June 20, 2013
The Palladium Ballroom
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Marco Javier
Photos by Timm Bland
Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters
Sensational Space Shifters Kick Off 2013 Tour
One of the most anticipated shows of the summer has arrived as the voice of Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant, and his Sensational Space Shifters kicked off their 2013 US tour at the Palladium Ballroom in Dallas. Needless to say, it was quite a night of vintage classic rock and roll with a twist of hippie melodic jazz.
The smell of incense permeated through the packed ballroom that was filled with young and old rock and roll fans, who at one point in their lives have seen or heard of Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin.
The lights went down and the stage lit up as the band walked on and took their places, and within the roar of the crowd you could hear the beginning guitar riffs of "Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You". Through the dark hazy lights appears Robert Plant and his signature curly hair. Dressed in black, the tall cool one was received with high cheers from the Dallas fans. His second song selection was "In the Mood" from his 1983 album The Principle of Moments, followed by the jazzy "Tin Pan Valley". Next was a cover of the classic song "Spoonful" by Howlin’ Wolf, and slowly but surely the evening began to progress into what could become a grand concert event.
The night hit its second high when "Black Dog" was played. A slightly different rendition of this famous Zep classic had the crowd singing along, and excited for the next surprise. "What will he do next?" was being asked from fan to fan. Continuing on with the crowds needs, they smoothed right into "Going to California" which I must say was one of the best received songs so far. This was turning into one fantastic show!
The next few songs, "Please Read The Letter" and "The Enchanter" were a bit off the wall for some fans, still moving in their own way that sprung into another Zeppelin acoustic number, "Friends", from Led Zeppelin III. "Angel Dance", from the album Band of Joy, was another not so familiar song, but the tempo and groove so far was well taken as the band began to play another acoustic Zeppelin track, "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", which was a crowd pleaser indeed.
I have to say, I did not expect to enjoy the show as much as I had up to this point, and as the end of the show grew near, I was hoping for a few more big surprises. The classic "Rock and Roll" was hands down my favorite song of the night. A much different version than I was quite familiar with but after hearing that song for so many years, it was refreshing to hear a different take.
Running down the show, Robert Plant and the Shifters performed a traditional number "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down", another ditty from Band Of Joy, and finished off with one of Zep’s biggest early crowd-pleasers "Whole Lotta Love" which sounded so different, for a second or two I really had to think hard which song they were playing!
Robert Plant has shared many enjoyable moments as an artist. From his early days as the screaming iconic rock vocalist, to the laid back melodic hippie, shifting and shaking his musical taste to please himself and his own style of music. If I was asked what was missing from the show, I would have to say Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham. But sit tight as I feel this could be a prelude to what is yet to come!