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Bonnaroo Festival, Manchester Tennessee

15 June 2008 2,319 views 2 Comments

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  • Wyatt Brake said:

    http://zepcowboy.blogspot.com/2008/06/robert-plant-alison-krauss-at-what.html

    Robert Plant & Alison Krauss at What Stage
    Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, Tennessee

    Rich Woman
    Leave My Woman Alone
    Black Dog
    Sister Rosetta
    Through the Morning, Through The Night
    So Long Goodbye to You
    Fortune Teller
    In the Mood
    Black Country Woman
    Bon Temps Roulez
    Trampled Rose
    Green Pastures
    Down to the River to Pray
    Nothin’
    Battle of Evermore
    Gone Gone Gone

    Encore: One Woman Man

    Robert and Alison’s set came after a great show by the Yonder Mountain String Band. While I’m not a huge bluegrass fan, I can appreciate talent well enough. Those four guys can really play. The leader of the band (looks like his name is Jeff Austin… ) made some remarks about the performance being a “brown trouser set,” and basically implied that he was plenty nervous to serve as the opening act of sorts for Robert Plant. Laura and I got up to the wall at the front of the general area, up in front of the scaffolding where the cameras were perched, but not in the pit area closest to the stage. We were up early and caught all of YMSB’s set, which concluded with an entertaining bluegrass rendition of Ozzy’s “Crazy Train.”

    After Yonder Mountain left, you could tell when Plant’s pre-show music came on, because all of a sudden one was hearing a lot of Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf tunes, like Spoonful.

    As has been customary at all of the Plant Krauss shows, the backing band entered first and began the sultry tones of Rich Woman before Robert and Alison entered from opposite sides of the stage, taking up their designated places in front of their respective microphones. The
    audience greeted them warmly.

    Without much of a pause, Leave My Woman Alone, as performed by Ray Charles, began. This was a brisk little song, pushed along by some nice mandolin work from Stuart Duncan and jangling guitar from Buddy Miller. At the song’s conclusion, Plant picked up his mic stand and moved over quite closely to Alison’s side of the stage. Krauss looked somewhat amused. The majority of the crowd seemed a bit lost with Black Dog’s banjo introduction until the lyrics kicked in. There was a bit of a hush during a lot of song, and I’m not sure everyone knew what to think of the understated delivery. There wasn’t a dramatic response to the “ahh-ahh” portion, but the overall impression was positive.

    Plant greeted the crowd then, with a “Bonnaroo!” and a not-quite-Zeppelin-like, “Good Evenin’!” He then introduced Alison Krauss and moved to the rear of the stage to provide backing vocals as she started Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us, a song by T Bone’s ex-wife, Sam Phillips. This was followed by the very sad Gene Clark song, Through The Morning, Through The Night with Buddy Miller on lap steel guitar. The choice of putting these two songs together was somewhat questionable given the nature of the festival at which they were playing, but it seemed from the composition of the entire setlist that not much thought was given to keeping the crowd “into it;” all they did was to take a few songs out of the usual setlist, without adding anything or switching the normal running order. I think this was a mistake, given the impression I got from several people I overheard at the show that they viewed this as a chance to see Robert Plant. I do not think that many of those folks owned Raising Sand and may not have even heard much about it.

    It’s Goodbye and So Long To You (watch it here), apparently recorded by the Osborne Brothers with Mac Wiseman, came next. Many fans have commented on Alison’s lack of charisma/stage presence, and I have to say that I agree. She failed to move around much at all, loosening up slightly when she was alone at the front of the stage, as on this song. A jaunty number like this one, which was a perfect showcase song for the fair-haired, fiddle-playing damsel, succeeded in getting her to sway her hips ever-so-slightly, but even then she looked a little restrained.

    For a non-fanatic’s perspective, I’ll paraphrase what Laura had to say after the show, which was essentially that Alison has an incredible voice and is a fantastic singer, but she is a poor “performer.” In contrast, according to my bride-to-be (one year and three days from today, as glance at the calendar), Robert Plant still has a great (and unique) voice, but he is a phenomenal performer, with an unsurpassed ability to truly connect with an audience.

    Alison would be well-advised to at least make it LOOK like it’s taking something out of her to sing as well as she does. Even when she was really belting it out, the rest of her face looked pretty stoic.

