Led Zeppelin’s magic was in effect October 15th in Dawson Creek, British Columbia as Jason Bonham, the 44-year-old son of late Zeppelin drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham, led his five-man Led Zeppelin Experience through a rousing two-hour-plus set of classics from the Zep canon at the EnCana Events Centre. This was much more than just another tribute band: the Bonham bloodline carries its own responsibilities. With state-of-the-art lighting and effects, dazzling video treatments and a crisp, thundering sound, the JBLZE offered a set of Led Zep gems that were strikingly faithful to the originals. The band tore through a set that included “I Can’t Quit You Baby,” “Dazed and Confused,” “Kashmir,” “The Lemon Song,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Moby Dick” (which featured a video of father and son pounding out the drum solo) and, of course, “Stairway to Heaven.” The encore of “Whole Lotta Love” coupled with “Rock and Roll” earned a standing ovation.
With the home-movie segments and heartfelt voiceovers honoring the 30th anniversary of the elder Bonham’s death, Jason portrayed the story of what it was like to be the son of rock’s heaviest drummers. Robert Plant had rejected a reported $200 million offer for Zep to undertake a world reunion tour, but Jason has occupied the drum stool for a revived Zeppelin several times, including the acclaimed one-off reunion concert at London’s O2 Arena‘ in December of 2007. JBLZE’s lineup also includes guitarist Tony Catania, vocalist James Dylan, bassist Michael Devin and keyboardist/pedal-steel guitarist Stephen LeBlanc.
The band plans some 30 shows in the US and Canada over the next two months — for dates and other details, see www.jasonbonham.com.