Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant isn’t living in the past — he is embracing it and reinventing his own future.
Plant brought his blues and folk roots to the stage at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh on Friday, accompanied by his backup band, the Sensational Space Shifters. The show was the opening night of the U.S. “Carry Fire” tour, and featured a setlist with a unique blend of music from the Led Zeppelin catalogue and new songs from his solo career.
With the exception of people who had seats on the floor, the sold-out crowd sat for the majority of the 100-minute show. It was clear that they thrived on the Led Zeppelin classics and were brought to their feet with a roaring “whoo” the second a recognizable note was played.
The classics included an unplugged, acoustic version of “That’s the Way,” an incredible banjo-fueled, folk rendition of the 19th-century origin “Gallows Pole” and a riveting encore closer of “Whole Lotta Love” featuring a violin solo. A highlight of the show was “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” which started and ended with a shining spotlight on guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson as he played the recognizable tune of the song.
Plant didn’t hide his charm and wit. He spoke several times to the audience and shared stories and tangents behind many songs. One of those songs included “Please Read the Letter.”