Blues Fest is no-doubt known across Australia and the World as one of the premier festivals for artists across the globe to showcase there stuff on a platform second-to-none, placing upcoming artists and bands alongside some of the most renowned and talented names in the music biz.
Many artists also choose to tour sideshows coinciding with the main festival held in Byron Bay, and this year we were blessed with a true music legend: Mr Robert Plant and his band The Sensational Space Shifters. Playing eight shows across the country, starting in Sydney, this tour-de-force stopped by Melbourne to play two shows on April 1 and April 2 at the The Palais Theatre in St Kilda.
From the very few that haven’t heard Robert Plant (and his old band – Led Zeppelin) to the die-hard fans of all things rock AND blues, this tour was a guaranteed must-see and I’m sure a giant bucket-list tick for many, as it was for me.
The very moment this six piece titan took to the stage you could tell you were in for something special. The moment Plant hit his first note you could hear a collective gasp around the Palais Theatre as it began to sink in what we were hearing (and seeing).
Opening the set with Led Zeppelin track ‘The Lemon Song’ and throwing straight into Plant hits ‘Turn it up’ and ‘The May Queen’, the band masterfully took the audience on a journey through not only their own catalogue, but traditional 1930′s blues numbers from the likes of Bukka White, while still pleasing the crowd with more Led Zeppelin classics ‘That’s The Way’ and ‘What Is And What Should Never Be’ peppered throughout.
Still showing clear influences of Middle-Eastern music, Southern blues, English folk and the 70′s Chicago sound, Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters are a world-class show, crafted by world-class musicians. Throw in Robert’s soaring vocals, (which I might add, have not faltered after a career spanning 50 years) and you’re left with awe-inspiring songs, performed to perfection.
Tracks like ‘Carry Fire’ and ‘Rainbow’ were superbly played. Closing the night with an encore including a Zeppelin Medley ‘Bring It On Home/Whole Lotta Love/Santianna/Whole Lotta Love’ got the Palais on its feet before their final bow and shook the walls of the old Theatre.
This was a great close to a highly enjoyable night in the presence of a legend who with his band, proved why he is just that… a legend.
Where: Palais Theatre, St Kilda
When: April 2 2018
Reviewed by Jared Mawdsley
Photo by Bruce Davis