West Seattle's Lou Magor (seen at far left behind the spotlight beams) joined Heart, and Pat Wright and the Total Experience Gospel Choir on stage at Bumbershoot on Aug. 31. They performed the Led Zeppelin classic 'Stairway to Heaven' as the finale to the concert. They were joined on stage by Jason Bonham and Tony Catania of Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience.
West Seattle's Lou Magor joined Heart and Bonham on stage in a triumphant finale to Bumbershoot concert
Performing with Pat Wright and Total Experience Gospel Choir the music was amazing
In a overwhelmingly powerful display of talent and mastery of their own back catalog of hit songs, Heart carried the torch for Led Zeppelin lit earlier in the evening by none other than Jason Bonham, son of the late drummer for the classic rock band, John Bonham on Aug 31 at Seattle's Bumbershoot festival.
West Seattle's own Lou Magor, owner and impressario at Kenyon Hall on 35th SW joined Heart and Bonham on stage for the final song, Stairway to Heaven.
Earlier in the day Magor, providing keyboards, performed with the Total Experience Gospel Choir led by Pat Wright, on the Starbucks stage.
Magor's appearance with Heart capped an extraordinary night that began with Bonham and his band providing the "Led Zeppelin Experience." They performed amazingly accurate versions of some of Led Zeppelin's best songs, dipping into a couple of lesser known songs during the set including "Nobody's Fault But Mine" from the Presence album.
Then Heart took the stage after an intermission and rocked the crowd with over an hour of their own hits from "Barracuda" to" Dog and Butterfly".
For "Crazy on You" Pearl Jam's Mike McCready joined them on stage. Heart's love of and homage to Led Zeppelin is well known throughout their four decade career but on this evening it couldn't have been more evident.
After leaving to thunderous applause Heart returned and performed an almost complete second show but this time doing all Led Zeppelin songs from Immigrant Song to Kashmir. The crowd responded not with lit cellphones held high during the slower songs but in an almost time warped experience, many held up lighters just as people did in the 1970's.
Heart's clarity of performance was unmistakable and their mastery of the arrangements built by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant originally was stunning.
Both Jason Bonham and Bonham's guitarist Tony Catania also joined Heart for the finale - Bonham was a thunderstorm on drums, then Catania's brilliant guitar work, some on double neck, layered perfectly his with Nancy Wilson's own. Heart's drummer, Ben Smith for the first time on the tour, joined Bonham on stage for an earthquaking version of "Kashmir".
There is simply no denying the enduring quality of the Led Zeppelin song writing craft. The themes, the sheer power, the arrangements, are so staggeringly good that they will endure for generations to come. At the show there was a boy, probably 10 years old in front of me with his parents. I've BEEN to Led Zeppelin concerts. I said to my wife, " This is just like a Led Zeppelin concert!"
That boy... he turned and gave me the most serious look and mouthed the words..."I KNOW!"... It was both hilarious and spot on. I really thought I'd never hear that music live again, presented so perfectly. I was wrong. Jason and his band honor not only the original band but the amazing legacy of the catalog. To know that kids are aware of the music, love it and GET it... that's something.
The finale was nothing short of transcendent. Magor who has been touring with Pat Wright and Heart this summer led the Total Experience Gospel Choir in a recreation of the performance of the song Heart did with Bonham during the Kennedy Center Honors of Led Zeppelin last year. The choir rehearsed their part at Kenyon Hall for this event. Magor and Wright went ahead of Heart on tour to recruit and rehearse choir members in each city, often singing parts themselves to round out the sound.
The choir, the band, their voices blending toward the dynamic crescendo had the entire Key Arena crowd on its feet, singing along with what has been called the greatest rock song ever written. Ann Wilson's powerful voice sailed atop the crushing drums, booming bass, and searing guitar as the choir punctuated and expanded the sound, moving with the music.
The crowd was surging, and singing along, bursting into massive applause and cheers, then Wilson sang the final phrase, and the crowd joined in, " And she's buying a stairway to heaven."
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