Canyon Theater; Agoura, CA, 06/28/03

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

I never got the chance to see the original Led Zeppelin live in concert. In all honesty, I probably wouldn't have gone anyway. As much as I admire the band, I have to admit I was never more than a casual Led Zeppelin fan. Their legacy is undeniable and, yeah, I've got most of their CDs but they've just never been one of my favorites.

If the band re-formed today, however, I'd be there in an instant. A Led Zeppelin re-union would more of an event than just a concert, and, even without the late John Bonham, a Led Zeppelin tour would be monstrous.

That probably isn't going to happen, though. So the closest you and I are going to get is Led Zepagain - a tribute band that's been playing their dead-on tribute for many, many years now. And, from what I saw at the Canyon Theater in Agoura, CA this Saturday night - it's pretty damn close to the real thing.

With a two hour set that contained all of the Zeppelin's biggest hits - performed to near perfection by a band that not only prides itself on authenticity but thrives on it as well - Led Zepagain held the apparently sold-out audience at the Canyon Theater enthralled throughout. I mean, this audience was on its feet for the entire show, calling out song titles, dancing in the aisles, cheering their favorite members onstage and more. I can't recall an audience that reacted this strongly to the music in a long time - and, remember, this is a tribute band.

Which brings me back to the members of Led Zepagain:
Lenny Mann portrays Jimmy Page. In addition to his fiery fretwork, Mann also does a stunning job of emulating Page's famous theremin and bow solos. 

Rick Snider is Robert Plant and has Plant's one-of-a-kind vocal style down so well that you'll be hard pressed to tell the difference. In addition, Snider does a fine job of imitating Plant's on-stage attitude and body language.

Stan Taylor portrays John Paul Jones, perhaps most difficult of all due to Jones' somewhat subtler nature.  

Darryl Johnson is John Henry Bonham and, like the others, has Bonham's style down pat. The drum solo of "Moby Dick" was, of course, Bonham's moment to shine and Johnson captures every note and movement perfectly. I'm not even a big fan of drum solos but this solo was riveting. 

The bottom line is this: With Led Zeppelin at the top of the charts again, and the chances of the world ever seeing a Led Zeppelin reunion tour at slightly better than zero, you can do no better than checking out Led Zepagain. Casual fans of Led Zeppelin (like me) won't know the difference and die-hard fans won't care.

Since the show, the band has changed their name to Led Zepplica. For more information, check them out at http://www.ledzepplica.com.  

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.