A few weeks ago, Robert Plant, the former lead singer of the iconic band Led Zeppelin, performed at Golden Gate Park during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. While Plant may be done performing his most famous songs, a group of four women seeks to continue the legacy of the legendary band with their own style.
For 15 years, Zepparella has performed Led Zeppelin songs across the nation. They’ve steered away from the cover band label, striving to pay tribute to one of the world’s most famous bands. They’ll be performing at 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, at the Old Princeton Landing. Tickets are $20 online at oplhmb.com and are $25 on the day of the concert.
Band members say their performances are not meant to imitate Led Zeppelin. This group feels a profound connection to the music of their male counterparts, and seeks to provide the same music to those who experienced the original band and those who didn’t get the chance. According to the band’s drummer, who goes by Clementine, they’ve sustained their passion and success because Led Zeppelin’s music gives them a certain freedom of expression.
“Zeppelin was one of the greatest rock bands because of the connection between the players,” Clementine said. “Because the music is so deep, and the improv and touring nature of the music, we can make it our own in certain ways, and become a band in the structure of someone else’s music. That magic potion has kept us going.”
Along with Clementine, the group includes fellow founder and guitarist Gretchen Menn, vocalist Anna Kristina, and Holly West on bass. Menn and Clementine previously played for another tribute band,
Zepparella had a big breakthrough in 2010 when it received more than 14 million YouTube views for a music video of “When the Levee Breaks,” one of Zeppelin’s most complex and layered songs. They’ve amassed a solid following and been endorsed by Jimmy Page himself.
To honor the impact of Led Zeppelin, Zepparella published an online Learning Channel, in which each member breaks down the style and technique of the original band members. For example, Clementine does tutorials on John Bonham’s drumming technique, and Menn details Page’s guitar skills.
As Clementine explained, learning Zeppelin is a lifelong process, but finding those right partners to play on stage with sometimes takes a mere moment of a special emotional connection.
“Creating the music together just deepens it, and it’s a real magical thing,” Clementine said.