Rock music fans packed the Commodore Ballroom, in downtown Vancouver like sardines last night. They were all there to celebrate the music of the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. Fans young and old came to see Jason Bonham son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and his band perform “The Led Zeppelin Experience”. This is not the rockers first tribute to his world famous father. In 2001 he played A.C. a character loosely based on his father in the film “Rock Star” alongside Mark Wahleberg, Zakk Wylde and Jeff Pilson.
During my career writing and performing I’ve been lucky to see many top notch tribute bands paying homage to various bands such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, The Doors and more. When a tribute show is done well (as many are) you enter a sort of ‘suspended reality’. Such was the case for Bonham’s "Led Zeppelin Experience".
Bonham greeted the huge crowd and thanked them for such a “warm welcome”. He went on to “apologize for sounding so hoarse” and said he was “not feeling too good”. It’s only rock and roll ... it shouldn’t even matter, adding it’s what I love to do , and I’ll die doing it. The show “began 3 years ago” after he was approached with the concept said Bonham.
"While my Dad was alive , I never actually told him how cool he was.... how great I thought he was... He was Dad. It’s wasn't like he was in ‘The Beatles’ ." "I was a typical teen ager I wanted to go see the Police”. ~ Jason Bonham
"While my Dad was alive , I never actually told him how cool he was” how great I thought he was... He was dad. It’s wasn't like he was in ‘The Beatles’ . I was a typical teen ager I wanted to go see the Police”. He recounted how at age 13 his Dad not only took him to see “The Police” he took him back stage to meet the band. He noted the reported stories of his fathers legendary rock star antics, which said Bonham happened “not far from here (Vancouver)”. ~ Jason Bonham
What really sets this show apart from other “tribute” shows, is the exclusive home movies. Footage of the young Bonham at home with his late father was projected across 3 screens. The old super 8 films gave fans an inside glimpse into their close father son relationship. Bonham told the crowd that some of the footage was provided by his grandmother Joan Bonham, whom he also thanked for introducing his father to jazz music. It was also touching and impressive to see Bonham play “Moby Dick” along with his Dad on the big screen. Bonham has been quoted as saying he has a hard time keeping up with his Dad on that number, but last night he 'held his own' alongside his iconic Father.
Lead singer James Dylan was discovered by Bonham via his postings on Youtube. Although the lead singer James Dylan was no Robert Plant, he did have some major pipes. The entire band including lead guitarist Tony Catania were proficient at recreating the classic Zeppelin sound. Except for a couple of very slight variations in the song arrangements, they “sounded just like the record”. That said, it was a really great show, especially if you are a Led Zeppelin fan. Bonham and band ended the show by promising Vancouver fans they’d be back again promising “not to stay away for so long this time”.
You can check out Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Official site here.
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