Miller and Darrell Scott are clearly the driving forces to the musical complement to Robert (and Patty Griffin’s vocals).  Although all band members showed how multi-talented they were vocally and musically, playing various instruments throughout the night.  The opening act, The North Mississippi Allstars were also a pleasant surprise.  Two brothers – guitar and drums – really cranking out a great 40 minute set reminiscent of the Allman Brothers at times.

Robert Plant and The Band of Joy’s setlist (in order):

Angel Dance, Down to the Sea, Cindy I’ll Marry You, Can’t Buy My Love, Houses of the Holy, House of Cards, Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down, Love Throw a Line (Buddy Miller on lead vocals, with Robert on harmonica), Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Monkey, Satisfied Mind (Darrell Scott on lead vocals), Tangerine, Twelve Gates to the City/Wade in The Water/In My Time of Dying (Patty Griffin on lead vocals), Ramble On, Tall Cool One, Gallows Pole; 

Encores: In the Mood, Rock and Roll, I Bid You Goodnight

Highlights of the show were Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down – really showed how strong Robert’s voice still is; Monkey – very smoky version, showcasing Buddy’s guitar work; Tangerine – closest rendition of the Zeppelin numbers to the original recording; and Rock and Roll – I had just watched some of the clips on TBL from the O2 show, and this number “carried me back, carried me back” to memories of 12/7/07.  But the biggest highlight of the night for me and my friends was the acknowledgement from Robert as he pointed to me and said “Go Wolves!”, noting my Wolverhampton Club t-shirt. A great night of music and clearly Robert continues to enjoy creating it.

From Michael Sherlock


Angel Dance

Down To The Sea


Can’t Buy My Love

Houses Of The Holy

House Of Cards

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down

Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go

Nobody’s Fault But Mine


Satisfied Mind


Move Up

Twelve Gates To The City

Ramble On

Tall Cool One

Gallows Pole


In The Mood

Rock And Roll

We Bid You Goodnight

Robert Plant at Tower Theater, thawing fans thrillingly

The former governor of Pennsylvania may have been correct when he characterized America as “a nation of wusses.” But if that’s so, Led Zeppelin fans are surely the exception to the rule.

On Wednesday night, the Philadelphia region was transformed into a fearsome landscape that looked for all the world like the frozen “land of the ice and snow” that Robert Plant once ululated about in “Immigrant Song.”

But that was not one of the Led Zep tunes the 62-year-old, gray-goateed golden god sang that night to a packed house of hardy souls at the Tower Theater, during an often-breathtaking 100-minute set with his six-piece knockout ensemble Band of Joy.

For the record, Plant and Band of Joy – which shines a spotlight on the luminous talents of guitarist-bandleader Buddy Miller, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, and singer Patty Griffin – did reworked versions of five Zep songs: “Tangerine,” “Houses of the Holy,” “Gallows Pole,” “Ramble On,” and, yes, “Rock and Roll.”

Plant is the still-restless soul who walked away from the biggest uncashed check in the business in 2007 when he chose to make music with country fiddler Alison Krauss rather than follow a one-off Led Zep reunion in London with a full-fledged tour.

For him, the songs by his thunderous classic-rock band are not exactly beside the point, but rather just one piece in a large musical whole that encompasses British Isle folk and American country, blues, gospel, and rock-and-roll.

Plant correctly believes that he can best explore that range of roots music with the group of Nashville cats who make up Band of Joy, gathered together by producer Miller on the 2010 album of that name that is the rougher, louder equal of 2007’s Grammy-grabbing Krauss collaboration, Raising Sand.

At the Tower, that was borne out repeatedly, sometimes on songs where the charismatic front man took the lead, and sometimes when he let others step to the fore. “Monkey,” a cover from the American indie band Low, was a murky, mesmerizing duet with Griffin. Scott moved front and center for “A Satisfied Mind,” a country standard delivered with robust, churchy harmony singing that turned the Tower into a sanctified space.

Equally impressive was the Plant-led “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” and “Move Up,” which Griffin delivered with an earthy soul that stood in contrast to the crystalline elegance that characterizes Krauss’ pairings with Plant.

In what by all rights could be a comfortable senescence, the spirit clearly still moves within Plant. “Ah, music, why do you do this to us?” he asked, unbidden, then jokingly answered, “I guess it’s better than chocolate.”

At one point, Plant was moved to shimmy his hips and shout out to South Street and Bobby Rydell. And for further proof that the aging rock deity actually knew where he was, he made reference to another Philadelphia institution, free-jazz explorer Sun Ra, after a revised rendering of “In the Mood,” from Plant’s 1983 solo album The Principle of Moments.

Reveiw by  Dan DeLuca from philly .com

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy Nobody’s Fault But Mine

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

One Comment »

  • Louis Saraiva said:

    I will never forget that night ! Went to see Robert Plant at the Tower with my sister and her husband.
    Never forget that thunder snow that night and never forget what a great performance Robert gave that night !!!
    Thank you Robert for performing despite the blizzard conditions.
    I enjoyed it so much that I ended up seeing Robert at The Beacon in NYC for 2 nights after this show .
    Looking forward to seeing you in Brooklyn in July 2013. Too bad there’s no Philly area show.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.