Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review Week - Day 4: Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Live in Curitiba, Brazil

I had heard that Robert Plant had, in his own words, "found his big voice" during his fall shows with the Sensational Space Shifters (SSS). Not knowing for sure what that even meant, it was time to listen to what the Golden God was up to. All the shows from the South American tour the SSS are available for legal download at Livedownloads.com. I chose one randomly and wound up with Curitiba, Brazil on October 27th.sss_rp1


Plant sounds in very good voice on this night and his interaction with a lively audience is fun to listen to. Clearly the audience was in to it, and the Sensational Space Shifters gave them an uptempo set sprinkled with songs mostly from Plant's solo and Led Zeppelin career.

Unlike other tours, Plant stays fairly true to the originals, making arrangement changes for the instruments in use but not to the basic song itself. Rock and Roll, for instance, which was given a reworking into a rockabilly yawn-a-long, is back to being a solid rocker. Whole Lotta Love is recognizable as such while Black Dog is weirded out musically. The vocal line in the latter, however, is not much changed from the recent Celebration Day release.

Highlights include All The Kings Horses (during the intro of which someone yells, "beautiful man, beautiful"), Going to California and the aforementioned Rock and Roll. But outside of the opening song, Tin Pan Valley, there's nothing in this set that's not excellent. It has been a long time (been a long time, been a long time) since I've enjoyed listening to new Robert Plant music as much as I did this show.

That leaves us with one question: has Plant found his big voice? The answer is unquestionably yes and, having combined it with the half octave harmony vocalist he has learnt to be the last five years, he is effective and dynamic singer fronting a solid and entertaining band. One hopes Patty Griffin has more solo tours lined up in the next couple of years.

Setlist

  • Tin Pan Valley

  • Another Tribe

  • Friends

  • Spoonful

  • Somebody Knocking

  • Black Dog

  • All The Kings Horses

  • Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

  • Enchanter

  • Four Sticks

  • Ramble On

  • Freedom Fries

  • Whole Lotta Love

  • -- Encore --
  • Going to California

  • Rock and Roll



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