Jimmy Page & Robert Plant: 3/6/1995

Seeing Plant and Page performing together is about as close as you can get to seeing Led Zeppelin without actually seeing Zep. This tour was booked after the rock gods appeared on MTV Unplugged. When they booked a show at the Miami Arena, I immediately got tickets for my wife and I to go. And not surprising, a good number of my friends also got tickets.

The Miami Arena was fairly small as far as arenas go, so getting to see Plant and Page here was great. We had seats straight back in the lower section, but could still see really well, and the sound was good.

Rusted Root was the opening act for this show. At the time, I had not heard of them, but I was immediately impressed by their music and stage presence. They totally had the place rockin’ and did not draw any wrath from the usually intolerant South Florida music crazies.

After a break, Plant and Page took the stage. It was awesome! They totally kicked ass from the first crushing notes to the very end. They had a solid band backing them up, which included Porl Thompson from The Cure.

  • Porl Thompson — guitar, banjo
  • Nigel Eaton — hurdy-gurdy
  • Charlie Jones — bass, percussion
  • Michael Lee — drums, percussion
  • Ed Shearmur — orchestral arrangements, organ
  • Jim Sutherland — mandolin, bodhran

What can I say about seeing Plant and Page together on stage? The image was so iconic, like they stepped right out of a poster from my teenage wall and exploded into reality. The energy was tangible, and I think half the crowd was hoarse by the end of the night. They played a great mix of hard-rockin’ Zep tunes, some acoustic stuff, and even a couple covers. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to choose songs from such an amazing catalog of music. If you think about it, there is no such thing as a bad Zeppelin song. Everything that they wrote was amazing.

It’s impossible for me to pick out high points from this show. It was all one big high point. That said, “Song Remains the Same” with Page on the double-neck guitar was amazing, and “Kashmir” to end the night was perfect. Here’s the full setlist, forged from the Hammer of the Gods.

Setlist

  • Tales of Bron
  • The Wanton Song
  • Bring It On Home
  • Celebration Day
  • Thank You
  • Dancing Days
  • Shake My Tree
  • Lullaby (The Cure cover)
  • No Quarter
  • Wonderful One
  • Hey Hey What Can I Do
  • Gallows Pole
  • Hurdy-Gurdy Solo
  • Nobody’s Fault but Mine
  • The Song Remains the Same
  • Since I’ve Been Loving You
  • Friends
  • Calling to You (w Dazed And Confused / The Hunter excerpts)
  • Four Sticks
  • In the Evening
  • Black Dog
  • Kashmir

Julian Lennon: 4/2/1985

Julian Lennon had a brief moment in the sun in the mid 1980’s. He had some videos on MTV, and of course, he had a somewhat famous dad. His music was pretty good, but a little on the poppy side for my personal tastes. That said, when he booked a couple of shows nearby, I decided go and check one out, figuring he would likely do a couple of his dad’s songs too.

I went with my girlfriend, and we had decent seats. The Sunrise was a nice small venue, so anywhere you sat was good, but we were fairly close to the stage on the side.

The show was pretty much what I had expected. He focused on his own material, but then tossed in a Beatles song as well as a couple other covers at the end that John would have approved of. In fact, John had also recorded a great cover version of “Stand By Me.”

While definitely not the greatest show I had seen, it was enjoyable and I am glad that I got to see him. Here’s the setlist.

Setlist:

  • Well I Don’t Know
  • O.K. for You
  • On the Phone
  • Lonely
  • Say You’re Wrong
  • Let Me Be
  • Valotte
  • Jesse
  • Space
  • Big Mama
  • Too Late for Goodbyes
  • Stand by Me
  • Day Tripper
  • Slippin’ and Slidin’

Pat Benatar: 9/25/1981

Back in 1981, Pat Benatar was definitely one of the top women of rock. Not only did her songs rock, but they were really empowering for young women, which was a great thing in my opinion.

