Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Roar at the Hard Rock Rocksino

Led Zepelin

Jason Bonham defining mayhem with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience!

As I took position to photograph Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience inside the Hard Rock Rocksino, a introduction film was projected onto the screen behind the stage. We were reminded of his success and history of John “Bonzo” Bonham from his humble childhood and beyond as the centrifugal force as the drummer of Led Zeppelin. Having never witnessed Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience before or Led Zeppelin in a live setting; this concert would be a significant night of historic music and entertainment.

The fans packed the Hard Rock Rocksino as the band exploded onstage with “The Immigrant Song” and “Good Times, Bad Times”, immediately setting the pace for the torrid percussion display of fury by Jason Bonham. The band promptly shot into “Over The Hills and Far Away” to complete my photo session. Having heard cover bands of Led Zeppelin in the past, I realized this was truly the closet replica to the mighty Zeppelin, I’ll ever see!

Jason Bonham definitely was in-synch with the spirit of his famous father as he shuffled and hit the drums like an obsessed madman. His ability to project that thunderous bass drum and chops to clarify what his dad recorded in the past was predominately noticeable. The style of his drum fills syncopated throughout the night as the band continued on with “Sick Again” and “Over The Hills and Far Away”. The mysticism of his power and thrust into his Paiste cymbals and DW drums were indeed a delight to see and hear!

Vocalist, James Dylan.

Vocalist, James Dylan crooned his way through the register of notes handled originally by Robert Plant like a knife through butter. James ability to fluctuate the notes and take command was a profound example of his astute skills. Whether the song was performed with the early recordings of Led Zeppelin such as: “What Is and What Should Never Be” with it’s softer side of appeal to the higher register of “The Ocean”; Dylan cracked the tonal qualities as Robert Plant did back in the day.

Bassist, Dorian Heartsong

Bassist, Dorian Heartsong provided the gusto and shook the rafters accompanying Bohnham like a magician. His movements across the stage were like a lion in a cage, projecting the air of the venue with the sound of rich bass tones and melodic innuendo fills. Dorian’s movements were interspersed with energy and structured clarity.

Heartsong’s stern of navigation with the band across “No Quarter” along with guitarist, Tony Catania was a intense trip through time and space with Jason Bonham (timpani and gong in tow) producing the strangest aura of sound in-between the cosmic and sensory perceptions. I now appreciate “No Quarter” at a new level of interest and realized why it’s so powerful a tune.  The Led Zeppelin 1973 movie “The Song remains The Same”  recorded at Madison Square Garden New York City and finished at Shepperton Studios in England, I’ve never enjoyed on video in the past. However, the embryonic sound waves and magic of a live setting somehow made me feel I was there witnessing something special. The heaviness and the vibe was a pulse of Hard Rock at its finest.

Tony Catania

Throughout the night Japanese born guitarist, Tony Catania took us on journey of  timeless riffs and solos that  made you think he actually was Jimmy Page! The talented guitarist shredded when needed and seared through the famous guitar solos. His poses and stances are just like Jimmy Page as he struts across the stage or revels in the spotlight, it was a swagger of blues based hard rock throughout the evening by this young man!

The band changed pace with “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Thank You” with beautiful vocals and musical passages capitivating the fans. “Misty Mountain Hop” took me back to December 1973 and the days an AM radio station in Chicago played Led Zeppelin’s entire album non-stop over the airwaves. Jason was tremendous and his mates blasted the crowd with the love Led Zeppelin. “Trampled Under Foot” maintained the madness. Keyboardist, guitarist Alex Howland added the color to some songs when needed and the tinkling of his nimbleness was quite effective!

It’s a shame there wasn’t more of the younger generation in the audience. The power of the music of Led Zeppelin is a period of rock history enforcing Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience is far more than a tribute band. The genecology speaks for itself!

Once the guitarist stepped forward to center-stage, I knew once the repetitive chords of “Black Mountain Side” were unleashed; one of the greatest hard rock songs was about to begin. The power and fury of”Kashmir” exploded with the opening chords resonating like a tsunami!  Easily, my favorite song-ever and I think the fans were along the same frame of mind! As if the fans weren’t enthused enough already, bedlam pursued with Jason Bonham thanking the crowd and introducing  the soul-moving, “Stairway To Heaven”. Wow! Witnessing Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience shift through this tune, once again; reverted to the feel of first hearing it back in 1972. You’ve got to see this Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience it’s live and truly mesmerizing!

The band left the stage to return with the encore of “Rock and Roll’ transitioning into “Whole Lotta Love” as the fans approved with cheers galore!

Jason Bonham looking up at his father’s guidance?

Jason Bonham amazed me throughout his excellence performance. His sticking, thrusts of power and intricacy at projecting a certain “Big Band” swing to his style of playing was intriguing! Just like his father, John and Ian Paice of Deep Purple, their influence by Gene Krupa or Buddy Rich can be felt in the accents and groove! Although neither Gene or Buddy never held their stick like the Hard Rock icons or hit a skin as hard; the inspiration is clear!

In-between songs, Jason Bohnham enlightened us with several stories about his famous father and his own involvement with Led Zeppelin at London’s O2 Arena. I was surprised that John Bonham began playing at the age of 12 years-old with his first snare drum and received his own drumset at the age of 16. Jason mentioned before the re-union show with Led Zeppelin was spent before the show nervously wretching his stomach out backstage. His personal moment of recognition between the members his father performed with was realized during the tune “Celebration Day”.

Perhaps the most impressive persuasion was Jason talking about how important and lucky he is to carry the Bonham, name, genes, drumming and music to an entire new generation of fans everywhere!

I couldn’t agree more.

Photo Gallery

All Photos: © 2017 Jim Carver / The Rust Belt Chronicles.




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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.

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