While the snow whipped across the Twin Cities, the Hennepin Theater strip was alive and moving. People huddle around the old Orpheum Theater to see the legendary rocker, Robert Plant. The sign on the door said “This show is absolutely sold out” deterring some people but exciting most who had a ticket.
Once I got my ticket I shuffled my way through the crowd to my seat, which was somewhere in the middle of the main floor. I couldn’t believe how close I was going to be to the singer of, Led Zeppelin. Then as this thought was racing through my mind, the lights fell and the show began.
Up first was an English folk singing named Seth Lakeman. Folk Singers can sometimes be a risky move but not this time. The multi-instrumentalist had the crowd literally dancing and clapping with almost every song. Lakeman made ever instrument sound like his first language. After his thirty minute set which felt more like a five minute set, the crew cleared the stage and readied it for Plant.
As people of the audience ran amuck through the isles and each other trying to get their last drink in before the show, I sat there, waiting and ready to see the show. Once the stage hand flashed the light to the light crew I knew it was time.
The Orpheum became dark and the crowd erupted. As the band took their places and started playing it was then the man of the hour (or next two hours) took the stage. The audience which I thought was at its loudest hit a decibel I didn’t think they ever could. The band opened up the night with “New World…” the first track off their new album “Carry Fire”.
Plant busted through his thirteen song set holding the long notes and moving around the same as he did in the 70’s. The set was full of his solo music as well as covers from traditional music, Joan Baez, Bukka White and of course some Zeppelin. The main set featured two Led Zeppelin songs “Going the California” and “Friends”. The second those to songs kicked in every person in that building was singing, even if they didn’t know the words. It was actually remarkable.
Once the main set ended with “Gallows Pole” the audience rose to their feet and cheered for an encore. This encore would not disappoint. When he came back out he played his 1983 solo hit “In the Mood”. While everyone was singing along to this, it wasn’t until the final song where everyone couldn’t hold it together. As soon as that intro hit I even jumped. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters were closing the night out with “Whole Lotta Love”. There was no messing about or changing anything to this track. They played it just as it was intended, loud and heavy. When the final note was hit the band took a bow. But before walking off stage Plant told the crowd “We’ll be back in the summer, maybe it’ll be warmer then!”
After two hours of standing and getting blown away by one of the greatest rockers of all time, I made way back out into the blistering snow. This is one of those shows that sticks with you wherever you go or whenever you hear that band. In the summer time I implore anyone who hasn’t seen him to get a ticket because you will not be disappointed.