I don’t think I ever told you, but I’m a tribute band freak. My friend Donna shares my guilty pleasure; together we’ve seen tribute acts for U2, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, and there are more I can’t think of right now but they were all great fun. Except one--a band called Lez Zeppelin. We should have known.
So last night I met Donna and her husband, Joey, up at The Cannery, a hotel/casino on the north end of town to see a band perform Led Zeppelin IV in its entirely. The room at the Cannery is pretty decent—nothing special, though—and last night they set it up with rows and rows of chairs all facing the stage. Well, just as Donna and I finished our conversation about how, as we’re getting older, every goddamn thing seems to bug us and we get annoyed by the stupidest shit, two big guys sat right in front of us. [Eyes rolling.] One guy’s head was obstructing my view of the stage and the guy in front of Donna had a string of lint on the back of his shirt that she soooo wanted to pick off.
Anyway, the band came on stage and immediately made it clear that they’re not a tribute act, which was a huge disappointment because it’s much more fun when the band is decked out like their idols. They opened with a promise to get to the album we came there to hear after a few classic rock songs and within seconds I felt like I was watching your typical bar band. Fortunately, a woman in the row across from us provided some entertainment, dancing all sexy-like in her micro-mini sweater dress and reminding me of the line in a Leonard Cohen song that goes, “She’s a hundred, but she’s wearing something tight.”
The lead singer increasingly annoyed the hell out of me; in his stupid golf cap and preppie clothes, he reminded me of a spoiled suburban kid whose parents still pay for his car insurance even though he’s 32 years old. When he introduced a Soundgarden song with, “You older people probably don’t know this one,” Donna and looked around at the age 50+ crowd and wondered who the hell did he think was gonna turn out to hear Led Zeppelin IV? What a douche. (I never used to say that word, but I do now because Stewie on Family Guy made it cool.)
Anyway, the night turned out fine. The dancing Monet (do you get that reference?) moved to the bar area, so the people sitting in back of her didn’t have to shoot her. I was able to position myself so Giant Head Guy in front of me perfectly blocked my view of Douche Boy. (And to think I was pissed when he sat down—see, everything really does happen for a reason!) For the rest of the show I focused on the guitar player, who looked like he could be Keith Richards’ grandson, which, if you ask me, is how young rock-n-rollers should look if they’re gonna cover Led Zeppelin.
And yes, the band did get around to playing Led Zeppelin IV but perhaps most importantly, after her third beer, Donna found the courage to surreptitiously pick the lint off the shirt in front of her.