September 10 2012 – Brit Floyd came to Toronto six months ago and delivered a show that would make any Pink Floyd fan drool. In our review of that gig we stated “Although we like a lot of music and different bands there are 2 at the upper pantheon of rock aristocracy for us – Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin broke up in 1980 and Pink Floyd in 1984. What is a rabid fan of these bands to do? Well just as you can still go listen to Mozart music live at a symphony orchestra in any major metropolis in the world, you likewise can still go listen to Zeppelin, Floyd and really any other band you crave. “
It is reassuring to know that the music of the classic rock era will live on. These bands quite often will not only try to musically emulate the band they are covering but on occasion will try to visually play the role as well (by looking like the musicians and using the same body language). Tonight we saw a band that pulled out wigs and bell bottoms as well as delivering a 2 hour set filled with both Zeppelin’s popular songs and deeper cuts.
|Ian Lee and Paul Kamp from Led Zeppelin 2 in Toronto – Sept 2012|
Led Zeppelin 2 is a band out of Chicago that features Bruce Lamont (lead singer of heavy metal band Yakuza) as Robert Plant, Paul Kamp (from Busker Soundcheck) as Jimmy Page, Ian Lee (from way too many bands to list) as John Henry Bonham, and Matthew Longbons (from Ghetobillies) as John Paul Jones. Any band attempting to pay tribute to Led Zeppelin had better be gifted musically and these guys did not disappoint. Below is a video with some live footage as well as interviews with the band.
The 2 hour show began with 3 of the more popular Zep songs (Rock n Roll, Heartbreaker and Black Dog) which really got the crowd splitting in two. There were a very large number of younger attendees (thanks to the proximity to the University of Toronto) and they took over the sunken area in front of the stage, while anyone older than 30 seemed to hang a bit more back on the elevated area of the bar. The 1-2-3 barrage of those songs really got the party started in the right way.
|Bruce Lamont and Paul Kamp of Led Zeppelin 2 in Toronto Sep 2012|
The next four songs; Celebration Day, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Immigrant Song, and Since I’ve Been Loving You had an excellent flow and slowed things down just a bit as the crowd absorbed both the music and the spectacle of the guys on stage emulating Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham.
Songs 8-10 of the night were the Zeppelin IV segment with an excellent Misty Mountain Hop, Stairway To Heaven (introduced with the best Robert Plant imitation voice ever), and an acoustic version of Going To California (complete with the guys sitting on stools just like Zep used to in the 70’s).
|Led Zeppelin 2 – Toronto September 2012|
Next we are treated to Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, No Quarter, Dazed and Confused (a 20 minute improv jam version that blew our minds away), The Lemon Song, Moby Dick drum solo, When The Levee Breaks and the single encore of The Ocean. This later half of the show was the best for Zeppelin fanatics that look for the Blues tinged power songs of the band.
So, as major Zeppelin fans what did we think? We loved it – Lamont has got an incredible voice but has clearly spent countless hours watching how Plant used to move from 1969-1979, Kamp has got Page’s riffs down pat including the theremin routine (you know that antenna looking thing that Page would wave his hand in front of like a wizard), Longbons lurked in the shadows like Jones used to but kept the bass driving, and last but not least Lee (no relation to Geddy he tells us) pounds the sh*t out of the drums with the intensity of Bonhnam. This was a great night of Rock and Roll at Lee’s Palace and we look forward to this band making Toronto a regular stop on it’s future tours.
|Ian Lee from Led Zeppelin 2 as John Bonham – Toronto Sept 2012|
Verdict: 4 out of 5 Coming to the realization that one will never see Led Zeppelin play live again is painful, but at least it is very comforting to know that what they accomplished will continue to live on through Led Zeppelin 2 and other tribute bands. This band kicked ass in a bar, I can’t wait to see what they would sound like at the Sony Center (which is where Brit Floyd played).
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
Since I Been Lovin You
Misty Mountain Hop
Stairway to Heaven
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
When The Levee Breaks