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Home » Robert Plant

London, ON John Labatt Centre

14 September 2005 2,274 views No Comment

No Quarter, Shine it all Around, Black Dog, Freedom Fries, Another Tribe, That’s the Way, Hey Joe, Four Sticks, Tin Pan Valley, Gallows Pole, BIGLY.
Encore: Brother Ray (incl verses of You Shook Me), Whole Lotta’ Love

This from Wyatt Brake
Plant really reached for some high notes during Black Dog. Freedom Fries was dedicated to Canada’s neighbor…
During That’s The Way, instead of singing “everything that lives is born to die,” Robert repeated the “all the fish that lay in dirty water dying…” and grimaced as he did so, conscious of his error.
While that song was about environmental pollution in 1970, Another Tribe was about the “human pollution” of current events. This was my fifth Plant show of the year, but the first time I had heard Another Tribe live. It was a nice surprise and very well done.
Hey Joe was excellent. It is one of those songs that simply does not retain anything close to the same power in any recorded format and must be witnessed live. The anticipation that builds to the climax of “JUST – LIKE – I – I – I – I – SAID” as the last word is stretched up and up and up is just fantastic. As the band crashes down on the crowd at that moment and they commence the freak-out section, everyone is mesmerized.
Four Sticks was just slightly different from the 2001-2003 Sensation tours. There was a bit more of the light/shade, quiet/loud dynamic added to this rendition.
Tin Pan Valley is now enhanced with a more intense light show and is in the same vein as the version that was played on the Jay Leno Tonight Show in July (with the bombastic opening leading into the subdued electronica and drum track). Skin had a good solo for this song.
Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You is still a crowd favorite, but it doesn’t quite do it for me. Even the Page/Plant 95-98 versions pale in comparison to the 1969 Zeppelin performances, but at least the guitar solo had some meat on its bones…although my friend Randy disagreed with me, I thought Skin’s strangling of the guitar neck with a few violent snaps of the strings with
his picking fingers hardly constituted a good solo. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been any better at any of the other shows I’ve seen this year on this particular song. Apparently Plant doesn’t have a problem with how he plays it, but it leaves me a little wanting. I think Skin’s playing on every other song is good to excellent – it’s just this song that is lacking.
Brother Ray was a definite surprise as the first encore. During the break, a basic Yamaha keyboard was brought out in front of the keyboards set up on the riser. Mics were placed around in a semi-circle and the large hand-drums were set out. Plant was less than pleased with the very claustrophobic set-up of the stage and warned that someone was “going to swing for this –
there aren’t any swingers here!” Right on cue, Justin Adams stepped forward and intentionally bumped into Robert with an “oh, sorry…” Skin clapped and sang backing vocals while Baggott riffed on the keys, Fuller slapped the stand-up bass, and Deamer and Adams drummed. Plant threw in some blues cliches and even a line or two from You Shook Me with the ‘ohhh, yeaaahs’
and various other vocal gymnastics. Eventually, Adams walked over to get his guitar and the microphones were moved as the band moved back to their normal positions and Robert talked about the ‘Hoochie-Coochie Man’ before moving into Whole Lotta Love as the crowd exploded into a frenzy. Robert picked up the lemon that someone had tossed onstage earlier for the “yoouuu neeeeeeed” part of the song. When it first appeared, he had said, “at 57, you wouldn’t
think that something like this would have any significance, but – I’m happy to report that everything is working quite well, without chemicals!”
There was another “Listen to This, Eddie” moment in the middle of Black Dog. A previous reviewer on thought that this was a reference to Ed Vedder of Pearl Jam (who played the same venue days earlier), but I would highly doubt it. I think Plant just enjoys the looks he gets from the boot-savvy collector-type members of the audience when he drops the name of
the 6-21-77 LA Forum show.
All in all, an excellent – but short – show. Hey Joe, Tin Pan Valley, and Four Sticks were definite highlights for me, and the Brother Ray interlude was pretty unique, although the London crowd missed a great song with the removal of The Enchanter from the set. The entire show was on the short side of ninety minutes. I realize not everyone drove four hours to get there like I did, but I got the feeling most people wanted more. It is certainly not as if he’s lacking in material to play.

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