Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters – Brooklyn Bowl Vegas – May 28, 2015

Today's post is a guest post from guest blogger Tricia Llanes, who recently got out to the Brooklyn Bowl to check out Robert Plant.

I wonder if it gets tiresome being indelibly stamped with the label “rock god.” In the hierarchy of troubles, this is admittedly a first world problem, but still. I imagine it must be a crushing weight to feel a constant pressure (from your adoring fans, no less) to be who you were at age 20—especially when you’re pushing 70.

Robert Plant at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas May 28
These were the thoughts that kept me occupied as I stood waiting for Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters to take the stage on May 28. Staking my claim a scant three rows from stage front, I planted myself like a mini Gandalf wielding an unambiguous “you shall not pass!” attitude. It was my first time at the relatively-new Brooklyn Bowl Vegas, and though the teeny general admission floor seemed to afford good views from practically any spot, I and my fellow die-hards were determined to hang onto our primo stage front real estate.

I’ll say this about RP: he doesn’t tiptoe around the Zeppelin in the room. As he and his joyful band of musical brothers took the stage, they launched straight into “The Wanton Song,” settling any speculation over whether he’d delve into his old band’s repertoire.

Delve he did. Just over half the tunes on the night’s setlist were Zeppelin classics, most rearranged to some degree to reflect either their Delta blues origins or the world beats that Plant and his comrades clearly relish. But to my delight, the other half was packed with tunes from the group’s 2014 disc, “lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar.” (It’s a gorgeous collection of songs, heartbreakingly raw and intimate, rhythmically playful and inventive. If you don’t own it, download it immediately.)

For a band that’s been touring for the better part of two years, what struck me was their unabashed gusto. My only disappointment was the number of yahoos who squandered their time in the presence of real-deal musical brilliance (sorry, am I gushing?) by trying to capture it on their meagre mobile phones--drawing the ire of RP himself, who (bless him!) repeatedly called for them to “put down your phones, let’s go!” Alas, to no avail.

If the post-show chatter is any indication, no one left the Brooklyn Bowl feeling let down that night. Except for maybe this one fellow I overheard, who just can’t let go of his classic rock nostalgia. Pontificating to his girlfriend, he conceded it was a great show, and that Robert Plant is a bona fide rock star. “But,” he said, lamenting the fact that Plant couldn’t bring himself to name his former band onstage, “he really needs to get over himself.”

For the rest of us, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters brought it with an intensity and generosity that we wouldn’t trade for any packed-stadium nostalgia show. Not on your life.  


Tricia Llanes is a PR Consultant, Writer, Locavore, and (obviously) a Robert Plant fan.

This post originally appeared on Tricia's personal blog.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bowl on Facebook.