Monday, July 23, 2012



I'm pleased to launch
my new "Guest Blogger"
series. My debut guest
is New York native and 
rock and roll aficionado,
Michelle Wilson, who
recently "got the Led out."

Led Zeppelin IV 
(Guest Post)

Sitting in the fifth row aisle seat at Melbourne, Florida’s premier concert venue, the Maxwell C. King Centerfor the Performing Arts on Friday, June 22, awaiting the sold-out performance of Led Zeppelin IV, also known as ZoSo, I reflected upon the many live concerts I’ve experienced during my lifetime. While I was too young to attend a Led Zeppelin concert, I grew up, like many, basking in the poetic lyrics and iconic guitar riffs of the Robert Plant/Jimmy Page combo that comprised half of this powerhouse band along with bass player John Paul Jones and legendary drummer John Bonham. It was their ground-breaking sound that would set the stage for all things metal to come.

In 2003, Classic Albums Live founder, Canadian Craig Martin, decided to bring together musicians who faithfully could recreate full albums, note for note, cut for cut, and he stumbled onto something pretty amazing. A friend of his was interviewing John Paul Jones and when he mentioned Martin’s idea to the renowned bass player, Jones incredulously replied, “Zeppelin IV — note for note? Good luck! Good bloody luck!”  Nine years and multiple album performances later including Led Zeppelin I and II, Martin’s Classic Albums Live ensemble returned to Melbourne to rock the audience with a phenomenal rendition of Led Zeppelin IV, one of the world’s top-selling albums of all time, plus material from other Zep albums.

Photo: Thomas Gerding
Fronted by singer extraordinaire Nick Hildyard, this talented troupe of musicians also included Rick Vatour on drums, who adeptly clutched double drumsticks while channeling John Bonham during his spot-on version of “Four Sticks.” Dom Polito, on lead guitar and mandolin, evoked visions of Jimmy Page, long, curly dark hair and all, and if you closed your eyes, it was like Page was right there on the stage. Other musicians included Merritt Island, Florida's musical talents Shain Honkonen (guitar) and Carlia Alderman (vocals), rounding out this cast of seasoned musicians to offer a local connection. Carlia’s vocals on “Battle of Evermore,” along with Hildyard’s, sent shivers up my spine. Because I was sitting in the fifth row, I was close enough to appreciate the look of sheer euphoria on Shain’s face while he thrashed out the ever-recognizable guitar chords to so many of these songs.

Suffice it to say that ALL of these musicians were unbelievable in their own right, but without a strong “Robert Plant,” the authentic feel would have been lacking. While Hildyard does not resemble Plant physically, he certainly possesses plenty of Plant-like swagger and sex appeal with the chops to match. To say that I enjoyed this performance would be an understatement, as all the songs were incredible, but for me, the real highlights were “Rain Song,” “Ten Years Gone,” and “Since I’ve Been Loving You.” And yes, “Stairway to Heaven” was awesome, but this band’s music and message is about so much more than one song or album.

-Michelle Wilson
(July 2012)

Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my blog is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.


1 comment:

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