posted on September 16, 2013 07:24
It’s a celebration, bitches.
That one line nonchalantly rattled off by Celebration Day front man Mark Quinn at Saturday’s Led Zeppelin tribute show said it all. Beach balls bounded through the VIP section, laser lights shot to the sky throughout the night, light-up hula hoops floated among the general admission population. And the Zeppelin tunes were played with perfection from start to finish.
In traditional Celebration Day fashion (and just as drummer John Pessoni said), they left the theatrics to their El Monstero counterpart personas and let the music take center stage.Quinn and company pulled out the Zeppelin staples such as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Ramble On” and “Dazed and Confused,” much to the delight of the crowd.
After knocking out “Immigrant Song,” “Heartbreaker,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Black Dog” and “The Ocean,” Quinn told the crowd, “I thought we’d just come out and hit you over the head with a hammer” then exploded with intensity into “Rock and Roll.”
These local favorites also brought out one of the regular “wow” factors of a Celebration Day show – Pessoni’s drum solo for “Moby Dick.” Having witnessed the perfection that is Celebration Day on more than one occasion, I can say without question that solo will impress every time.
Additionally, they had a perfect blend of up tempo and mellow Zeppelin, taking fans on a musical rollercoaster. No matter how many times you see these guys, their talent still amazes. The ease with which they play and the comfort level they have on stage banging out hits from such a classic band is unbelievable. From Quinn on lead vocals and Pessoni behind the drum set to Jimmy Griffin on guitar, Cub Smith on bass and Dave Grelle on keys, they all have a calm, passionate aura about them. I’d take bets there are bands that have played for years without bringing that type of presence to the stage.
But despite how close these St. Louis boys sound to the real thing, there’s one aspect of a Celebration Day show that could never have occurred with the original crew – a family connection. Before launching into “Stairway to Heaven,” Quinn dedicated the song to his grandmother.
And though Pessoni said they would just see how the first outdoor show went before committing to another year, it’s clear that while the annual February shows are great, Celebration Day is meant to be seen in a summer rock festival setting, regardless of the venue.
Misty Mountain Hop
Rock and Roll
The Lemon Song
Over the Hills and Far Away
Dazed And Confused
Since I've Been Loving You
Moby Dick - Drum Solo
Going to California
Hey Hey What Can I Do?
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
Trampled Under Foot
In the Light
The Song Remains The Same
All My Love
When the Levee Breaks
The Rain Song
Stairway to Heaven
KashmirWhole Lotta Love /medley