Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Robert Plant

Uptown Theater, Kansas, MO

5 September 2002 2,158 views No Comment

Setlist: Win My Train Fare Home, Four Sticks, Down to the Sea, Morning Dew, Funny In My Mind, Going to California,
Hey Hey What Can I Do, In The Mood, 7 & 7 Isl, Calling To You, Tall Cool One, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You (last song of main set),
Encores:Song to the Siren, Whole Lotta Love.

The Kansas City concert was absolutely great…Robert Plant was in excellent form, sounded great and seemed really relaxed and happy. I saw him in Milwaukee also and was surprised (pleasantly) that he had changed some of his set…he added “I’m in the
Mood” and “Hey Hey What Can I Do,” among other songs. No “Darkness, Darkness,” which surprised me. The encores were “Song to the Siren” and “Whole Lotta Love.”
For the fashion watchers, he had on some faded blue jeans and the bright purpley-pink shirt he wore at the Cadillac appearance in Detroit. The audience was excellent–really into all his solo stuff as well as the Zeppelin tunes. It was well worth the trip to
Missouri…I would say it’s very possibly the best concert I’ve ever attended. Truly excellent.
Elizabeth Judd

This missive from Kate Montgomery
The show at the Uptown Theater was fairly packed. I’d paid the extra couple bucks to sit in the balcony, and from what I could see, only the very last few rows were unfilled. It was dark in there!, and the smoke was getting kind of thick as the night wore on. The venue was intimate, though; good for the type of music that Plant was playing.

The ticket stub said 8:00PM, but right at 8:00, an unannounced, over-synthesized band started to play — just like an opening act. I asked around all night to see who they were, and nobody knew. The drummer was cute, and they told the audience that they lived in the bus out back — this was their first time in the building. Hmm…

And Plant made a sneaky entrance, too. Strange Sensation started to play and were visible on the stage, and then he sort of weaseled in, walking low from the very center. All the drunk people in the audience screamed their lungs out.

He flew into a great song; I want to say “Fixin’ To Die,” but I may be remembering wrong. It was really good! All his songs were absolute perfection! Considering that I’m a poor college student, I was slightly saddened to part with $50 to go this concert, but it was worth every dime. Plant’s performance put to shame every single other artist I’ve ever seen live! On MTV, they always try to take the best shots and choreograph everything and use the best equipment, but when you see most of those bands, they really suck onstage. They hit the wrong notes, they come in late, they get drunk and walk off the stage, etc. I can’t recall any point during this show where Robert’s voice gave out, or where he didn’t come in for a verse. I was very impressed.

At one point during the performance, someone walked a stool out to Robert, and he held it up for a moment, looking at the audience. “A stool,” he said, with that notable, long English sound on the double-“o”. Kansas City was so drunk that it went mad when he said that! And I still don’t know why, but I thought it was pretty funny. Kansas Citians rarely hear that accent, so maybe that had something to do with it.

The hillbillies in the audience — these hairy, fat, thirty-year-olds — were stripping off their shirts and saluting Plant with their uplifted plastic cups. The women had dead, bleached perms in their hair, tacky American manicures, K-Mart clothes, and iron-curled bangs. Some of them were just gross! And just when I thought they couldn’t freak out any louder, they nearly blew the roof off after Plant enunciated the words “Kansas City.” (These drunks were turning to each other, going, “That’s where I live, man!”)

Robert blessed us all with a rendition of “Going to California.” Beautiful! And the whole venue turned into one huge sing-a-long, with all the Midwesterners standing up and singing out the words. Plant would (purposefully) end a line with an unexpected drop or heightening in pitch, but the audience would go on crooning just like the album version. I think he got a kick out of it.

Everyone went ballistic over “Four Sticks,” too, but not as much as “Going to California.” “Four Sticks” was just gorgeous. I can’t tell you how pleased I was with the quality of music I heard that night.

What was kind of interesting to note was that the microphone was giving him a lot of feedback. This peasant-looking stage-hand came running out and gave him a new mic in the middle of it. (And Robert could just kick that microphone stand up and twirl it like a pro! Wow! And he’d sling the microphone around, and once when he wasn’t singing, he kinda had it wrapped all over his shoulders and hanging against his back. But it might have been because it didn’t work.)

And there was one lanky tall guitar player that sort of stood in the middle behind Plant. (I think this was Charlie, maybe?) Plant turned to him during one of the songs and said something to him, and the guitarist immediately left the stage and came back with a different guitar. I noticed that Robert would turn around and motion to the band members, telling them that he wanted them to slow down, quiet down, keep playing, etc. He orchestrated everything flawlessly. Again, I’m just amazed.

