Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Plant & Krauss

You can take Robert Plant out of Led Zeppelin, but you can't take the Led Zeppelin out of Robert Plant. Tonight at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, a restrained Plant showed us why a Led Zeppelin without him would be a bad idea indeed. Even in the understated environment of the Raising Sand tour, he posed and postured, waved the mic stand and once even managed to sling the mic. At times he looked like he was going to break out of his skin, about to kick, gesture grandly, wail like a banshee or dance, but all that was mostly held back, much to the dismay of STL's classic rock mecca inhabitants. No matter, as the music was the thing.

Plant and Krauss have an odd chemistry. Their voices melt together finely, sometimes changing character so much as to lose distinction. Much of Raising Sand constructed the set, showcasing this vocal phenomenon. Their version of "Killing The Blues" is possibly the best cover of it ever, and tonight it was note-perfect. The one- two punch of "Please Read The Letter" and "Gone Gone Gone" hit the audience with both band and vocal excellence that left everyone smiling. Some of the best moments, though, were when they helped each other shine. Alison Krauss was stunning on "Down To The River To Pray", aided in lush harmony by Plant, Stuart Duncan and Buddy Miller. And girl still plays a mean fiddle. A reworked "Black Dog" was spooky, "Battle of Evermore" seemed to be the night's fan favorite. They could have played all night, as far as this fan is concerned. When you have royalty creating magic, everything is never enough.

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