    Plant returned to the stage for Fortune Teller, which was a song I was never completely sold on when listening to Raising Sand. I thought the arrangement made him sound slightly whiny. While I’m still not a complete convert, seeing him sing the song live is an improvement.
    Apparently no one suggested this for Robert and Alison to do on the album; Plant just started singing the song when the rest of the band were jamming on something else (according to Burnett as quoted in the tour program).

    Next was one of my favorite songs of the show, In The Mood, from Plant’s own back catalogue, off 1983’s Principle of Moments (see it here). That’s right, the song is 25 years old! If only Plant could stay as faithful to his own songs when he performs them with Strange Sensation as he did with this version of ITM. He stripped Slow Dancer to the bone in 2006/2007 and there was nothing left of that powerful track. The Raising Sand-era rendition of In The Mood is excellent, with a smooth string arrangement taking the place of the original (slightly cheesy) synth. The inclusion of Matty Groves in the middle was seamless. Plant took up some maracas for this portion and stomped around behind the band, coming back to the mic as they transitioned back, and getting one of the biggest reactions from the crowd as he declared several times in unison with Alison that they were both “In The Mood.”

    Black Country Woman was also well-received, although with this track after Black Dog, some in the crowd might have wondered if every Zeppelin song starts with the words “hey, hey, mama…” Predictably, Plant elicited a big cheer when he reminded us “that’s all right – I know your sister, too.” Alison played a nifty fiddle solo and then joined Plant on the chorus again. Robert yelled, “T Bone! T Bone!” almost in the “oh, Jimmy!” style, circa 1977 with Nobody’s Fault But Mine, although there wasn’t much of a solo to be had.

    Just when the crowd was getting warmed up, Plant and Krauss left the stage after Robert introduced Burnett for his Creole-seasoned Bon Temps Roulez. I realize the billing of the show is “Robert Plant and Alison Krauss featuring T Bone Burnett,” but I think they would have done well to skip this number altogether. Shut It Tight might have been a better selection, but either way, they were losing the audience here. I saw quite a few people sit down within the front pit area, and others left entirely. The fenced-in pit area operated on a one-out, one-in basis all weekend, so there was a steady flow of people. If a person left during a band’s set, they were unlikely to be able to return anytime soon.

    Krauss returned for Trampled Rose with her siren wails. Although they were impressive, they got somewhat repetitive after she managed them about eight times. Again, the flow of the set was under threat, since the slow, haunting Trampled Rose was followed by Green Pastures, another borderline sleeper song. More impressive in a concert-hall setting perhaps, but the crowd was getting a little restless for Plant’s return.

    He ambled back to provide one-third of the backing harmony vocals with Stuart Duncan and Buddy Miller on Alison’s Down To The River To Pray, which was cheered very respectfully. The lyrical contrast was striking with the next song, Townes Van Zandt’s Nothin’. After hearing some of the early shows and realizing that Plant had no intention of singing the song in the same way as he had done on Raising Sand, I was disappointed, since that was among my favorite of the RS tracks. However, their live version has grown on me, and I was impressed with the performance last Sunday. The song received the strongest Plant vocal treatment of anything that was played that day, with some vintage mournful cries that served to throw some red meat to the hungry masses. Buddy Miller provided some choice licks on electric guitar as well, and one could definitely see how Zeppelin would have (or could still?) blown this song to pieces. Both Miller and drummer Jay Bellerose got nods from Plant afterward.

    The Battle of Evermore was a real treat, masterfully done by the whole band. Plant gave his all. The crowd was very excited for this one. There was one guy in the pit, probably almost forty or so, who jumped up and down and whooped for nearly the first full minute of the song. The video screens showed some ladies up front with a banner that said “Camp Evermore.” Nothing topped the audience’s ovation for this song…

    …which is why it was pretty anticlimactic to launch into Gone Gone Gone right afterward and close the set that way. A fun song? Sure, but not even in the same league as Battle of Evermore. If they wanted to close the main set with a song from their album, they should have switched Battle of Evermore and Nothin’, either performing Gone, Gone, Gone earlier in the set or using it as an encore.

    T Bone led the crowd in cheering Plant, “Robert Plant! It’s his world and you’re welcome to it!” and the band took their bows.

    As it was, I think most of the crowd (or maybe just me) expected that we would get a Zep song in the encore, but instead we got only one number, the George Jones-penned One Woman Man, for which Plant, Krauss, and Buddy Miller traded lead vocals. I thought we’d probably hear When The Levee Breaks, but as the crowd chanted “just one more,” the pre-recorded music came back on and we knew the show was over.

