Written By Braddon S. Williams
Robert Plant: Now And Zen
I saw Robert Plant live for the first time while he was touring for his 1988 Now And Zen album. Consequently, I bought the album and still feel it is one of his strongest solo outings.
The mix is definitely a product of the digital ’80’s, but the songs hold up well, and Plant’s vocals were uniformly superb. In addition to Plant’s killer band, Jimmy Page himself contributed to a pair of songs (bringing the Zeppelin spirit to the proceedings…never a bad thing!).
My personal favorites were The Way I Feel, Heaven Knows, Ship Of Fools, Tall Cool One, Billy’s Revenge, and White, Clean, and Neat.
I remember a few of these from the live show and they sounded incredible in the arena. Robert Plant is one of my Mount Rushmore of rock singers, and I have been continually impressed at the way he has used his vocal chords to adapt to all the myriad musical styles he has explored in his Hall Of Fame career.
On this date in history, 6/3/1988, one night after seeing an awesome Joe Satriani show, I traveled back to Indianapolis to my familiar concert home away from home, MSA.
This was a special one for me, as I was going to see one quarter of the mighty Led Zeppelin, the golden god himself…the one and only Robert Plant.
Robert had forged a successful solo career in the wake of Zeppelin’s demise following the death of John Bonham in 1980.
Now And Zen was his fourth and current album at that time and it contained several of the highlight tunes of the concert, like “Heaven Knows”, “Tall Cool One”, and “Ship Of Fools.”
Plant was in great voice and truly charming in his various song introductions.
Several times during the show, the band would tease us with a bit of a Zeppelin riff, but they stuck to the solo material exclusively, probably disappointing more than a few fans, but I personally thought it was a wise move. Not to mention the fact that Plant’s solo material was consistently top notch.
The Mission U.K. opened the show with a good set of English goth rock that was a nice fit with Plant’s style.
Sadly, I never saw Zeppelin, but seeing their singer on a great night was a pretty sweet consolation prize.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic