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Robert Plant Presents…….Sensational Space Shifters – Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – Rod Laver Arena

3 April 2013 3,109 views One Comment


Robert Plant Presents…….Sensational Space Shifters – Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – Rod Laver Arena

Setlist included
Tin Pan Valley, Four Sticks, Going to California, Ramble On, Black Dog, Enchanter, Another Tribe, What Is And What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love
Encores: Bron Y Aur Stomp, Rock and Roll

This from Michael Rae who attended with his son
Robert was in fine voice and in a very cheerful mood. The band was spectacular.
LZ songs included Friends, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Black Dog, Going to California, Ramble On, Four Sticks, Whole Lotta Love and encores of What Is And What Should Never Be and Rock and Roll. Spoonful, Fixin’ to Die, and a snippet of Fly Me To The Moon and other phrases took out the covers. Another Tribe and Tin Pan Valley were also played.
The best plantation was a throw back to his previous performances at the Blues and Roots Festivals in Perth and Byron Bay. “Tonight is almost a blues show, it’s half way between Bryan Adams and Frank Ifield.”

This report from Colin Hunter
Reflections on last night’s concert. Firstly Robert was in fantastic voice –the sound was great and the band on fire. He was on great raconteur form even telling us that “Stryder hated rivers and had to be carried over water”. The venue was the problem . Rod Laver is a great stadium rock venue but too cavernous for the 2013 Space Shifters. Nonetheless I had a fantastic night–highlights were Going to California, Bron Y Aur Stomp and Tin Pan Valley.

This one from Kristine Sutherland:
At the Byron Festival Robert strolled onto the stage dressed in black long sleeve shirt,j eans and boots. His hair was tied back for most of the gig,falling loose towards the end(one of my companions, who is of a similar age and less hirsute, was most jealous. I think the word ‘basket ‘was uttered).Robert chatted between songs, talking about blues influences, Frank Ifield, Strider and that band (cough cough). The audience was very loud and very welcoming. The boys loving all the Zep riffs, when they could find them, and the girls swooning whenever the words ‘satisfied ‘and ‘me ’were sung. The voice still has it.
I wasn’t that far from the stage but there were lots of tall people at this gig and they were all in front of me,so I had to make do with the side screens and the occasional glimpse of the band on stage. Still it was one of the best shows ever..great energy and humour. The SSS are a great band and I hope they continue to make merry for some time.
Stand out for me was “Heartbreaker”, but they were all good.
As the man himself said at the end of the night…”Keep Happy”

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
Michael Dwyer
THE GUY from Led Zeppelin declared his distaste for rock’n’roll nostalgia early in his set. “My peers may flirt with cabaret, some fake the rebel yell,” he muttered darkly in the pointedly electro-futuristic bleep and burble of Tin Pan Valley. “Me, I’m moving up to higher ground, I must escape their hell.”
He did and he didn’t on his long awaited return to Australia with his aptly named Sensational Space Shifters. Somewhere between the retro-psychedelic backdrop of his circa ’69 self and his midlife pilgrimage to Afro-electronic transcendence was a world of compromise for icon and audience alike.
Zeppelin songs loomed large in his set, but rarely with the faithfulness and affection that made the mandolin-driven Going to California such a gift. Plant’s young band seemed far more excited to be playing Ramble On than he allowed himself to be.
And with due respect for his insistence on creative evolution, the fleeting appearance of Jimmy Page’s crucial riff in an exotically reconstructed Whole Lotta Love seemed less teasing than plain churlish.
We got the point. Even the most sentimental fan surely understood the ethnomusicology behind Black Dog shot with guttural west African twang and drone. But robbed of the thunderous melody that dragged it from the dust to hard rock heaven, it was simply a less remarkable song.
The ancient blues bedrock of Charley Patton and Bukka White proved more amenable to Plant’s designs with African frame drums and single-stringed Gambian fiddle. And his intoxicating mix of desert dust and electronic interference came up a treat in his own more recent songs, such as The Enchanter and Another Tribe.
But with the best intentions and musicians in the world, it seems that baggage of Led Zeppelin’s magnitude is no easier to repack than discard.
What Is And What Should Never Be

You Shook Me / Whole Lotta Love

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One Comment »

  • Angela said:


    Angela Allan signs up for an acid trip with Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters.

    With the opener of Led Zeppelin’s Friends, Robert Plant’s familiar stance with his legs crossed, he flips the mic, as his unruly curls bounce across his face – it’s clear this is frontman remembered from his youth. Coupled with the reworked sleazy, heavy riffs of Led Zeppelin, Plant was abound in psychedelic splendour during his Melbourne show – his first here since 1994 – and although the audience remained strangely subdued and restrained, that was about to change.

    Plant commanded them, as he clasped his hands together in a faux prayer, he raised his arms in this manner into the air several times, coaxing men and women in the first few rows to rise from their seats. “After 17 years, this is all I get?” he joked. His jovial manner and wry humour stayed with him throughout the one hour, 45-minute set, which was peppered with Zeppelin classics, including Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll and Black Dog – some injected with an African heartbeat, others with blues-inflected sting. Some lacked their pep and thunderous amalgamation of rock sounds, but the feeling was still the same – filthy, sexy and glorious all at once.

    Plant’s band – now named the Sensational Space Shifters perhaps for the pure warm feel of the alliteration as it’s spoken – is headed by Skin on guitar, whose guitar finesse flirts between the absent Jimmy Page and a seasoned rock god in his own right. Plant’s penchant for mysticism, rock and psychedelia is incorporated in this show – right down to the sensual aura of the songs, the Sahara sand and electronic-rock sheen on arrangements, and of course, his unforgiving wail. The Enchanter, Another Tribe, and the celestial glow of Tin Pan Valley are Plant’s solo efforts that teleport you to another world. And it’s a one-way ticket with no possibility of a return trip – the way it should be.

    The stats:
    Robert Plant
    Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
    April 3

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