Photography and Review by Micah Gummel.
Wilbur Theatre, Boston.
What better way to spend an evening in Boston, than on Halloween night, listening to Led Zeppelin. I was fortunate enough to cover Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience at the Wilbur Theater. Walking around outside the theater, masked figures were lurking in costume! Perhaps the best part was when the show started, over at left stage, as yet was one more masked figure playing the organ. Yes, it was none other than Steve LeBlanc sporting a “scream “mask! The crowd just loved it! This was the event that set the stage for Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.
The JBLZE Band:
James Dylan (vocals)
Tony Catania (lead guitar)
Dorian Heartsong (in for Michael Devin on bass)
Stephen LeBlanc (keyboards, organ, lap steel guitar)
and of course, Jason Bonham (drums)
The show is a celebration of the life and music of Jason’s father, the legendary LED ZEPPELIN drummer, John Henry Bonham. Mr. Bonham with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones have transcended time more than any band in history throughout the musical landscape. The complexities of their music have been unparalleled because they include such a vast array of sources. Blues, folk, rock, cultural rhythms and fusions are blended together with technical forms, along with literary references, poetic lyrics and timeless themes.
Jason enlisted multimedia elements of vintage family footage. This created a connection with the crowd and offered a way they could understand Jason’s relationship with his dad. The audience was able to see film clips of both Bonhams as children, as well as Jason’s starting points with the drums. Perhaps the most memorable and heart felt performance was during the “Moby Dick” drum solo.
Jason Bonham is live on stage and his father is playing behind him on the screen. It was an awesome and truly unforgettable moment.
The combination of vintage photography and home video of his childhood, shared the story of growing up in this legend’s household.
This tribute, in remembrance of his father’s passing over 30 years ago, must have moved every guest at this theatre. Everyone could see the emotions in Jason, and it was very touching to see how grateful he was about paying tribute to his father’s legacy. Jason paid homage to his father, John “Bonzo” Henry Bonham, several times throughout the performance. “He was my dad,” Bonham told the crowd after the first set of home movies. Jason also said my dad was ” just a regular guy.” Of course, the elder Bonham was no regular drummer, and his son Jason has become arguably just as talented as his idol and father — so talented that when Led Zeppelin’s surviving members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones reunited for one night only in 2007, they chose Jason to sit in for his father. This show is far from being ‘just another tribute band.’ This is Jason welcoming fans into the Bonham family vault to honor this legacy of connection and music.
If you call yourself a Zeppelin fan and are anywhere near a venue with this limited time performance schedule…
This is a MUST-SEE Show!
1. Rock and Roll
2. Celebration Day
3. The Immigrant Song
4. Your Time Is Gonna Come
5. Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
6. What Is and What Should Never Be
7. The Lemon Song
8. Thank You
9. Dazed and Confused
10. Moby Dick
*** Intermission ***
11. In the Light
12. Since I’ve Been Loving You
13. When the Levee Breaks
14. Over the Hills and Far Away
15. Whole Lotta Love
17. Stairway to Heaven
For information on John Henry Bonham’s Drum kits click here.