Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Rocked it out at the Spirit Bank Event Center

altIt was a very cold Wednesday night to go out to the Spirit Bank Event Center for the Jason Bonham – Led Zeppelin Experience (JBLZE), but that didn’t seem to bother most fans as people came out in droves. Once inside from the brutal wind, there were lines at will call, lines for buying tickets and lines for getting the tour t-shirts.  Fans of all ages filled the lobby in anticipation of the night’s events.

The lights went dim and the band came to the stage. As soon as Jason Bonham appeared, there was a warm welcome from the crowd as he waved his way over to his drum set.  Lead singer, James Dylan took the microphone and started the night off with “Rock and Roll.” Though it was a very good version of the song, with James not hitting the high notes that Robert Plant is known for, we thought we were in for a night of a good Led Zeppelin cover band with their own twists on the music. Obviously, this was just the warm up song; because once they started in with “Celebration Day”, the whole band seemed to transform into the original Led Zepp line up.

There was a brilliant light show on stage along with a 3-panel back-drop TV screen that played a lot of footage from Jason and John Bonhams early life among other hypnotic pictures and scenes. Jason, after a couple of songs would get up and talk a little about his father and Led Zeppelin, giving us not only great music to listen to, but also a little history lesson about the band and his relationship with his Dad.  When they showed footage of Jason having chubby cheeks as a boy, he said he still has them because he lives in the States now which caused much laughter.  Jason also told us that John Bonham, also known as Bonzo was a wonderful loving father and husband and joked how when he would get in trouble that his Dad would send him to his room(s); this also brought great amusement.

We were all Dazed and Confused with how well James Dylan seemed to be channeling Robert Plant; is that even possible to do when the person is still alive? The same could be said for lead guitarist, Tony Catania. He had Jimmy Pages’ mannerisms down to a tee. One concert goer, Anna Montgomery was so ecstatic over how well this show was going said “I have never been to an actual Led Zeppelin show, but if I close my eyes, it truly feels like now I have been to one.”  She was clearly blown away by the talent and the mirror image that JBLZE is to Led Zeppelin.  

Jason Bonham was giving us more history at this point when he said in a rare interview with his Dad from 1970, that John Bonham mentioned he had a 4 yr old drummer; that someday they would play side by side together. Due to Bonham’s untimely death in 1980, they never had the chance to do this in person. But Jason said “Dad, here’s your chance”; and to that, Jason and John Bonham (John over the TV screen) simultaneously played "Moby Dick". It was so emotional and powerful that many across the room had tears streaming down their faces. It was a truly beautiful moment.

JBLZE Photo Gallery


Photos by: Kevin Pyle

The entire band rocked out to every song. The whispering heard throughout the show by fans was nothing short of praise for JBLZE’s high standards of representing rock legends Led Zeppelin and the individuals within. Jason also told us that one of the biggest highlights of his life happened on September 12th, 2007 when he got to play drums for Led Zeppelin’s Reunion Concert held at the O2 Arena in London. He said “I got to be in Led Zeppelin for one night. One can only imagine the kind of high he must have been on after that. Jason also gave many thanks to his Mom and Grandmother Joan for sharing the video footage for the show; it wouldn’t have been the same without it.  If you did not make it to this show, I encourage you to find a stop on JBLZE’s tour dates and make a road trip out of it. You won’t be disappointed. For those that never got to see Led Zeppelin live, this is the closest thing you will ever see. ZBLZE, you have done Led Zeppelin and their fans proud.

The following is the complete set list from tonight’s show:

 1)    Rock and Roll
 2)    Celebration Day
 3)    Black Dog
 4)    Your Time is Gonna Come
 5)    Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
 6)    Dazed and Confused
 7)    What is and What Should Never Be
 8)     Lemon Song
 9)    Thank You
10)    Moby Dick
11)    Good Times Bad Times
12)    How Many More Times
13)    Since I Been Lovin’ You
14)    When the Levee Breaks
15)    The Ocean
16)    Over the Hills and Far Away
17)    I’m Gonna Crawl
18)    Stairway to Heaven
19)    Kashmir
20)    Whole Lotta Love (Encore)