Then, he did a great version of “Tall Cool One,” which popped my sister out of her chair rather quickly. (Generation X suddenly felt the love.) He said it was dedicated to “the King” and asked us if we knew who the king was. (I swear, the Kansans had no idea what he was saying, but they were screaming their asses off.) I thought, Oh, boy! Elvis-cover! But it was “Tall Cool One.” Go figure. Just as good, though!

And I don’t want to gloss over the Dreamland songs, either. It kind of saddened me that people disappeared to the bathrooms when he sang those. My absolute favorite song of the night was “Song to the Siren,” one of the encore songs. They had a cello-sound for it, and it just blew me away. He had said before singing it, as seriously as he could in front of 2000 drunk people, that we all had to be quiet for this one. He noted that it was an American song, and one of the most beautiful songs he’d ever heard. He told us, “You have to be quiet for this one, and then you can go apeshit all you want after it,” or something to that effect. Right after warning the audience that he wanted silence — right when the band started into the first notes of the song! — a drunk guy in the balcony fell down the cement stairs. You could hear his bones hitting the cement, and there was a very audible “Ooooh!” that came from one entire quadrant of the crowd. He picked himself up, though, and waved to everyone. I guess he was alright, but I’m sure Robert probably heard it…

I digress! “Song to the Siren!” With the deep sound from that cello, it just made me feel like I was in a boat. I melted right into the chair in front of me. What a great performance! And everyone was fairly quiet, too, with the exception of this big blond lady behind me going, “Robert! Ahhh!!! Robert!!” But before this song, I think this was where he somberly mentioned greed in the international community. “Black gold” as he put it, and I’m totally shocked that the audience didn’t start singing the theme song to “The Beverly Hillbillies.” They didn’t respond at all to it, so he sort of wrapped up that introduction rather quickly. But he mentioned the Norman Invasion, too! Wow! My heart nearly exploded out of my chest. Robert gave an indirect shout-out to Mr. the Conqueror himself. I’m under the assumption that most rock stars don’t know what Normans are.

The second and last encore song was “Whole Lotta Love,” and those who weren’t skunk-drunk flew into an appreciative frenzy. Plant, sneaky once again, creeped into it with a relatively gentle acoustic guitar strumming behind him. (Perhaps a ploy to downplay Jimmy’s absence.) And then he started singing it, but the audience sort of took over for him. You know that part right before he screams out “LOVE!!!!” and then the drums and guitar fly in again? The part where he sings “You need, yeah”? He made us sing that part three times! I’ve never heard so many people sing so clearly. It was weird! I was cracking up.

But, anyway, this was the best show I’ve ever seen. I’ll catch Plant the next time he comes around, too! Definitely a good show
This from Carter Van Pelt
In many ways, the evening was highlighted by the “lemon comment.” After “Down to the Sea,” someone tossed a lemon onstage that Plant
had to dodge mid-flight — very funny in and of itself. Plant thought so too. He picked it up, held it, looked at it for a while, smiled and said,
“this next song has nothing to do with lemons . . . but if you play it backwards it would say, ‘squeeze lemons.'” This is one of the best
Plantations I’ve ever heard — wonderfully spontaneous and self-effacing. There were also plenty instances of “good evening,” “talk to me,” and “can you feel it?” He also was full of new moves, including a particularly funny “bowling stroke” move that now ranks among his
best.

The musical mystery of the evening for me was “House Is Not a Motel,” which I couldn’t figure out until I subsequently purchased the “Morning Dew” cd single. Also, there was a Zeppelin interlude in “In The Mood” that was either “I’m Gonna Crawl” or something in that vein, but it was instrumental — no lyrics to clue me in.

“Calling To You” was introduced with a comment to the effect that the U.S. warmongering in the Middle East is about oil, i.e. “greed, black
gold and greed.” (I’m glad Plant is politically to the left unlike other rock morons of his generation). After “Calling To You,” he asserted that
“there is no other way to do it than this (play a small theater) . . . this is fantastic here.” In fact, the Uptown was not unlike a scene from an
Indiana Jones movie, and it fit well with Plant’s music and the preshow mix of North African/neo-Arabic music.

Plant dedicated “Tall Cool One” to “the king of the rockers . . . who could that be?” Without mentioning Elvis specifically, he ambiguously implied that he (Plant) might be the king of the rockers . . . hmmm.

He introduced “Song To The Siren” by imploring the audience to “listen” carefully to “the most beautiful song written in 100 years . . . after that we’ll play something and you can go apeshit.” The apeshit number was “Whole Lotta Love.”

