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Robert Plant Reigns at Mountain Jam

Can we all agree that Robert Plant is the king of classic rock yet? Because his masterful performance at Mountain Jam tonight was just the latest reminder that nobody else in this genre continues to add to their legacy as impressively as he does with each new album and tour.

Plant’s set was split roughly in thirds between tasteful covers, songs from his excellent, African-influenced new album ‘lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar‘ and intriguingly reworked Led Zeppelin classics. Rather than trying to re-create the exact sound of his former band – a fool’s errand – Plant has instead managed to do something much more impressive and important: keep their spirit of exploration alive for over three decades with his ever-evolving solo career.

His knack for selecting excellent band mates and inspiring them to find new ways to interpret one of rock’s most sacred back catalogs remains as impressive as ever. The Sensational Space Shifters breathed new life into songs such as “Black Dog,” “What Is and What Should Never Be” and in particular, the hauntingly slowed-down “Dazed and Confused.” Juldeh Camara’s dazzling work on an African one-stringed fiddle was used to great effect as the lead instrument on a number of extended mid-song explorations, and guitarist Justin Adams had the crowd in the palm of his hand during his rockabilly-inspired solo towards the end of “Funny in My Mind (I Believe I’m Fixin’ to Die).”

A small sampling of a show from this fantastic tour was recently released in the form of the More Roar EP, and after tonight’s display we can only hope that a complete document of this trek will be made available when the tour comes to an end.

There’s plenty of great music still to come from this weekend’s Mountain Jam festival. Saturday night’s headliners include Gov’t Mule and the Black Keys, and you can watch it all live from the comfort of your own home right here.

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