Will the Bonham Experience Ever Live Up To Zeppelin’s Legacy?

Will the Bonham Experience Ever Live Up To Zeppelin’s Legacy?

Over 36 years ago, the world lost Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, one of the most influential drummers in history, and certainly an icon of enormous proportion to his son, Jason Bonham.

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience - John Bonham

John Bonham performs live on stage at Madison Square Garden, New York in June 1977 (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)

Bonzo was only 32 when he departed this Earth, leaving Zeppelin a tattered, shattered mess from which the band never fully recovered. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones all acknowledged his mastery, knowing he could never be replaced, although Jason played with his father’s old buddies for the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert in 1988, and the single reunion concert at London’s 02 Arena in 2007.

Jason Bonhams led Zeppelin Experience - Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin performing in 2007 at the London 02 Arena. Courtesy

Like the Beatles, Zeppelin is gone. That era is also gone.

But there’s more than enough history to go around, especially when monumental music is involved.

As a result of his participation in the reunion of Led Zeppelin at the London 02 Arena performance (and subsequent decision of Page, Plant, and Jones not to perform further as Led Zeppelin), Jason decided the only way he could continue to honor his Father’s legacy was to take the music on the road, the result becoming Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience (JBLZE).

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience - Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham

The North American tour brought JBLZE to Cincinnati’s Taft Theatre, and of course, NID Magazine was there.

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience

The venue was filled to capacity as the band took to the stage, blowing up the Zep classic “Rock and Roll,” then steamrolling through blistering renditions of “Wearing and Tearing,” “Good Times, Bad Times,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “The Wanton Song,” “What Is and What Should Never Be,” “Thank You,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” “Moby Dick,” “Going to California,” “The Rain Song,” “The Ocean,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Fool in the Rain,” “Trampled Under Foot,” “Kasmir,” “Whole Lotta Love,” and of course, “Stairway to Heaven.”

Midway thru the set, Jason broke into an absolutely mind blowing ten minute drum solo … halfway through, a video popped up on a giant screen showing John Bonham performing one of his drum solos live with Jason playing it note for note in sync along with his father — it was definitely an impressive thing to watch.

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience - Jason Bonham02

The emphasis here was more on the aural than the visual — and if you closed your eyes at any given moment you swore you had travelled back in time and were witnessing Zep in their glory …

The music was spot-on and played note for note with precision …

The vocal duties were handled by James Dylan, who didn’t so much look like Plant but man, did he nail every single note to perfection …

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience - James Dylan

James Dylan

Tony Catania did a remarkable job of playing every Jimmy Page riff, and even eerily resembled the guitar legend,  especially when he sported the vintage double neck guitar …

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience - Tony Catania

Tony Catania

Rounding out the band were bass player Dorian Heartsong, and on keys, Alex Howland.

Jason Bonhams Led Zeppelin Experience - Dorian Heartsong

Dorian Heartsong

The evening didn’t only consist of one Zep hit after another but in between songs Jason would tell stories about what it was like growing up basking in the glow of the music, and the other members of the band.

Jason also shared memories of his legendary father, about being on tour and travelling with the band, and also about some more personal reflections.

Where’s the value in this?

Yeah, that era is gone, but every decade we have a new crop twisting and grinding their personal experience into a tangible form, whether it be some product, service, or yes, music.

The technologies change … the platforms and channels evolve, but one thing remains true — through generations, music remains a vital message.

Bonzo begun this beat, and Jason has kept it going.

Check out JBLZE, and hear the legacy for yourself.

About NID Staff

NID Staff

From the delectable and always amorous NID Staff, another little ditty certain to tantalize your brain while inciting a slight tinge of drool, as a bit more adrenaline is released into the bloodstream.