Monday, June 23, 2014

Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters @ Bataclan, Paris - June 23, 2014

The past casts a giant shadow over some artists' careers. Yet as massive as his former band was, Robert Plant has never let Led Zeppelin define him. In fact it sometimes appeared as though he was doing his best to distance himself from that cumbersome legacy.

His new band is so far removed from the hard rock bombast of the legendary band that he doesn't need to run from it. After reuniting one last time with his surviving bandmates over seven years ago, he is now free to keep soldiering on in the style he is comfortable with nowadays.

His new record with the Sensational Space Shifters is a great collection of songs dressed up in sometimes folky, sometimes oriental, sometimes electronic glad rags. His concerts reflect those inspirations, even if that means shedding his former image. Every once in a while he will strike a particular pose where you can catch glimpses of the former Golden God but the mood isn't for stadium heroics. This is rootsy, bluesy business, with psychedelic undertones and an international feel.

Percy has nothing left to prove, and he's out to enjoy himself while also entertaining us in the process. His music is authentic and real, it draws from the past but looks to the future. This how you stay young.

North Mississippi Allstars @ Bataclan, Paris - June 23, 2014

The North Mississippi Allstars are a great band celebrating all that is good in American popular music. A rootsy blend of rock, blues, soul and country with a modern twist. They played a great short set full of obscure covers and an excerpt from their new record, the fantastic World Boogie Is Coming. I'd love to see them when they're headlining their own show to hear them play selections from my favorite record of theirs, Keys To The Kingdom. But as a warm-up for a rock legend, they were fantastic.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Rolling Stones @ Stade de France, Saint Denis - June 13, 2014

A year and a half ago the Rolling Stones played the Trabendo for a lucky few 700 people. They are now back to play the Stade de France, which can hold almost a hundred and fifteen times more people. They are out promoting their umpteenth compilation album, which means we'll be getting mostly classics and hits. Very little new shit, which is good, but also very little deep cuts, which is less good.