The night finished with the entire ensemble on Whole Lotta Love receiving a standing ovation.
"You don’t know what a joy it is to sing these songs," Dave Gleeson of The Screaming Jets told the crowd midway through Whole Lotta Love. That much was already obvious in the way he leaped, ran about the stage and swirled his butt in the direction of the audience. He was one of the night’s singers brought together by Sydney guitarist and music director Joseph Calderazzo.
Tonight was not a by-numbers gallop through the ‘Zep songbook.Rather, it was a celebration which reassembled the songs respectfully and captured the spirit that originally drove the music. The hammering riffs of Rock And Roll, The Ocean, Black Dog and Immigrant Song kept purists happy. But the others threw in touches of ‘Zep’s legendary palette of Middle Eastern, blues and Celtic that transcended music created by four white males. Battle Of Evermore took on more of an Eastern tinge and Four Sticks was a blistering blues workout that highlighted the light/shade of led Zeppelin’s music.
The roll-out of singers wasn’t confined solely to males either; Gleeson, John Swan, Dave Larkin, Steve Balbi of Noiseworks and Simon Meli of Sydney’s Oohlala were joined by ladies in Adelaide’s Zkye Compson-Harris and Ngaiire of Blue King Brown. Each put in thunderous performances, while keys player Charmaine Ford, who shone on synths and piano on No Quarter, took turns on guitar and percussion.
The most magnificent moment came when the ensemble, joined by The Sydney Lyric Strings, stretched the utterly glorious Stairway To Heaven to 15 minutes. Other highlights were Rain Song (which featured such wonderful guitar interplay by Calderazzo and Peter Northcote that, at the end, they shook hands), Moby Dick (with a drum solo from Gordon Rytmeister) and the peak with Kashmir where you could see the red sands.
The night finished with the entire ensemble on Whole Lotta Love receiving a standing ovation. This show was the first foray to Melbourne by CCEntertainment which has been holding such celebrations of The Eagles, The ‘Stones, The Beatles etc shows in NSW and ACT. Given the crowd reaction to Whole Lotta Love, we should see more of these in Australia’s most musical city.