Jason Bonham delivered a solid tribute to John Bonham and Led Zeppelin
09-May-2016: Some bands hit it big in their era. Some stand the test of time. Then, there’s Led Zeppelin – a band that gains new fans and grows in stature over the years.
Many tribute bands are performing the music of Led Zeppelin; some of them are good, a few are excellent. They can play the music note for note and sound great doing it. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, though, brings a passion that none of the others can match.
Jason is dedicated to preserving the legacy of his father and the music he helped create. He has big shoes to fill, but Jason looks upon it as a responsibility that he doesn’t take lightly. He has assembled a band that feels the same way, and it shows in their passion.
There was no opening act, meaning more time for Zeppelin classics. The crowd rushed to their seats as the lights went out and the band immediately began playing “Wearing And Tearing.” It was a terrific choice for an opening song for the eclectic all-ages audience.
Vocalist James Dylan hit every note perfectly, and Jason delivered a spotlight drum solo. They combined for the same dual threat in “Night Flight.”
The entire band showed the unity that comes from playing together for years during “The Wanton Song.” Their cohesiveness shows even better for “Whole Lotta Love.” Guitarist Tony Catani seemed to channel Jimmy Page with solos and bassist Dorian Heartsong kept up with him with an aggressive bass.
The pure rock n’ roll continued without any distracting theatrics on “What Is And What Should Never Be.” Jason finished his solo as the video playing overhead showed John as a child in England. He told a story about John’s mother who outlived both her sons and could outdrink them all.
Bonham’s band showed a genuine passion for Led Zeppelin and brought the audience in emotionally starting with the blues intro to “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” The emotional bond that developed between band and audience continued with a sit-down acoustic version of “Going To California” by Dylan.
Everyone sang along to “Hey Hey What Can I Do” as James hit the high notes with ease. Another video of John Bonham played overhead as Jason said that he is now 50 years old, but his father was 22 when “Moby Dick” came out. His played an extended drum solo, one of the highlights of the first set.
After a short break, the Led Zeppelin Experience came back out under the cover of darkness. The wonderful acoustics at the House of Blues turned “Kashmir” into a rock and roll symphony.
Tony broke out a double neck guitar for a stunning solo on “The Rain Song.” He captured the spirit of “Houses Of The Holy.” James matched his intensity while Jason beat the drum heads with a heartfelt vigor.
A deep cut for real fans, “Hots On For Nowhere” and then “Fool In The Rain,” captivated the audience of all ages. “Trampled Under Foot” exploded with rising decibel level and vitality. Its intricate pattern of notes showed what musical geniuses the original members were.
The night kept getting better as Dylan put his heart into the harmonica on “When The Levee Breaks,” then put his soul into the words he sang.
Naturally, the final song of the night was “Stairway To Heaven.” Every detail about this song turned out perfectly. James hit every note and made you think it was the Golden God himself singing. Tony brought out his double neck guitar again and mesmerized everyone in the crowd. Darian was aggressive and complemented the song with precision. Jason, though, is the backbone and knows he has to lead the show.
For an encore, they played “Rock And Roll,” which turned into an extended jam that sent everyone home happy. The crowd sang the refrain, played imaginary drums, and left spent from the energy and emotion of the night.
Not a person left early, and many were still yelling for more after the encore. With a large catalog and so many hit songs, they could have played all night, and everyone would have stayed.
Passion, sincerity and energy always turn a good concert into a great one.When the music is legendary to begin with, it becomes a memorable night for everyone.
Catch them on their current tour through the end of June.
Joe Guzman of National Rock Review was on hand to record the event.