Originally posted in Valkyrian Music.
It’s not always bad to get “the second best”. In this case, it was amazing to get a tribute/cover band instead of the original. And don’t think that the fact that LED ZEPPELIN are retired, leaving you no other option than cover bands, takes away any credit from LETZ ZEP.
When they started the show at 10 pm with “Rock And Roll”, the crowd wasn’t yet totally “at it” – such a classic as this, I would expect the whole room (which was full, by the way) to sing along at the top of their lungs. Maybe they were caught off guard, because when I looked up for information on LETZ ZEP, I saw that “Rock And Roll” is usually saved for the encore. Whatever the case, it served to warm people up, as from that song on, they quickly fell in pace with the band and that collective voices I was hoping for was a constant until the end.
I keep reading articles mentioning Billy Kulke’s physical resemblance to Robert Plant himself, but they fail to mention his mannerism on stage. The way he moves, the way he gestures his hands, including placing them in his hips. And he does it so naturally that you don’t feel like he’s mimicking Plant. Not to mention the voice, of course. Not just the pitch but the strength, the endurance. Especially when Kulke is not exactly a kid. It was a good ten minutes past midnight when they played the last song, meaning they’d been up there for more than two hours, and still the“aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh” of “Immigrant Sont” came out sharp and steady.
Also drummer Peter Tulloch (Simon Jeffrey was unavailable for this tour) played such a solo that would turn many 20-year-olds green with envy. It was his first time in Portugal and apparently he was in love with my country. Kulke himself mentioned how good the food and wine were, how warm the people… and how pretty the girls. And how they could dance, added Tulloch. That was because of this girl, Catarina, who had been unstoppable since the beginning. During one song, that I can’t quite remember which, Kulke even held her hand. It was also her who asked for “Black Dog” at some point, to which Kulke asked “is that time already?”. No, it was way too soon, since they played that one together with “Whole Lotta Love” in the end, before the encore. They did play “Thank You” when she asked for it, with the singer saying he couldn’t say no to a pretty face, but I’m sure they would play it anyway – in that moment or later.
Andy Gray’s guitar playing was flawless, his flashy jacket and pants completing the whole Jimmy–Page-aura. And Shaun Herd – “as talented as he is handsome” – was just as perfect behind the bass, the keyboards and a couple more string-instruments (one that looked like an upright bass and another like a mandolin, but not quite, for the country-ish “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”).
There were a few technical problems that we didn’t notice – not just because it was regarding the equipment they use to hear themselves (Kulke couldn’t hear his own voice at some point, Gray had trouble listening to his guitar, the lower keys of Herd’s keyboard were inaudible to him) but because despite all that, they’ve never missed a note.
I’m usually skeptic when I’m told something is the best. With LETZ ZEP, however, I have no problem believing that they are indeed the number one tribute band to LED ZEPPELIN. A big thank you to promoters Clap/-Box for bringing them here and providing such a magical night.