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Stadium Olimpiysky, Kiev, Ukraine

14 August 2003 2,584 views No Comment

If I ever get Lucky/Four sticks/Morning dew/7+7 is/Going to California/Girl from the north country/Gallows pole/Hey Joe/Ramble On/Tall cool one/Baby I’m gonna leave you
Encore: Whole Lotta Love/Rock And Roll

This report compiled from sources by Yeremina Yelena with Oleksandr Ustenko and Igor Kouvyrkov (press-conference in Kiev)

It was Plant’s first-ever visit to Ukraine and it retained indelible reminiscences: Robert was shocked seeing so many LZ fans and Ukrainian LZ fans were shocked and amazed when the ex-zeppelin performed in Kiev… Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation arrived in the capital the day before the show. Wednesday was filled with making preparations for the concert, contacts to journalists and seeing the sights: Lavra, Mihailovskoye, Kretschatik.

During the press-conference at the Primier Palace which started in the evening he said that his religion is «Happiness» and explained why he titled his new album 66 To Timbuktu. The questions were general – football, Plant’s knowledge of local music and impressions. When there was a question about LZ reunion he answered that LZ isn’t more than a legend now. Robert doesn’t want any reunion. There are new projects: psychadelic and African music. He prefers to think that rock’n’roll is dead. Robert very seldom listens to any music except his own. He listens to it every evening at the concerts. Plant didn’t want to speak about his personal life but asked about Sting’s life and women in Kiev. He told the story about fortune-tellers. Being a sceptic he often went to them in San Francisco. Why not? But after the fortune telling those women tried to lure him in their beds. And their dreams came true. Why not? His birthday he was going to celebrate on Ibitza island. Almost at midnight people could see Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation at Andreevsky Slope (one of the most mystic street in Kiev). They had dinner at Za dvoma zaitzami. After the dinner (at 24:00) they autographed and the dark blue jeep drove them to their hotel. On Kretschatik Plant went out and for 2 hours was rambling. At 11:00 on Thursday the group was at the Olympiysky Stadium and prepared for the concert.

The great gig started at 19:00. Plant shared the stage with two supporting acts: Karamazov brothers and threesome cowboys Mr. Och & His Root Boys (local groups). Karamazov brothers weren’t a bad group but nobody wanted to listen to them at Plant’s concert. They obtained a very cool reception. In addition they played 45 minutes. The audience’s patience was exhausted when the cowboys took the stage and began to sing various rock-n-roll covers. Nobody knew that they would perform. Robert called the group for a supporting act when saw them at the concert at Club 44 that was on a day or two ago. Cores of apples, rubbish, a lot of swear-words and the hiss of the crowd came down the cowboys. But they endured torture heroically. During the next 20-25 minutes the technicians worked on the stage. They connected up and checked the instruments. In anticipation of coming miracle the audience started to scan impatiently: «Robert Plant». By that time it was getting dark. The air became fresh and clean. The stars studded the sky and the large moon was turned on over the stadium. Suddenly a strange man appeared with a poster. It was a hand-made varnished portrait of Robert. At the reverse of it you could read: «Dear Robert, I dreamed about this event all my life. Please sign it!». The old man looked like a priest with an icon and the crowd parted to let him pass to the stage.

At 21:00 beautiful Indian music poured around and that marked the beginning of the main gig. The 20.000-crowd at Stadium Olympiysky went into ecstasies when the Strange Sensation and Robert Plant appeared onstage. Every song was met with a great ovation. People joined in Robert’s singing. During the concert Plant took the cup of tea and announced to the audience: «This is tea, not vodka» and drank it like the Russians usually drink a doze of vodka. Before Robert started to sing Ramble On he explained that this song was dedicated to Frodo Baggins, a character in the Lord of the Rings. The sound was tremendous during the whole performance. After the concert Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation went to the party at the restaurant Tzarskoye Selo.

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