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Home » Robert Plant

Hersheypark Amphitheater, Hershey, PA

29 July 2002 2,292 views No Comment

Setlist: Win My Train Fare Home (If I Ever Get Lucky) / Celebration Day / Morning Dew / Going to California / Calling to You / Funny in My Mind (I Believe I”m Fixin’ to Die) / Four Sticks / Tall Cool One / Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.
Encore: Whole Lotta Love

This from Christopher Gust
The third night of Robert”s Strange Sensations tour with what remains of The Who brought the pairing to Chocolate World on a very warm and humid night. Plant and his band were heard running through a sound check about 90 minutes prior to the show, with bits of “Celebration Day” and “Morning Dew” being recognizable among the various noodlings.

When Plant walked out on stage to the intro of “Win My Train Fare Home” at 7:40 pm., the old open-air stadium was almost ¾ full already. Robert tried to be comfortable in the humid conditions, forsaking the jeans and cowboy boots for a green T-shirt with a white horizontal stripe across, white ¾ length cargo pants and tennis shoes with no socks.

The set was quite different from what I read about the Boston show, three nights prior. “Celebration Day” appeared in the second slot and was quite good with the two guitarists, Skin Tyson and Justin Adams, trading licks throughout. The metamorphosis of “Morning Dew” continues, with John Baggott leading a fast-paced, rolling keyboard-driven version that bore little resemblance to the track on “Dreamland” or even the “Storytellers” TV broadcast. Robert welcomed the crowd and expressed his thanks to The Who. He said that he and Roger (Daltrey) go back a long way and as singers, “see where everybody else goes wrong”. Plant also said that, while in the area, he saw many old faces, made some new friends, and then he suggested a title “for the bootleg”, which I missed. ;-(

“Going to California” was the crowd sing-along. “Calling to You” was a surprise in the truncated set and was very powerful, with Skin”s more “rock” style of guitar playing being a good fit for this track. Other than “Storytellers”, I had never heard “Funny In My Mind” performed live and this version was performed very well, with Justin on bongo and Skin delivering the crashing chards throughout. “Four Sticks” was majestic, “Tall Cool One” was a rockabilly, and the set closed with a letter-perfect “Babe I”m Gonna Leave You”, much to the crowd”s approval.

After a quick break, the band returned and delivered a complete (unlike on “Storytellers”) version of “Whole Lotta Love”, which again had most in the pro-Who crowd of 28,000 roaring in approval. By this time, the stadium was nearly full. The old Delta-blues slow intro was used before the more well-known version kicked in at full blast. Skin handled the theremin-section part of the old Zeppelin warhorse by twiddling with the dials on his amp and shaking his guitar to produce the sonic squeals. The set finished at about 8:45 pm., after 65 minutes on stage.

So, no “Hey Joe” or “Song To the Siren”, definitely a rare occurrence from Strange Sensation”s act over the past 15 months . What we got were 5 Led Zeppelin classics, 2 songs from Plant”s prior solo career and only 3 tracks from “Dreamland”. Perhaps, given the large, (and surprisingly youthful) crowd, Robert relented just a bit and decided to make sure that the they got what they wanted to hear; a fairly Zep-heavy set, rather than trying their patience with “Song To the Siren” (a lovely, emotional song, but not a good set-closer for this type of crowd, at least in the United States).

Strangely, as The Who”s equipment was set up between sets, the video screens projected a commercial for “Dreamland” (now available at Fye Records) and specifically mentioned “Darkness Darkness” as the new single; a song not played tonight and much to my chagrin, as this is one of my favorite Plant covers, going back to his Priory of Brion days. Oh well, maybe next time, as I will now try to make one of the September headlining shows.

