I had my reservations walking into The Greek Theatre Tuesday night to see Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant. Such an amazing voice couldn’t possibly sustain itself after almost 40 years of wear, right? I had watched a video of Plant playing with Jimmy Page in 2001 and remember thinking, “Hmm…it’s just not the same.” Who knows why that particular video clip didn’t turn me on, though, because Plant’s performance at The Greek cemented his legendary status by confirming that he can still deliver a phenomenal live show.

The second Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters took to the stage to open with “The Wanton Song,” his voice screamed and howled just like my childhood self remembered. I was enthralled from that moment on, and so was everyone around me. I can honestly say that it felt like a true rock god had just walked onto the stage. After seeing countless shows at The Greek, I thought I’d felt all the good feelings one can get from a killer live show, but I’ve never felt what I did that night.

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The evening was particularly great because the band actually jammed. They didn’t just go through the motions to finish a song or a set. Each hand-picked Zeppelin tune was extended and re-imagined. Sometimes they’d be halfway through a song before I’d realize, “Ohhh, it’s THAT song!” I loved it. They embellished to the point that they made the band seem like something new and not simply a throwback — not even a little bit.

They kept it fresh and funky. A lot of the song choices by Plant were classic blues tunes, including “Spoonful” and “Mona.” Even when the band played hits like “The Lemon Song” and “Whole Lotta Love,” they added so many new changes and parts, I didn’t know where the song was or where it was going. But I loved it. They made almost every classic into a medley.

Robert Plant was having fun up on that stage. I could tell he was very comfortable and natural acting as the rockstar that he is. The band felt like a band, not like a collection of hired musicians. Every performer was a complete showman, exhibiting serious swagger and amazing stage presence.

Plant said of the Sensational Space Shifters, “We bring in all the aspects of being European, leaning on Africa and the Delta. It’s pretty virile stuff, and it has come from our countless hours of trudging the endless highways. If we’d just met in a room somewhere, we’d have never gone anywhere near this.”

Through and through, the group felt in-sync and collaborative, and I really did get the impression that they compromised and fused their musical souls. What an honor it must be to work with Robert Plant, who is all about the music and not the stardom. Then again, I don’t think he’s ever had to worry about reaching stardom, so of course he focuses on the music. Either way, WOW.

The band played a few new songs off Plant’s latest LP, Lullaby and The Ceaseless Roar, which was released in September. Unlike many older rock acts, his new songs were good. Really good! They were good enough that I might buy the new album. I’ll at least stream it.

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Overall, it was wonderful to be part of the excitement at The Greek Tuesday night. The audience participation was in full-force — not just during the hit songs, but throughout the jams as well! The entire venue was pumped. Anything Plant sang was received with 100 percent enthusiasm and thankfulness. The voice that we all grew up with came to life, and so did we!

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters will be touring throughout the summer, and, hopefully, the rest of my life. I’m gonna close my laptop now. It’s time to play some inspired blues.

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