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Olympiysky Stadium, Moscow, Russia

14 November 2002 2,343 views No Comment

Hey Joe, Four Sticks, Morning Dew, Ramble On, Going to California (nobody sings “La-La-La”), Girl from the North Country/In the Mood, Celebration Day Fixing to Die, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, A House is not a Motel, Tall Cool One, Whole Lotta Love
Encore: Darkness Darkness, (Thank You) Misty Mountain Hop was played instead
Encore: Rock’n’Roll
Really “Thank You” was changed to “Misty Mountain Hop” !!!

This from Alexander Sedov
Since the cold war was finally over people in Russia could see plenty of different style musicians on stage. Plenty, but not remaining LZ members+ It s a pity as LZ was eventually the most popular band for millions of young people all over the Russia in 70-s. Thus, it goes without saying that information about Robert Plant s concerts in major Russian cities on November 12, 14 2002 sounded like a sensation for fans. Especially taking in mind that announced for the last year Plant s shows were cancelled without normal explanation on the date of the first performance. Luckily it didn t happened this time and I was one of thousands who had opportunity to touch mystery in Moscow Olympic stadium on 14/10/2002.
It was the very last Strange Sensations show in 2002 tour. Needless to say it was fantastic! Stadium was completely full of people. I think around 30 thousands came taste the band this evening. There were fans of different age. You could see teenagers in LZ t-shirts, middle age people in business suits and bandanas with Dreamland symbolic on their heads and even children (or perhaps grand-children) of those who have been treating Robert as a god. Plant and the band justified everybody s hopes. Surely no one left the show without feeling that Robert is the greatest among great.

The performance started at 19.30 with half an hour delay. But what do 30 min. mean for those who have been waiting for 30 years..? The crowd was almost insane when Plant appeared on the stage singing Hey Joe , number one in the set-list.

There were a lot of rumors before the shows. In spite of mass media speculations nothing extra appeared in set-list. Some TV channel promised Stairway to heaven especially for Russian fans but, as you can see, it never happened. Regret, but it looks like no means no without any exceptions. Or may be some when…?

Talking about my personal impressions, I would like to admit that the band sounded much better than when I ve heard Strange Sensations on stage for the first time in April 2001 (Denmark). In my opinion the musicians made large progress playing together during this year. By the way Charly Johns has got new (at least for me) gauzy plastic bass. He played small solo on it+

Robert himself was really in the mood. The voice was strong and magical as it supposed to be. Dressed in blue jeans and Arabic style t-shirt he looked as young as 20 years ago. LZ songs, old Robert s songs as well as new stuff sounded like one program. I have a feeling that both audience and musicians enjoined the show. Somewhere in the middle of the show Robert said to the audience: Sorry for not coming earlier+ He is right, but better late than never.
The only small thing: he didn t make la-la-la-la in Going To California + I think it must be because of some flu+ Russia is cold country+

On another hand he made the trick I ve never seen or heard about before. During some song (sorry, I don t remember its title) Robert laid the microphone on the stage and made some dap-dancing, helping rhythm section. This tchechetka sounded quiet unusual. Really this guy can make music from everything. The end of the show I cannot describe. Can you imagine what happened to the people who ve heard Whole Lotta Love and Rock and Roll on stage for the first time in their lives? I was afraid that the stadium could be destroyed but fortunately it survived. Thanks to God and Robert. The dream became a reality for thousands of people this night.

This from Yeremina Yelena
This was a great show! Very powerful. But some Russian journalists and one of the TV-program described it as the bad one! I don’t know why they did it. It looks like the words of media at LZ’s times. They said that Robert sang Stairway to Heaven in Moscow. But he didn’t do it! Their words were so offensive to Russian LZ’s fans! Moscow loves Robert and wants to see him again.

Before Robert took the stage, the concertgoers were listening to beautiful and unfamiliar music and pleasant smell was spreading from the stage. Fortunately there was no supporting act. 15,000 or 20,000 fans were waiting for show of the ex-zeppelin and the man with a godlike voice.