  • Wyatt Brake said:

    http://zepcowboy.blogspot.com/2008/06/robert-plant-alison-krauss-at-what.html

    Robert Plant & Alison Krauss at What Stage, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, Tennessee

    Rich Woman
    Leave My Woman Alone
    Black Dog
    Sister Rosetta
    Through the Morning, Through The Night
    So Long Goodbye to You
    Fortune Teller
    In the Mood
    Black Country Woman
    Bon Temps Roulez
    Trampled Rose
    Green Pastures
    Down to the River to Pray
    Nothin’
    Battle of Evermore
    Gone Gone Gone

    One Woman Man

    Robert and Alison’s set came after a great show by the Yonder Mountain String Band. While I’m not a huge bluegrass fan, I can appreciate talent well enough. Those four guys can really play. The leader of the band (looks like his name is Jeff Austin… ) made some remarks about the performance being a “brown trouser set,” and basically implied that he was plenty nervous to serve as the opening act of sorts for Robert Plant. Laura and I got up to the wall at the front of the general area, up in front of the scaffolding where the cameras were perched, but not in the pit area closest to the stage. We were up early and caught all of YMSB’s set, which concluded with an entertaining bluegrass rendition of Ozzy’s “Crazy Train.”

    After Yonder Mountain left, you could tell when Plant’s pre-show music came on, because all of a sudden one was hearing a lot of Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf tunes, like Spoonful.

    As has been customary at all of the Plant Krauss shows, the backing band entered first and began the sultry tones of Rich Woman before Robert and Alison entered from opposite sides of the stage, taking up their designated places in front of their respective microphones. The
    audience greeted them warmly.

    Without much of a pause, Leave My Woman Alone, as performed by Ray Charles, began. This was a brisk little song, pushed along by some nice mandolin work from Stuart Duncan and jangling guitar from Buddy Miller. At the song’s conclusion, Plant picked up his mic stand and moved over quite closely to Alison’s side of the stage. Krauss looked somewhat amused. The majority of the crowd seemed a bit lost with Black Dog’s banjo introduction until the lyrics kicked in. There was a bit of a hush during a lot of song, and I’m not sure everyone knew what to think of the understated delivery. There wasn’t a dramatic response to the “ahh-ahh” portion, but the overall impression was positive.

    Plant greeted the crowd then, with a “Bonnaroo!” and a not-quite-Zeppelin-like, “Good Evenin’!” He then introduced Alison Krauss and moved to the rear of the stage to provide backing vocals as she started Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us, a song by T Bone’s ex-wife, Sam Phillips. This was followed by the very sad Gene Clark song, Through The Morning, Through The Night with Buddy Miller on lap steel guitar. The choice of putting these two songs together was somewhat questionable given the nature of the festival at which they were playing, but it seemed from the composition of the entire setlist that not much thought was given to keeping the crowd “into it;” all they did was to take a few songs out of the usual setlist, without adding anything or switching the normal running order. I think this was a mistake, given the impression I got from several people I overheard at the show that they viewed this as a chance to see Robert Plant. I do not think that many of those folks owned Raising Sand and may not have even heard much about it.

    It’s Goodbye and So Long To You (watch it here), apparently recorded by the Osborne Brothers with Mac Wiseman, came next. Many fans have commented on Alison’s lack of charisma/stage presence, and I have to say that I agree. She failed to move around much at all, loosening up slightly when she was alone at the front of the stage, as on this song. A jaunty number like this one, which was a perfect showcase song for the fair-haired, fiddle-playing damsel, succeeded in getting her to sway her hips ever-so-slightly, but even then she looked a little restrained.

    For a non-fanatic’s perspective, I’ll paraphrase what Laura had to say after the show, which was essentially that Alison has an incredible voice and is a fantastic singer, but she is a poor “performer.” In contrast, according to my bride-to-be (one year and three days from today, as glance at the calendar), Robert Plant still has a great (and unique) voice, but he is a phenomenal performer, with an unsurpassed ability to truly connect with an audience.

    Alison would be well-advised to at least make it LOOK like it’s taking something out of her to sing as well as she does. Even when she was really belting it out, the rest of her face looked pretty stoic.

