Jimmy Page and Robert Plant - A Review
June 15th, 1998 - United Center, Chicago, IL

	Since I did not attend that last Page and Plant show in 1995, I made
sure to make it to this one.  I had to catch myself when I said I was
going to see Led Zeppelin, because Page and Plant actually comprise half
of that band.   They refuse to call this incarnation a Led Zeppelin
reunion, as John Paul Jones is absent (through no fault of his own), and
John Bonham, the drummer, died in 1980, effectively ending the band, and
apparently Page and Plant feel that there can never be a true Led Zeppelin
reunion, which makes sense.  But for someone who is not old enough to have
seen the real thing, and has only seen a solo Robert Plant show and
Presence, the Zeppelin tribute band, this was more than the next best
	This was also the first time I was in the United Center, a treat
considering Games 3, 4, and 5 of the NBA Finals were just played here last
week.  Unfortunately, this is a stadium made more for sporting events, as
the acoustics left something to be desired.  It was especially difficult
to decipher what Plant was saying to us as he bantered between songs.
 	But those songs did rock!  Playing for about 2 hours, they
performed about 5 songs from their latest release together, "Walking into
Clarksdale."  They were ok, but I don't plan to buy the CD, much less hear
those songs again.  Most of us in the audience, myself included, were in
attendance to hear classic Led Zeppelin cuts.   Plant and Page did not
	Opening with the obscure "Wanton Song" and "Bring it on Home" to
get the crowd warmed up, they continued with some of my personal
favorites, "Heartbreaker" and "Ramble On," which were performed superbly
with new twists.  Plant teased the audience with different versions of the
vocals, even as they (who am I kidding, we) were singing along, and we
loved it.
	From my viewpoint, which was great at the 12th row, but not so
great at almost behind the stage, I barely saw Charlie Jones, the bassist,
or Phil Andrews, the keyboardist.  I'll give them the benefit of the doubt
here that they performed sufficiently well.  But I did get a good view of
Michael Lee, the drummer, who I thought ably filled the role of a
percussion player that could complement the searing riffs of Jimmy Page.
It is hard not to compare him to John Bonham, mostly because I have rarely
seen Bonham play, but he brought much energy to the demanding role of
percussion for this band.
	Jimmy Page endeared himself to the crowd with waves and smiles all
around. He even brought out his signature fiddle bow to bring "How Many
More Times" to life.   We were all hoping to hear some "Dazed and
Confused," the song that made the bow famous, but we were happy to witness
the legendary fiddle on any song at all.
	Robert Plant, always the professional rock star, sported black
leather pants and an untucked blue shirt, along with his trademark long,
curly, blond locks.  He also more than acknowledged the crowd in all
directions, spinning, whirling, and gyrating to the music, and gracing us
with smiles, waves, and thumbs-up.
	The crowd was mostly from the classic rock genre, with plenty of
long and big hair.  Estimated attendance was 24,000, although there were
still a couple thousand unsold seats.  They roared their approval at the
opening of each song they recognized.  They even cheered when a special
guest showed up, right before "Whole Lotta Love;" the Worm himself, Dennis
Rodman, was in the house.  
	The fittingly titled "Thank You" and their overplayed-but-classic
"Rock and Roll" served as the encore to a very appreciative crowd. 
	Lili Haydn performed an uneventful opening set of trendy music that
sounded like a combination of alternative, jazz, and ska.  The
professionalism, or maybe it was just experience, was evident in the
contrast between the new band just barely breaking in, and the veteran
rockers.  Lili Haydn barely acknowledged the rest of the crowd, facing
front for most of their set.  They received mercy applause after their
songs.  Yet they must be commended for the ambitiousness of both their
music and heavy task of opening for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.