Hey Joe opened the concert. The performance of this song and the coolness of the Olympiysky Stadium made me feel creepy all over. During the show turning off the light marked the end of songs. People sank into the darkness, waiting for a new miracle. Plant was dressed in a dark grey shirt and white trousers. The next song was Four Sticks.
«Good evening, everybody. Are you feeling all right? Thank you for coming here tonight, – Robert said to the audience and made reference to Dreamland – We are playing the songs from a very beginning of time!». Morning Dew sounded more live and free as compared with the album song. It was completed by the keyboard improvisation. The song received a great ovation.
Ramble On followed the song. Plant’s figure was in the complete darkness and only his hairs was colored by the blue light pouring from the stage. It was amazing. The smoke was spreading behind him. Robert danced and jumped as he did it in LZ’s time. He really got pleasure from music.
When Plant ended the song, he brought a stool. He beat it by hand, saying that it is «10000 years old» then sat on the stool and started to sing. From the first notes people recognized Going to California. What emotions it aroused! Glad screaming and whistle resounded from every quarter. It was so great excitement! During the song the stage was filled with the blue light. When Robert came to the line «Never let them tell you that they’re all the same» his voice raised so high – it was super! The whole concert aroused the feeling of constant contact with the audience. It was the contact on the soul level. Going to California was ended by tantrical singing «áh Ah áh – áh Ah Ah Ah», where the fans were singing the second part. And the stadium became dark again.
When the light appeared Plant thanked the audience for ovation. Suddenly one of the fans cried: «Kashmir». It was so loud that everyone heard it. The cry reached the stage too. But Plant preferred not to pay attention to it. «This song I heard when I was a kid. I want to be different. I like rock’n’roll music. I want to be a thinker, a writer» and he introduced the next song Girl From the North Country. His voice was crystal-clear and was emphasized by the sound of the same mandolin. It was a very lively song, and the whole stage was colored in red light. In the middle of the song Plant added the three links: «I’m in the mood from a melody», that was followed by a long keyboard solo. Then Robert returned to the song. This performance caused delight and glad whistle of the crowd.
The next song was Celebration Day. It sounded something different from LZ’s song. More gentle. During the whole song there were a lot of photoflashes.
Then Plant turned to Dreamland and sang Fixing to Die. He commented that it is «a time of nostalgia» and the song concerns to 1939. The smoke spread along the floor of the stage. It looked like the burning earth.
When the people recognized Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You in the next song they began to scream. The song of despair was surrounded by pink light that was changed by blue and then in the hardest parts of the song it was filled with flashes. The performance of BIGLY was so very close to LZ’s sound that I remembered the great group. There were the Strange Sensation onstage but it looked so naked without zeppelins! Plant was singing in a frenzy: «Baby, oh, baby, my baby» and the song was ended by the savage glad cries of the audience and the storm of applause.
Introducing the next number Robert started to joke: «I like Kaili, – and laughed – No, sorry, Kaili… I like Artur Lee». He said that this was the song of 1967 and began to sang A house Is Not A Motel. It was performed in a very quick-moving speed. Somewhere in the middle the guitarist of the Strange Sensation put in the fragment of a long eastern improvisation that was added by Robert’s singing «Uh-uh-uhuh» from Kashmir. It was so cool! All the time the stage was colored in red and yellow.
After the song Plant introduced the members of the Strange Sensation and continued: «We talked about retro, we talked about heroes, we talked about Kaili… Hey, Elvis. Yes Elvis…» and lively Tall Cool One resounded the stadium. When Robert ended the song he saw satisfied faces and replied «ïh, yeah?» in English and «Da?» in Russian. «We like that we are here. I apologize we couldn’t come before», – he said.
The separate phrases «hey, hey, mama» and «you need cooling» were followed by burst of accords and burst of people’s delight – that was the beginning of Whole Lotta Love. Every time when Robert came to the line «whole lotta love», there were flashes, blinking of blue lights in disorder directions. Then there was a pause filled by long part of rumble music that was changed by improvising part. The drums was sounded in African manner and roll-called with the guitar. The lights started to blink more and more. Even the improvising part was very eastern it was in Jimmy Page’s manner too. In addition the guitarist began to walk onstage like Jimmy did in The Song Remains The Same. «Way down inside» – Plant was singing and the crowd was answering him. Robert jumped and danced almost like in 70s. Then the musicians went from the stage.
The light was turned off. But the powerful screams and whistle resounded the stadium. People furiously clapped their hands and stamped their feet to make the noise louder. And Robert Plant took the stage again.
«Thank you very, very, very much», – he said sincerely, putting his hand on his heart. He performed magic Darkness, Darkness and then went to Misty Mountain Hop. During the two songs the audience continued to clap in tact with music. In Misty Mountain Hop Robert made a roll-call with the crowd. «I really don’t know», – he was singing directing the microphone to the audience and the crowd was answering him «Oh Oh».
When the group and Robert Plant left the stage people began to encore them again. They were screaming so hard that the band did the second encore.
Robert sang Rock’n’Roll completed by plural flashes. At the moment when he had to sang «Lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, year» – this line was sang by the crowd.
It was a tremendous show.

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