Sunday, June 8, 2008

Plant, Krauss entertain Atlantic City

These pictures from June 7 show in Canandaigua, N.Y., are courtesy of Grant Burgess.

Things were pretty good at the Borgata Hotel and Casino on Sunday, June 8. I guess some people collected on the 38-1 odds for the Belmont Stakes winner yesterday. Whatever it was, the audience for the Alison Krauss and Robert Plant show in Atlantic City was appreciative when the Golden Gods took the stage.

Stuart Duncan played a quite amazing violin solo at the first break in "Black Dog" from Atlantic City. Robert Plant walked over to Stu's left to boogie with Stu. He seemed to enjoy watching a fellow musician rock out to a song Plant had a hand in writing 38 years ago.

After the song, Plant swang his mic and addressed the audience's applause as he often does: "Oh yeah?" He thanked the crowd for coming to see "our merry band of pranksters." Then he introduced the next song, "Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us," with this: "I'd like to introduce you to the most wonderful singing voice I've ever stood next to, Miss Alison Krauss."

She followed up "Through the Morning, Through the Night" with a song thy to my knowledge hasn't been done before on this tour. It was "Good-bye and So Long to You," a twist on the chorus in the song when performed by Mac Wiseman ("So Long and Good-bye to You").

As Robert led on "Fortune Teller," it's apparent he's the best dancer onstage. Alison's not even trying! Robert still must not have taught her any moves, after longer than a month on tour! Alison can sure step up with her voice though, and what else could you want from a singer? She filled in perfectly with Plant on their next duet, Plant's own "In the Mood." Little song that you want to sing. The song segued briefly into "Matty Groves," a tradition that I think was a Fairport Convention specialty.

Plant dropped his microphone during "Black Country Woman," but it was the song's only off moment. By the time Plant and Krauss left the stage for T Bone Burnett's two-song mini-set without them, they were firing up the place with their treatment of the song from Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti.

Plant left the stage immediately after giving his most heartfelt onstage speech about his current "little project" and the man at its helm. Burnett started his set with a newly developed intro to "Levez les Bons Temps Rouler." There were parts of the song in which Jay Bellerose was skillfully pounding the drums like a madman. Too bad Robert wasn't onstage to witness it! He sometimes is for that song, even strapping on a guitar in Chattanooga, where he played a pretty decent solo. Buddy Miller and Stuart Duncan were featured in that song's solos tonight.

There was still no sign of Robert onstage again during Krauss's renditions of "Trampled Rose" and "Green Pastures."

The next Plant sighting came as Alison sang "Down to the River to Pray," with Plant in that position of sharing a mic with Buddy and Stuart for three-part male harmony backing Alison's medley. Quite the sight, to see my favorite singer of all time taking such a backseat! This time, for the first time listening to this song (my third show this tour), I could tell which voice was Plant's; his was the lowest one, doubling Alison's melody one octave lower than hers.

The version of "Nothin'" Robert and the fellows performed in Atlantic City was head and shoulders above any I've seen them do previously. Although the words are Townes Van Zandt's and not Robert's, he spoke eloquently about the song before starting it. Then he thrashed the song, making it his over the duration of it. Before the second verse, Plant improvised by himself and saw that the band followed his lead by adding however measures of vamping were necessary for his moment of inspiration. Plant used Duncan's banjo later in the song as a muse to come up with some good ad-libbed interplay. The band really hasn't been this "on" before!

"The Battle of Evermore" was next, and the audience knew what it was immediately. This was going to be another high point, so soon after the last one! Incredible. And when it was over, it earned not only a standing ovation from everybody there, but also a visit from a drum tech who was very fast on his feet to appear for a quick fix. Whatever was retooled was ready on time for Jay to start the intro to "Please Read the Letter" on time.

To his credit, Robert spent the end of "Gone, Gone, Gone" showing Alison some moves she was then replicating. She was a little more playful tonight than before, which may be in part because she could get away with a few more moves with her tight pants compared with the dresses I saw her in the other two times. Anyway, she looked like she was having a good time striking a pose for Atlantic City.

An old-timer of Zep's online community, Grant Burgess, sent some remarks to For Badgeholders Only after he attended Saturday night's Plant/Krauss show in upstate New York. He writes:

"I was at the show last night in the second level of seats and took a few pics. I had a little bit of a go with 'The Battle of Evermore' and got five minutes of it here. I had a problem of a walkway right in front of me so it wasn't a good spot to video from. But you get a taste of the song."



  1. Merry band of pranksters ey? I guess I wasn't too far off calling it "the new Ship of Fools" *grin*

  2. Can someone post a complete setlist from the Atlantic City show (June 8), please?

  3. Atlantic City set list, 6/8/08:

    Rich Woman
    Leave My Woman Alone
    Black Dog
    Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us
    Through the Morning, Through the Night
    Good-bye and So Long to You
    Fortune Teller
    In the Mood/Matty Groves
    Black Country Woman
    Levez les Bons Temps Rouler
    Shut it Tight
    Trampled Rose
    Green Pastures
    Down to the River to Pray
    The Battle of Evermore
    Please Read the Letter
    Gone, Gone, Gone

    You Don't Knock
    I'm a One Woman Man
    Your Long Journey

    Sorry it took so long!

  4. Thanks Steve great review!

    FYI,the second link at the bottom of the review didn't work.

    Looking forward to seeing them in Arizona next month!

  5. Going to see Robert & Alison in St. Louis next Thursday. Can anyone tell me what goodies they're selling at the souvineer stands? I'm assuming t-shirts with the Raising Sand album cover - any other designs? Tour programs I'm sure. Thanks, Randy

  6. I hear they have a SWEET tote bag..

  7. I hear they have a SWEET tote bag..

  8. Randy, I hope you've seen the following news about the St. Louis show you mentioned you were going to...

    The Robert Plant & Alison Krauss concert at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO on June 19th has been RESCHEDULED to September 24th to allow for the planned filming of a forthcoming concert DVD. Due to popular demand, an additional second concert has been added for September 25th, which is also scheduled to be filmed.

    Tickets for the June 19th performance will be honored at the September 24th show. If you have purchased tickets to the June 19th performance and are unable to attend on September 24th, please contact MetroTix at 314/534-1111.

    The on-sale date for the September 25th show will be announced soon!

  9. Steve, thanks for the heads up, though I received an e-mail from the Fox Theatre already. Bummer that we have to wait another three months, but hey, I'll have a little video souvenir of the show! Now, if I can just talk my little wifey into going to the second night's show as well. Randy


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