This from Barry Frick
Last night’s concert at Hershey Park in Pennsylvania. Let me set the stage. It was hot and humid. We had a Misty Mountain Hop incident early before the concert when the police stopped by to visit the people next to us and the busted them for having a small bit of marijuana. The girl had flowers in her hair and everything! From there we made it inside and Robert came on at 7:40.
The first song was “Win my Train Fare Home” Great intro. The band was getting into the opening bars and suddenly Plant slowly walked out and the crowd responded. That is the people who were there to hear him, the Who fans just milled about looking lost. Many of the crowd were there with their kids and were dressed up like they were having a special night out. Robert’s voice was in great shape. The band was into it and off we went.
“Celebration Day” was next with a jammin intro, the crowd didnt know what was going on but the Led Heads knew. They followed this with Morning Dew. They set the PA and everything to this song earlier in the day.This was the sound check song. Then after this out came a chair and Robert commented about this being an old song and then began “Going to California”. The crowd responded and sang along. This was a moment to remember. The song was well done and the vibes were moving in the right direction.
The pace picked up with “Calling to You” next. Blistering guitar work on this song. Plant was into it. He looked relaxed and energized. All night he looked like he was having fun.
“Fixin to Die” followed with some typical Robert speak before. “Four Sticks” was next and the crowd, including the Who fans, began to get into it. The crowd roared with appreciation after this song. Robert then began to chat. The band was bowling earlier in the day and Robert kept referring to their afternoon. He mentioned last time he was there how the concert was cancelled due to heavy rains. He remembered that which impressed me. He then dedicated the next song to “the old rockers”. He mentioned that the beginnings of this song occurred “before feedback” was around. This led to “Tall Cool One”. This song rocked the house and had Robert moving all around the stage. Justin Adams was working himself into a froth and the whole band was on. The crowd which was starting to fill in, gave its approval. Plant then went off into a Percy moment and he talked about bowling again. He said that “three strikes is a Turkey” “Cool name for a bootleg” he said. Maybe we will see this in the future. He must have been really into bowling earlier in the day! He finished his set with “Babe I’m going to leave” which really hit the crowd. They knew they were hearing a classic, and the boys didn’t disappoint on this song. They were clearly having fun and Robert was definately into it. They left the stage and then came back after 3 minutes or so. Robert thanked everyone and said how he and Roger understood what was going on, they being singers and all. Pure Percy!!
He dedicated the encore to “the Mississippi boys” who started it all and that the “pretty white boys” tried to follow their lead in the world of rock and roll. The opening chords of “Whole Lotta Love” kicked in and the crowd finally gave the approval that was deserved all night. Adams was all over, making sounds with his box and just jammin for all he was worth. The band was on.
Overall it was the best I have ever seen Plant. He was relaxed, happy, sounded great, and looked like he was genuinely having a blast. His performance was much better than Daltrey. I could have listened to Plant all night he was that on. If you get a chance, see him, actually you might want to wait till he is alone when he can expand more.
Overall great night now i will wait for the “3 strikes is a turkey” bootleg and i can relive it all.

Thomas Lozupone says;
Well, Mr. Plant’s current band is tight, atmospheric, and quite muscially accomplished. However, his show does not do good in a stadium rock environment. The music is great, he sounds and looks fantastic. His music is rock and roll but not the “rawk” that this crowd was after that night. His fashion for the night were white clamdiggers, a green and white shirt, white tennies. Kinda of strange that he did not do darkness as that is his current single. In a personal opinion, Percy should go back to his policy of not playing zeppelin songs. He doesn’t need to do them with his current band. He is starting to look and sound like a has been when he does the zep without the riffmaster next to him. His set was way too short for the crowd and left many concert goers feeling like, whatever, ok, yeah he did some zeppelin songs, just another singer living off of past glories. Sorry folks, but Plant needs to assert himself more and rock. He can do it. He has the audience for it. I would hope that he stretches out his material and improvises as he is apt to do. (Was that a little “how many more times” bass and drum riff at the beginning of morning dew).
Overall his performance was good but disappointing. Maybe once again this is a step backwards before Mr. Plant can go forward.

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