Robert Plant and Band of Joy at the Fillmore, with North Mississippi Allstars, 4/27/11

Categories: Last Night

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Eric Gruneisen

ROBERT PLANT & BAND OF JOY
With North Mississippi Allstars
4.27.11 | Fillmore Auditorium

Say what you will about his refusal to reunite Led Zeppelin and his musical journey since that project ended: Robert Plant is and has always been a rock god. He reminded the Fillmore last night just why some people name him the best rock frontman of all time with a mixture of Zeppelin classics, solo endeavors and collaborations with others, all kissed with his current rock-heavy blend of alt-country. But first, Southern rock/blues outfit North Mississippi Allstars warmed up the crowd.

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Eric Gruneisen

Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson's set was heavily blues/jam-influenced, with a sound that recalled the Black Keys. Cody held down drums, with some forays into other instruments throughout the set, while Luther's rack of string instruments held six to eight different types of guitars and banjos that he picked up during the night. At 8 p.m., the venue was close to full, and they raised the energy and kept it high in anticipation of the headliner. For "Drinking Muddy Water," Luther picked up a coffee-can banjo built like a dulcimer banjo, wailing on the instrument but also giving Cody room to stretch and improvise on the drums.

"Shake" got everyone in the building moving while Luther's guitar sang along with him; when he growled, "You better shake it like it's gonna save your ass," the electricity in the room was palpable. The boys switched gears after that; Cody put down his drumsticks and picked up an acoustic guitar, and they played some gorgeous instrumental gospel- and bluegrass-influenced tunes off The Word, Luther picking up his cigar-box banjo and Cody settling a washboard over his chest that provided a skittering beat to the low, looping melody.

The guys busted out the gospel classic "Get Right Church," imitating a train's whistle with the guitar and the chugging mechanical moving-train wheels with the drums, then immediately dropped into what sounded like a psychedelically wobbly (and barely recognizable) version of "Amazing Grace," which finished up their strong set. The brothers were fantastic, and the crowd no doubt would have fought to keep them on the stage had we not known who was coming up next.

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Eric Gruneisen

At a little past 9 p.m., Plant walked on stage with the rest of his Band of Joy: Patty Griffin on harmonizing vocals, Buddy Miller on lead guitar, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott, Byron House on bass and Marco Giovino on drums. Plant acknowledged the crowd's roar with raised hands, then the group launched into a rootsy, alt-country version of "Black Dog," harmonized, slowed down and funked out. The crowd was in a frenzy. Plant's signature voice has worn well over the years; he's still got the soft croon and rock-star wail down pat.

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6 comments
Gym
Gym

Amber: Great review. Thank you very much. It was an amazing, wondrous show, and you described it well. By the way, I totally agree with the previous comment about Ramble On. Just a mind-blowing experience hearing and seeing and feeling that one.

Was that a mandolin in Ramble On that Darrell was playing? Or was it more like an oud or something? Anyone know for sure?

Melissa
Melissa

Amber, I loved your personal bias! I saw Robert Plant for the first time ever in Pittsburgh in January, and I couldn't agree more. This man oozes sex appeal, and his age doesn't matter. I hope I get to see him again in concert and with better seats. :)

Tlbaldwin
Tlbaldwin

I went to church last night at the Fillmore and the Band of Joy led me to the promised land. Plant was PERFECTION and Buddy Miller was, quite simply, incredible! Thank you Band of Joy....a joyous beginning to my 2011 concert season. As Mr. Plant said, "Is there really any way to follow that?"

Jim
Jim

Random Details Revisited:He's either not good at math, or not as OCD as he claimed to be last night, because according to http://www.ledzeppelin.com/ven..., the only 4 appearances by Zeppelin in Denver were:Auditorium Theatre, 12/16/68 or 15,462 days agoDenver Coliseum, 3/25/70 or 15,008 days agoDenver Coliseum, 3/21/72 or 14,281 days agoDenver Coliseum, 5/25/73 or 13,851 days ago

Now that's OCD for you...

BTW, I was pleasantly surprised with how good Plant and the band sounded last night, especially after watching him on Jay Leno a month or so ago, didn't even want to go and see the show after that performance., but glad I did.

On the other hand, you and I were at different shows, when it comes down to rating the North Mississippi Duo, enough said there.

Ava
Ava

Amber I so agree with your "Personal Bias". Robert's sexiness is beyond compare and he's still as gorgeous as he was when with Led Zep. His voice is so sensual and exciting and beautiful and powerful. With Robert, there IS no age -- He's Eternally Perfect.

BTW I was at one of the BOJ shows and will be attending another this summer. The music just keeps evolving and getting better and better and Robert is happier with this group than he's been in a long, long time. And what can I say about Ramble On and how THAT song just keeps getting better and better. I haven't seen/heard the one from the Fillmore yet but the version he did at the Santa Barbara concert surpassed ANY version he EVER did EVEN when he was with Led Zep. Rock on Forever Robert.

Amber Taufen
Amber Taufen

Thanks, Gym -- and I wish I had been close enough to answer your question, because I do not know! Whatever it was ... it was awesome.

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