On January 17th , I had the opportunity to attend an impressive and entertaining show by an exceptionally talented Led Zeppelin tribute group at Don Quixote’s international music hall. Zeppelin Live, formerly known as Heartbreaker, is the self-described “#1 Tribute Band” to one of the greatest rock groups of the 20th century, and the 6th best-selling musical artist in human history. Jimmy Page’s guitar work and John Bonham’s drums, normally an intense challenge to any attempted cover artist, seem to be pulled off effortlessly by a talented and experienced band with a lot of enthusiasm for music and just the right amount of Zeppelin’s playful energy.
Unfortunately, the cinderblock construction of Don Quixote’s does not lend itself to auditory excellence, but the experience was nonetheless exciting and sentimental for any Zeppelin fan. Perhaps the only fault of the band itself was their slight lack of coordination: razor-sharp synchronicity is an important quality for Led Zeppelin’s sometimes fanciful, sometimes pulse-pounding riffs. It often seemed that Jimmy Page’s stand-in, Joel Pelletier, was the only one keeping the pace. One other lacking area, though it may simply be a fault of the building itself, was the less-than-thrilling performance of the band’s vocalist, Jefrey James. To be fair, Robert Plant was far more talented as a songwriter than a singer, however in my opinion, any cover band out there hoping to perform Led Zeppelin’s works should pursue a vocal quality all their own instead of attempting to replicate Robert Plants trebly vocals (a pursuit that often ends in a tinny, annoying whining).
The band’s set list includes mainly songs from Led Zeppelin’s older, more well known works, and their rendition of Rock and Roll and Black Dog are their strongest performances. “Stairway to Heaven”, which is an exceptionally challenging song for any guitarist, was pulled off quite impressively by the talented Stuart Horton, the band’s guitarist. Horton graced the stage with an authentic model of Page’s double-necked, 18- string Gibson for this song.
Here’s heartbreaker performing “Stairway to Heaven” at the Club Hollywood Casino:
The band has toured extensively throughout California and the Western United States. They have played in casinos, theaters, bars, and restaurants. Their sound is impressive, exciting, and effectively captures Led Zeppelin’s energy. The band will be returning to Don Quixote’s on Jun 27th , and I would recommend seeing them to any Zeppelin fan.