Review By Josh Mak
There are influential giants in the world of Classical music that have shaped what we have come to know as western civilisation. Mozart, Chopin, Bach etc…
Seldom do we think of Rock n’ Roll in the same regard as Classical, but it is no less relevant in its contribution to our society and culture.
Among the pioneers of the genre it would be unanimously agreed that Led Zeppelin would surely have a seat at that table of legends and Jason Bonham might very well be the last custodian of these sacred works of art.
The show began with the unmistakable charging rhythms, accompanied by the banshee howls of Immigrant Song and the hits kept coming as the band followed this with Good Times Bad Times and Over The Hills and Faraway.
Having been born too late to have seen the original line up perform live I’ve always had to be content with watching videos of Led Zeppelin’s concerts. For the first time in my life I got to see and hear The Song Remains The Same, Rain Song and No Quarter played live and that was a really magical experience .
I would like to spend some time talking about Led Zeppelin’s music and Jason Bonham’s role in carrying the torch not just as a fan but also as a son of what many would consider, Rock n’ Roll’s greatest drummer - John “Bonzo” Bonham.
Led Zeppelin’s music is akin to a mighty river; sometimes a raging rapid; sometimes a gentle brook. Always flowing forward and unstoppable.
Jason Bonham, together with singer James Dylan, guitarist Jimmy Sakurai, and bassist Dorian Heartsong deliver a very faithful and respectful performance of Led Zeppelin’s material. Meticulous care has been taken to not only play the songs right but also in the authenticity in the tone of their individual instruments.
Jason promised to take us on a journey back to the old ways and for awhile we would forget where we were and simply enjoy being in the moment.
I witnessed a band not just playing in sync with each other and being in the pocket but constantly communicating through their instruments with one another and with the audience. Truly a rare thing to behold in our modern era where almost no aspect of art has been corrupted in someway by the digital.
Between each song, we were enchanted as Jason Bonham told us stories of times he had spent with John Bonham and Led Zeppelin. From the grandeur of playing in stadiums to the personal memories they shared at home as a family. We were given a little peek into his world and what it was like growing up around such influential musicians.
Jason Bonham is evidently inspired by the drumming of John Bonham and has miraculously managed to capture his essence in his playing. This is no simple task and many great drummers have failed or simply refused to try to touch such sacred material.
The pacing of the set was expertly crafted and with the final four songs the band reached a level higher than a crescendo. It is genuinely hard to put into words how amazing it was so I will simply list the songs and let you the reader experience the magic as you read each title.
Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love and Rock and Roll.
Jason Bonham is a formidable drummer but I think the reason that he is able to do what no other can, is because of the deep connection he has with his dad. To him, before John Bonham is a great drummer he is first and foremost his father and he can take pride in knowing that he is preserving a legacy for all musicians in the present and for those that have yet to come.
You can still catch this amazing show
April 9 - The Tivoli, Brisbane
April 11 - Hindley St Music Hall, Adelaide
Tickets available here: https://metropolistouring.com/jblze-2023/