FLASHBACK: Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, OK – 3/13/16

Written By: Sheila Esmaili-Doki

Something I never expected was to see any member of Led Zeppelin live, much less from a few feet away. It was incredible to see dynamic, legendary Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant & his band, the Sensational Space Shifters, a little over a year ago in Tulsa. It goes unsaid that an intimate venue with only a few hundred people is quite a contrast to the massive stadiums of thousands Zeppelin played decades ago, but to be fair, perhaps the two universes should not be compared. Rumors in recent years about Plant ripping up an $800 million check for a Zeppelin reunion were deemed ‘rubbish’ by his publicist; however, Plant has indicated a number of times that he has zero interest in constantly rehashing the past by reuniting with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham (late Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s son) to do a string of Zeppelin reunion gigs for the sake of nostalgia.

So while nobody should go into a solo Plant show expecting a time machine to Led Zeppelin glory, Plant’s voice remains in perfectly fine form, as indicated by his captivating performances of “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll”, and a handful of other classics. And while some of his initial solo ventures in the 80s were cringeworthy, Plant’s modern solo material is nothing to dismiss; a large portion of the setlist this memorable night came from the diverse, intensely emotional 2014 release Lullaby and…the ceaseless roar, an album that becomes more unique and enchanting with each listen. The catchy yet sorrowful “Rainbow” from that album was a top highlight.   Plant’s band put a unique twist on several old Zeppelin tunes, kicking off the show with a psychedelic spin on Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song” to quickly enthrall the crowd. Plant appeared to genuinely love every moment of being on stage and interacted joyfully with the crowd and his bandmates. On to the next Plant musical adventure!

 

Did you ever see Led Zeppelin Live? What do you remember most?

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