VIENNA, VA — It takes a whole lotta guts to stand in front of thousands of Led Zeppelin fans and play their beloved songs.
Well, Get the Led Out had the guts and chops during its first visit to Wolf Trap’s perfectly landscaped Filene Center late last week, delivering over two hours of classic material.
Reconstructing to near perfection songs originally built by legendary singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, drummer John Bonham and bassist John Paul Jones, the six-piece band ripped through a catalog of 20 tunes considered masterpieces of the classic rock era.
The biggest gut check came right at the beginning when singer Paul Sinclair opened his mouth to the roar of “Rock and Roll.” His notes were screaming powerful and an audible gasp was heard from the audience members near me.
By the way, this tribute was musical rather than theatrical. If we use the Beatles as an example that means the album cut recreation of the live super group the “Fab Faux” rather than the touring impersonators “Rain.”
All night, Mr. Sinclair and his cohorts, guitarists Paul Hammond and Jimmy Marchiano, instrumentalist Andrew Lipke (keyboard specialist), drummer Adam Ferraioli and Bassist Billy Childs combined might for cuts culled from the 1969 “Zeppelin I” all the way through to the 1979 release “In Through the Out Door.”
So closing my eyes to Get The Led Out’s homage (blocking out the wafts of Noxzema and Aqua Velva scents from the older crowd, rather than normal concert fumes) was like listening to a live jukebox.
As far as song choices, it was something for every Zeppelin fanatic to admire.
You want a dose of the familiar? How about “Misty Mountain Hop,” “No Quarter,” “Ramble On,” “Dazed and Confused,” and the guilty pleasure of the always-ribald “Lemon Song.”
How about the sit down acoustic era? Let’s dip into “Going to California” and “The Battle of Evermore. The later was complete with a red dressed, female seductress adding to the vocal high end.
Now, let’s hit some live rarities, shall we? Get the Led Out crushed “Fool in the Rain” (complete with roadie jumping out to whistle in a lead to the reggae-esque ode) and a finely finessed “Tangerine” (that’s a Zeppelin III classic) for the unaware.
In particular, “The Ocean” (from “Houses of the Holy”) highlighted a three-guitar crunch from the dueling leads of the evening Mr. Hammond and Mr. Marchiano with Mr. Lipke and axe plugged in for added layers.
However, throughout the night, Mr. Sinclair presented the very best of what Robert Plant had offered.
This was not the primping and vocally exhausted Plant from the 1976 concert film “The Song Remains the Same.” Nope, this singing was the lean and mean, 1969 BBC Sessions version of Plant.
Mr. Sinclair delivered the high register all night and never wavered.
The spotlight for drummer Mr. Ferraioli was Bonham’s solo on “Moby Dick.” It was a solid recreation but, in my opinion, time could have better spent digging deeper into the Zeppelin catalog (maybe “Wanton Song,” “Custard Pie” or “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”) to highlight the entire group.
Would it have been fun if the boys strayed from the purity and went off on a Zeppelin odyssey — reference the often live, sloppy shenanigans on “Whole Lotta Love” from the original group?
The guitarists hinted at the creative chaos with some boogie blues riffing during “Heartbreaker” (delightfully twined with “Living Loving Maid,” just like off of the “Zeppelin II” album).
However, Get the Led Out kept those opportunities in check with a solid, crisp and too, to the point recreations of the songs, with just enough theremin for the wanting.
The night ended with a massive ode to “Kashmir” and trio of encores led by “When the Levee Breaks.” And, of course, they played “Stairway to Heaven,” silly person.
The mighty Led Zeppelin (in any incarnation) may never tour again but Get the Led Out provided a nostalgia trip worth taking.
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