Lunatic's Serenade

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Jason Bonham at the House of Blues
Las Vegas, 09/03/2015

Jason Bonham is the son of the original drummer for Led Zeppelin. The late, great John Bonham is the Godfather of modern progressive drumming. Anyone these days that pounds the skins and says, “I came up with that off-time beat and delay on the crash hit.” is full of it! Bonham’s heavy hand on the hi-hat and snare can be heard in drummers like Mike Portnoy, Lars Ulrich and Steve Rude (not famous yet) to name a few.

On this night, my good friend Todd and I were transported back to 1969 when Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II were released. Jason and his hard rocking band played these records in their entirety. The last time I heard these two albums all the way through was on cassette, in 1983. Here, we got it in one glorious night of classic rock ‘n’ roll.

Being a bit late to the show, we stood in the back by the bar. I kept wondering why people would spend 30-50 dollars to drink and talk to their friends during the songs. Thank God when the music started they got drowned out by the lustrous sounds of Led Zeppelin. If you’re not altogether familiar with this record, I have no doubt that you’ve heard songs like “Good Times, Bad Times” and “Communication Breakdown”, on the radio. But the recordings hold no candle to the straight forward attack that Bonham and boys took to these songs. The atmosphere was just right; the players nailed every note, key change and nuance. The tempos were a bit heavier and faster in some places, but that’s to be expected in a live performance. You want the same sound and tempo? Pop in the disc and nothing beats the energy and excitement of five musicians slamming the songs you love.

After a bit, I was noticing a few holes in the set list but I didn’t let that bother me because I was caught up in the flower power of the 60’s. I felt the way I did the first time I heard these songs; amazed, in awe and inspired. Led Zeppelin II began and still I feel there was something missing.

Anyway, again if you haven’t heard this album and you are a musician, this is a must-have that needs to be in heavy rotation in your iPod, CD player or whatever you kids listen to music on. The songs you probably heard from this album would be “Living Loving Maid (She’s Just a Woman)” and “Ramble On”. Going back to why you need this record is the technique in Jimmy Page’s guitar work and the bass playing in songs like “The Lemon Song” and “Heartbreaker”. Jason and his band made these songs brand new all over again.

"The atmosphere was just right; the players nailed every note, key change and nuance."

Just like clockwork, when both sets were finished, Jason’s words before he left the stage were, “The louder you yell, the longer we play!” The encore filled the holes I felt earlier in the show, kicking things off with “Dazed And Confused”, from Led Zeppelin, “When The Levee Breaks”, off the untitled fourth record, and “Kashmir”, from the Physical Graffiti album. All were done in its perfection by the capable Jason Bonham crew. Although the night was filled with hit after hit, you know they had to do the songs that are known from coast to coast like butter and toast. I’m talking about the most requested, never released as a single, “Stairway to Heaven”. Proving it’s a favorite sing-along, everyone, including the talkers at the bar, sang. It was very moving to hear 600+ people sing about, “The lady we all know who shines white light and wants to show how everything still turns to gold.” The last song filled the hole I spoke about in the second set. Up to that point the first song from Led Zeppelin II was missing but everything came together at the first notes. The chords rang out as the powerful Jason Bonham band banged out an awesome rendition of “Whole Lotta Love”! The whole place was partying like it was 1969! Just, no one had any doobies.

In conclusion, Jason Bonham’s drumming was perfect, the band was spot on and the venue was the right place to have this show. The House of Blues has always been the place to rock out to any group. So if you are into Third Day, Stryper, Demon Hunter or classic rock acts, hit this place.

Special thanks to Lola Rose and Sasha Rincon at

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