I was in the balcony where the sound was mediocre so I was not able to discern the quality of soloes or other aesthetic details. Plant didn’t
introduce the band (unfortunately) and didn’t play long enough (just under 90 minutes). For a $55 ticket (over $60 after TicketSlaveMaster
had their way with me), I wanted at least a 2-hour show.

On the way out, a woman commented to her boyfriend that she was bummed he didn’t play “Stairway to Heaven.” I almost had to kill her
right there, but I’m into non-violence, so I let it go.

In the end, I came away feeling that Plant is aging with a lot of dignity (as it is evident on Dreamland). I don’t regret being a Robert Plant fan in the slightest — thank god the horrible 80s are long gone though.

 
This review by Jo Wilt
I think I really should give an accurate view of the Sept 5th show in Kansas City Missouri at the Uptown. Yeah we got there EARLY and were at the front of the line when the doors opened and were still behind all the people from the bar when we got in the theatre. Plantt was great he did an amazing set which included a great version of ” Down to the Sea” from Fate of Nations.He worked with the crowd and induced screams and smiled brightly when the screams came. He had the crowd in a trance it was great. We screamed when he commanded it we were quiet when he asked, the real fans were anyway…
When he did Tall Cool One, yes we all Knew he meant Elvis but how could you be sure when Robert was busy pointing at and making his ‘lemon’ known “king of cock rock” yes but KING OF ROCK AN ROLL that is Elvis, so of course you get a little confused…. Tall Cool One was great he made sure to flirt and tease every woman in his eye line so how could we not be screaming frenzies??? The whole show was amazing, a great mix of Led, solo and Dreamland stuff and Plant had lotsa great words to say about the songs and the Blues and Oh he introduced “Hey Hey what can I do” as a Bluegrass song. Quite an amazing show. From Funny in the Mind right on to Whole Lotta Love, it was an unreal amazing thing and I am so thrilled I was down.
A jolly night. Driving from Columbia, we met up and got very near the front of the line. We were there early enough to beat most of the crowd and to be chatted up by one of the local radio stations who thought we looked like we grokked the music and decided to interview us (I got to quote William Miller: ‘I’m not a, y’know, groupie.’) Unfortunately, some concert-goers sneaked in through the bar; by the time our crew got into the concert, there was a mash of people in the very front on their way to drunkenness and suffering from some severe concert lack of etiquette. However, I will say that one nice blond chap (‘What’s in your Altoid tin?’) kept a lookout on Jo, and a man who looked a LOT like David Crosby was nice enough to let us squeeze up front so we could see and kept apologising for his drunken state. So the entire crowd was NOT unpleasant, but quite the opposite.
So the local band Moe came on, sounding like King Crimson/Pink Floyd/Van Halen/something else. Many of the people in the front were excited by them, supportive for the local boys. My crew was split on them, but they weren’t too bad, had some potential, and they were jollylooking chaps, overall, especially when they include a muppet onstage on the drums.
So, then the Strange Sensations emerged. Screaming fans, some drunk, some sober, some nostalgic for the good old days, some wanting their own shot at good old days, some trying to relive youth, some just caring about being there, in the moment, in the music. Plant came out looking tamer than other decades as far as clothing is concerned, but still keen. The band are a bunch of darlins, frankly, all very talented and melding well together. Charley looked keen and elvin too. He had a really natty see-through bass.
The music, that I remember, didn’t falter, and Plant sang wonderfully. He belted out some notes on a few songs that were stunning. He bungled a little lyrically on his encore of ‘Song to the Siren,’ but that was all. He actually managed to sling the mic around without mishap, although he did knock over the stand at one point. When he introduced ‘Calling to You,’ unlike in Chicago when he dedicated it to AUSTIN POWERS, he went on a bit about greed, greed greed, black gold, and such. Musically, he was grand.
That said, he himself seemed a bit off, perhaps out of sorts. He didn’t misstep once, nor did he banter and chat as much as in Chicago. There were few ‘Plantations.’ Someone at one point threw a lemon onstage, and he did go on about it before bursting into ‘In the Mood,’ which sounded jolly. My friends and I threw a whole blasted PACKAGE onstage and never did know if he took it or not. But he wasn’t as random or jollily babbling or playing Professor Plant as much as he has been wont.
However his thoughts on the concert, though, he did treat his crowd kindly. He flirted where deemed appropriate and was jolly and giving in his singing, so it was still worth all the fuss and shoving up front. In the end, I would not have traded the experience. There were brights spots with the crowd, and there were rude moments, but everyone was just looking to have fun. The music was overall satisfying. The band was grand. Rob sounded incredible. Yet, somehow, there was a feeling of disclosure at the end. But it’s livable disclosure, because it was such an experience.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.