Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
There are tons of Led Zeppelin covers bands- some are really good and some are really bad. Dread Zeppelin gets a really bad rap for being a “novelty” act and is dismissed as a joke band, which is total garbage. These guys are excellent musicians, and, although people take exception to an Elvis impersonator doing reggae versions of Led Zeppelin tunes, this is some seriously good music. From the quirky 8-string guitarist, to the incredible bass player, to the awesome keyboard playing, percussion and drumming, you really can’t go wrong with this band. They do more than just Led Zep covers. Some of the music and the act is cheesy by design, but once you get past the gimmicky, low-budget Las Vegas lounge act vibe, there is so much to discover and appreciate in their playing and ingenious renditions of the tunes.
Mark Schwind and I were completely besides ourselves when we heard about this show. This was my third time seeing Dread Zeppelin- I caught them in 2010 at The Canyon to a fairly sizeable crowd and in 2011 at The Key Club with a very small audience. Both times, they played great sets. This Club Nokia show was by far the largest venue to date that I’ve seen them perform at. They were the opening act for the headliners (Super Diamond), which is quite a different audience demographic and contrasting styles of music.
Prior to the show, we went to the Yard House and the Grammy Museum. Mark also talked Lakers basketball with Jim Hill right before the game started at Staples (true story!) Jim is a cool dude.
We were the first two in the venue and we grabbed the best seat there (table right in front of the mixing board). Dread Zeppelin came out and played an intimate show for Mark Schwind and the few others in attendance. They ripped it up- Led Zep songs reggae style, Viva Las Vegas, Big Old Gold Belt- it was awesome. Conspicuous by his absence was bass player Bob Knarley. He was replaced by a new bass player- Fred Zeppelin. Fred was awesome, but I was planning on seeing Bob and his insane quadruple time version of The Ocean. We were very interested to see how the Neil Diamond fans would react to DZ- and from what we could tell during the show, they were amused. Anyhow, the show was as good as expected. We also stayed for a few Super Diamond songs. That band rocked- the singer doesn’t really sound like Neil Diamond to me, but the band sure can play. They even did the intro to “Runnin’ With The Devil” for one of their tunes- it was cool. Anyhow, we left early to beat Laker traffic (we were keeping track of the score and the time left on the game clock during the show). It was the smart thing to do and we timed it right…. We waited out the Dodger traffic and beat the Laker traffic – perfect!
Fred Zeppelin on bass
Misty Mountain Mark