Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Elsewhere has made no secret of its sneaking admiration for tribute shows.
The audience's expectation of authenticity and commitment has driven most of the lesser players out of the market and – removing the kitsch factor of Bjorn Again – there's something strange, disconcerting but ultimately quite enjoyable about seeing someone being someone else and dressing in that other person's clothes.
And of course singing their songs.
In the past we've tipped the hat by way of interviews with a couple of ersatz Beatles, written favourably about the Dire Straits Experience show and seldom resiled from reviewing a tribute album (although most are somewhat pointless).
Given you can see touring shows of bands which feature only one original member (and sometimes the least important or memorable one), then why not a tribute show?
And these days in the absence of the artists themselves – dead, retired, past their best – a tribute band acts as this emotional bridge between the past and present, to the soundtrack of songs the audience loves so much they are prepared to pay to hear someone else do them.
As long as they do them “right”.
And so we acknowledge a show coming to Auckland for one night only in November. It is Stairway to Heaven; Led Zeppelin Masters which features singer Vince Contarino of Adelaide's acclaimed Zep Boys tribute band as Robert Plant.
Contarino has put together this tribute – which features in New Zealand the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra – and the band play almost two dozen of Led Zeppelin's classic rock, blues and world music material.
And Moby Dick.
Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin Masters: Civic Theatre, Saturday 4 November, 8pm