I don’t recall with whom I went to this concert, but I do have a clear memory of her on stage. The first thing that struck me was that she was quite short. For some reason, she seemed taller in the MTV videos. But regardless of stature, she was pure energy on stage. I recall being amazed at the level of power which she projected.

I wish I had more to share about this show. I looked at a few setlists from that tour, and this was pretty much the standard one. As I read it, I recalled “Helter Skelter,” which I had forgotten. It’s great when memories are rekindled.

Rock on!

Setlist (generic from tour):

  • You Better Run
  • Treat Me Right
  • Fire and Ice
  • Out-A-Touch
  • I Need a Lover
  • Promises in the Dark
  • Hit Me With Your Best Shot
  • Hell Is for Children
  • Heartbreaker
  • Precious Time
  • In the Heat of the Night
  • We Live for Love
  • Helter Skelter
  • Just Like Me
  • I’m Gonna Follow You
  • It’s a Tuff Life

ZZ Top, Sammy Hagar, and Foghat: 5/29/1983

My youngest brother recently reminded me that this was his first concert, so I felt obliged to search for the stub and write a post about it.

I had seen ZZ Top prior to this, but Eliminator was a huge commercial success for them (you could not watch MTV for an hour without seeing a ZZ Top video). So it was not surprising that they were headlining a triple bill, and although I had also previously seen Sammy and Foghat too, I felt it was my brotherly duty to go with my lil bro to his first show.

My memories of this show are somewhat fuzzy, and I’m sure my brother is going to remember a lot more than me (first rock show always leaves a lasting impression). I did recall headlights beaming from the stage as the show was getting ready to start, and then the bearded rockers kicking right in with a huge Eliminator backdrop behind them.

I located, on Wikipedia, the basic setlist from this tour, which sounded right to me. As I looked over the setlist, I remembered specific songs, particularly “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” and “Jailhouse Rock” (a nice surprise).

Anyway, this would be the first of many concerts with my brother. Here is the full setlist.

ZZ Top Setlist

  • Got Me Under Pressure
  • I Got The Six
  • Gimme All Your Lovin’
  • Waitin’ For The Bus
  • Jesus Just Left Chicago
  • I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
  • Francine
  • Sharp Dressed Man
  • Legs
  • Ten Foot Pole
  • TV Dinners
  • Manic Mechanic
  • A Fool For Your Stockings
  • Heard It On The X
  • Pearl Necklace
  • Cheap Sunglasses
  • Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
  • Dust My Broom
  • Just Got Paid
  • Arrested For Driving While Blind
  • Party On The Patio
  • Tube Snake Boogie
  • Jailhouse Rock
  • La Grange
  • Tush

Don Henley with Katrina and the Waves: 8/2/1985

DonHenley_8-2-85

In the 1980’s, before “Hell froze over” and the Eagles reunited, Don Henley had a pretty successful solo career. Despite his popularity, I wasn’t a huge fan of his music. It was OK, but a little on the pop-side for me. I probably would have passed on this show, but my girlfriend wanted to see him and I liked Katrina and the Waves (the opening act), so I figured why not.

Katrina was so fun. I really enjoyed her set. She was cute, cheerful, and energetic, just like in the “Walking on Sunshine” video which was playing on MTV about every hour. Her set alone was worth the price of admission.

Don Henley’s set was good. It was about what I expected. He played mostly his solo stuff with a few Eagles’ tunes tossed in (Witchy Woman, Desperado, Hotel California). It wasn’t great, but it didn’t suck either. It was OK. Basically, a fun date-night with the girlfriend.

When The Eagles reunited and I was the outrageous amount of money they were charging, I was disgusted and refused to go out of principle. At the time, concerts were still pretty cheap (hey, $15.75 for this show), so the idea that a band would charge over $100 for a ticket was insane for me. Unfortunately, once the bar was raised, it became the norm. Personally, I still can’t bring myself to pay that much money for a single band—a festival, ok—but not a single act.

Anyway, rant over. Have a rockin’ day and enjoy some music.