This year marks the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin's first-ever live show (7 September, 1968) and tribute band The Led Zeppelin Experience are keeping the legacy alive.
Unless John Bonham rises from the dead, The Led Zeppelin Experience is the closest you'll get to hearing and seeing the world's greatest rock band live.
Originally called No Quarter, The Led Zeppelin Experience return to Australia in October with their 'Hammer Of The Gods' tour after a successful run last year. “It was phenomenal,” guitarist Bryan Christensen, who plays the role of Jimmy Page, says.
“The first time in your country it was a fantastic experience for all of us and we were so well received; they really know how to rock and roll. We had 15 gigs last year in 5 weeks, and I think this year we're going down for 8 weeks and I think we have almost 30 dates this year, so it's quite a bit more coverage and we're looking forward to it.”
Bryan goes on to say that audiences can look forward to the most authentic and dynamic performances of classic songs that are almost indistinguishable from the originals. “They're going to get the classic hits that they listened to on the radio and the show is based on what they hear in Australia,” he says.
“So we're really catering to things that Led Zeppelin did when they rolled there on tour also. You’ll get the studio albums they’ve done and also the live embellishments from 'The Song Remains The Same', which is pretty much a cult film around the world.
“It's note for note; the most important thing is the music and we've got the music down. It's like an actor when they go on a movie set, we go straight into character; the British accents, everything for replicating in every detail what it was like seeing Led Zeppelin. So for those who never had the chance to see the band, this is about as close as you can get.”
Even Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones reckons they do a top job, once telling the band in person that as long as they keep doing it, he doesn't have to get back together with Led Zeppelin for real.
Considering the actual Led Zeppelin only ever came to Australia once in 1972, and damn near caused a riot wherever they went, the return of The Led Zeppelin Experience means they will have played on our shores more than the original band.
“They came [to Australia] one time only that I know of, so we've actually played there more than Led Zeppelin did, which is very flattering and we're honoured of course,” Bryan laughs.
Adding fuel to rumours of an in-the-flesh reunion of the remaining original members, Led Zeppelin tribute bands using the terms 'experience' in their title have been asked to cease-and-desist (including John Bonham's son Jason), with rumblings that Mr Page himself has some designs on the name.
“We were told actually by Led Zeppelin they would like us to call ourselves No Quarter again and stop using that name,” Bryan says.
“I think the reason they were doing that is because Jimmy [Page] is doing something really special because it's their 50-year anniversary.”
The Led Zeppelin Experience Australia Tour 2018Fri 26 Oct - Windsor RSL Club
Sat 27 Oct - Bankstown Sports Club (Sydney)
Sun 28 Oct - Ettalong Diggers Club
Fri 2 Nov - Milton-Ulladulla Ex-Services Club
Sat 3 Nov - Club Sapphire (Merimbula)
Wed 7 Nov - Civic Theatre (Orange)
Thu 8 Nov - Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre
Fri 9 Nov - Souths Juniors Club
Sat 10 Nov - Belmont 16s Club
Thu 15 Nov - The Gov (Adelaide)
Fri 16 Nov - Dee Why RSL Club (Sydney)
Sat 17 Nov - Club Forster
Thu 22 Nov - Lismore Workers Club
Fri 23 Nov - Twin Towns Service Club (Gold Coast)
Sat 24 Nov - The V Room (Sunshine Coast)
Thu 29 Nov - Waves Nightclub (Wollongong)
Fri 30 Nov - Evan Theatre Penrith Panthers
Sat 1 Dec - The Cube (Campbelltown)
Thu 6 Dec - Prince Of Wales Hotel (Bunbury)
Fri 7 Dec - Newport Hotel (Fremantle)
Sat 8 Dec - Charles Hotel (Perth)
Sun 9 Dec - Carnarvon Civic Centre
Wed 12 Dec - The Forge Theatre (Bairnsdale)
Thu 13 Dec - Capitol Theatre (Bendigo)
Fri 14 Dec - Pier Bandroom (Melbourne)
Sat 15 Dec - Corner Hotel (Melbourne)