The Austin Chronicle

ACl Live Shots

Reviewed by Dan Oko, October 3, 2008, Music

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss

Saturday, Sept. 27, Zilker Park

Rock stars don't come much bigger than Robert Plant. So, it was little wonder that a thousand graying fanboys held their breath in the hopes that a little Zeppelin magic might hold sway after the sun went down Saturday. Beneath the blue stage lights, the old lion, locks a-flowing to match those of golden-haired bluegrass chanteuse Alison Krauss, kicked the Raising Sand revue into gear for a whole new demographic. It only took three songs to reach the first Zep hit, "Black Dog." Between the banjo lead-in and Krauss' atmospheric vocals, it was clear this pair digs a new vernacular based in old Appalachian traditions. Plant held his histrionics in check until he let loose later with his old band's "Black Country Woman." Krauss demonstrated herself a fine match for Plant with the two alternating on backing harmonies, her virtuosity sparking a little more steel at times than the old man's rusty pipes. They dug into Plant's solo catalog for a mesmerizing version of "In the Mood." The band sounded great with T Bone Burnett and Buddy Miller offering sizzling guitar work, the headliners disappearing long enough for the former to bust out a head-scratcher: the droning "Earlier Bagdhad (the Bounce)" off his The True False Identity. Plant and Krauss returned, finishing out the set with a dynamite triple, "Nothin'" by Townes Van Zandt, a gorgeous "Battle of Evermore," and a revved up, knowing version of the Everly Brothers' "Gone, Gone, Gone" off Raising Sand.

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