JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

August 2, 2013
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Roy Turner
Photos by Crystal Prather

ZOSO

The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

The Song Remains the Same...and that's a good thing

In the last few years the phenomenon of the tribute band has gone from novelty to big business as more and more of these bands are playing to bigger audiences across the country. ZOSO: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience has proven worthy of this trend from their recent performance at the Dallas, Texas House of Blues. What was once looked at as fun has now become a full-time job and career for many musician and for some, the only way to make at living in the music biz.

Tribute bands seem to be made up of mostly dudes and dudes that like to rock, so most tributes are of the Hard Rock or Classic Rock genre.

Arguably, the best of the tribute bands that probably has the most acts dedicating to recreating their history is Led Zeppelin, so that makes the competition even tougher and drains any originality of even the idea of tribute. Zeppelin is also a band that most musicians have been dissecting for 40 years, so you really have to have your chops up in a sea of imitators - its cliché now that Stairway to Heaven is probably the first song that most guitarists learn first.

There's a ton out there but soon the cream rises to the top and one will be recognized as the most legit or even in some cases "official". The Led Zeppelin game is even tougher in this capacity as the son of John Bonham, Jason Bonham, tours often with his own in a sense "tribute" act, The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience. But still some persevere and in this case, the best of the ones I have seen from research and live is the band ZOSO from Los Angeles, CA.

This was my first time actually seeing the band live. They make the same effort to physically resemble the members of Led Zeppelin, as they have its proto-heavy metal sound down cold. The pinched shriek and lewd moans of Matt Jernigan were dead ringers for Robert Plant's original vocal work. Fans who closed their eyes could momentarily trick themselves into believing that they'd been transported back to a mid-'70s Led Zeppelin concert. If there's a criticism to be leveled at the band, it's that they sometimes sounded a bit too precise. Only during the raucous blues of The Lemon Song did the band sound slightly unhinged.

Even the theremin solo on their encore song, Whole Lotta Love was a nearly exact replica of the familiar live version from The Song Remains The Same. Recreating each inflection was precisely the point.

Rare Fact: - Singer Matt Jernigan was the ORGINAL singer for Dallas legends Pantera - That's right, most people would answer Terry Glaze in a trivia contest because Jernigan never recorded with them, but he is from Arlington and the first time Vinnie and Darrell ever performed as Pantera, Jernigan was the singer.