Buckeye Music Magazine
Covering the Music Scene in the Buckeye State
 

Led Zepagain Brings the Music of Zeppelin Alive Again

By Jimmy Cummings
 
Led Zepagain@Bogart's
 

I have been a fan of Led Zeppelin every since I was a kid; listening to them on my turntable I can remember closing my eyes and getting lost in the vocals of Plant, the guitar riffs of Page, the amazing Bass and keyboards of Jones, and the driving beats of Bonham. For hours I would sit in my little room (really a closet) with my headphones on and forget about everything else but the sounds bouncing inside my head.

Unfortunately I never got to see the band live before the tragedy of Bonham’s death in 1980. So when my son gave me two tickets to the Led Zepagain Tribute show at Bogart’s I was pretty pumped. Then I did a little research on the band and decided I want to do an article and review of the show. So I wrote the band an e-mail and much to my surprise, Steve Zukowsky the bands guitarist, sent me a message back and gave me the OK with all access for the show. Dude I was on cloud nine! Now I know what you’re saying, “this is a tribute band, why are you so excited?” What can I say; I figured if they are half as good as the original it would still be a fun night out.

Our night began with my wife Lisa and me going backstage to meet the band. This was my first time backstage at Bogart’s so I had no idea where we were going, it is like a maze back there, but eventually we found our way to the band. I wasn’t sure what to expect, perhaps a groupie or two, beer, booze and everywhere, you know the things rockers do. But when we met Steve backstage the guys were simply chilly out relaxing before their show. After introductions, some small talk, and a couple of pictures with Lisa and the band we wished the guys luck for the show. We had a little time to kill before the show so we went out and mingled with the crowd gathering outside. This was Led Zepagain’s first time to the Buckeye State, so everyone was wandering exactly how good these guys really are; I mean there a “tribute” band right? But once Led Zepagain took the stage all that crap was out the window and the party was on.
 
Led Zepagain@Bogart's     Led Zepagain@Bogart's

At this point we should introduce the band; Swan Montgomery (Vocals), Jim Wootten (Bass, Keyboards, Mandolin), Steve Zukowsky (Guitar), Jim Kersey (Drums, Percussion). When the band first takes the stage you can’t help but notice how much they look like Zeppelin. These guys even have the movements and hand gestures down. But it doesn’t take long before you start focusing on the music these guys are pumping thru those speakers and you realize these guys can play.

Swan Montgomery’s vocals are a dead ringer for Plant, and with the curly blonde locks and mannerisms you almost forget this isn’t the real thing. The rest of the band is just as impressive; filling the shoes of John Paul Jones on Keyboards and Bass can’t be easy, but Jim Wootten is up to the challenge and portrays Jones with tremendous accuracy. Steve Zukowsky is an amazing guitarist; all you have to do is witness his rendition of Dazed and Confused and you too will be amazed.  Everyone in Bogart’s that night was in awe at how much Steve sounded like Page. From the bow work on Dazed and Confused to the dual guitars on The Song Remains the Same, this was like watching Page in his prime. Jim Kersey had the daunting task of performing the drums of John Bonham; I mean no one can pound the drums like Bonham, right? That’s what I thought until I heard Jim’s version of Moby Dick.
 
Led Zepagain@Bogart's   Led Zepagain@Bogart's Led Zepagain@Bogart's   Led Zepagain@Bogart's
 
The band also performed classic Zeppelin hits like Kashmir, Rock and Roll, and Whole Lotta Love as well as an acoustic set that featured Wootten on Mandolin. This was an all age’s show, so there was a variety of people in the crowd, but when the guys played Stairway to Heaven everyone was on their feet. I have to admit, there were times when I was standing like six inches from the speakers with my camera in hand and I would get so caught up in the show, I would forget to snap the shot. Sorry, but this band is that good. It was interesting that after the band left the stage, the talk outside was, “can you believe how much those guys sound like Zeppelin?”
 
Led Zepagain@Bogart's   Led Zepagain@Bogart's Led Zepagain@Bogart's   Led Zepagain@Bogart's
 
The night ended with the band coming out and greeting those who stuck around for a cold one after the show. In addition to being great musicians, these are great guys. All the guys were signing autographs and Swan came down and gave Lisa hug (I’m sure one of the highlights of her night) and invited us back to see them any time. No worries, if you guys are anywhere close, we are there! I want to thank Steve for taking the time out of his busy schedule to hook us up, as well as the rest of the band for giving us a night we will never forget. Also, thanks to Bogart’s for bringing Led Zepagain to the Buckeye State, let’s bring them back REAL SOON!
 
Led Zepagain@Bogart's 
 
 

Contact Information
Chubby Howard: chubby@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Jimmy Cummings: jimmy@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Kim Howard: kim@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
Lisa Cummings: lisa@buckeyemusicmagazine.com
 
 
 
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