    Plant returned to the stage for Fortune Teller, which was a song I was never completely sold on when listening to Raising Sand. I thought the arrangement made him sound slightly whiny. While I’m still not a complete convert, seeing him sing the song live is an improvement.
    Apparently no one suggested this for Robert and Alison to do on the album; Plant just started singing the song when the rest of the band were jamming on something else (according to Burnett as quoted in the tour program).

    Next was one of my favorite songs of the show, In The Mood, from Plant’s own back catalogue, off 1983’s Principle of Moments (see it here). That’s right, the song is 25 years old! If only Plant could stay as faithful to his own songs when he performs them with Strange Sensation as he did with this version of ITM. He stripped Slow Dancer to the bone in 2006/2007 and there was nothing left of that powerful track. The Raising Sand-era rendition of In The Mood is excellent, with a smooth string arrangement taking the place of the original (slightly cheesy) synth. The inclusion of Matty Groves in the middle was seamless. Plant took up some maracas for this portion and stomped around behind the band, coming back to the mic as they transitioned back, and getting one of the biggest reactions from the crowd as he declared several times in unison with Alison that they were both “In The Mood.”

    Black Country Woman was also well-received, although with this track after Black Dog, some in the crowd might have wondered if every Zeppelin song starts with the words “hey, hey, mama…” Predictably, Plant elicited a big cheer when he reminded us “that’s all right – I know your sister, too.” Alison played a nifty fiddle solo and then joined Plant on the chorus again. Robert yelled, “T Bone! T Bone!” almost in the “oh, Jimmy!” style, circa 1977 with Nobody’s Fault But Mine, although there wasn’t much of a solo to be had.

    Just when the crowd was getting warmed up, Plant and Krauss left the stage after Robert introduced Burnett for his Creole-seasoned Bon Temps Roulez. I realize the billing of the show is “Robert Plant and Alison Krauss featuring T Bone Burnett,” but I think they would have done well to skip this number altogether. Shut It Tight might have been a better selection, but either way, they were losing the audience here. I saw quite a few people sit down within the front pit area, and others left entirely. The fenced-in pit area operated on a one-out, one-in basis all weekend, so there was a steady flow of people. If a person left during a band’s set, they were unlikely to be able to return anytime soon.

    Krauss returned for Trampled Rose with her siren wails. Although they were impressive, they got somewhat repetitive after she managed them about eight times. Again, the flow of the set was under threat, since the slow, haunting Trampled Rose was followed by Green Pastures, another borderline sleeper song. More impressive in a concert-hall setting perhaps, but the crowd was getting a little restless for Plant’s return.

    He ambled back to provide one-third of the backing harmony vocals with Stuart Duncan and Buddy Miller on Alison’s Down To The River To Pray, which was cheered very respectfully. The lyrical contrast was striking with the next song, Townes Van Zandt’s Nothin’. After hearing some of the early shows and realizing that Plant had no intention of singing the song in the same way as he had done on Raising Sand, I was disappointed, since that was among my favorite of the RS tracks. However, their live version has grown on me, and I was impressed with the performance last Sunday. The song received the strongest Plant vocal treatment of anything that was played that day, with some vintage mournful cries that served to throw some red meat to the hungry masses. Buddy Miller provided some choice licks on electric guitar as well, and one could definitely see how Zeppelin would have (or could still?) blown this song to pieces. Both Miller and drummer Jay Bellerose got nods from Plant afterward.

    The Battle of Evermore was a real treat, masterfully done by the whole band. Plant gave his all. The crowd was very excited for this one. There was one guy in the pit, probably almost forty or so, who jumped up and down and whooped for nearly the first full minute of the song. The video screens showed some ladies up front with a banner that said “Camp Evermore.” Nothing topped the audience’s ovation for this song…

    …which is why it was pretty anticlimactic to launch into Gone Gone Gone right afterward and close the set that way. A fun song? Sure, but not even in the same league as Battle of Evermore. If they wanted to close the main set with a song from their album, they should have switched Battle of Evermore and Nothin’, either performing Gone, Gone, Gone earlier in the set or using it as an encore.

    T Bone led the crowd in cheering Plant, “Robert Plant! It’s his world and you’re welcome to it!” and the band took their bows.

    As it was, I think most of the crowd (or maybe just me) expected that we would get a Zep song in the encore, but instead we got only one number, the George Jones-penned One Woman Man, for which Plant, Krauss, and Buddy Miller traded lead vocals. I thought we’d probably hear When The Levee Breaks, but as the crowd chanted “just one more,” the pre-recorded music came back on and we knew the show was over.

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