Robert Plant Offers Grace, Variety At MGM Grand (Htfd Courant)
With blues and country conventions lining every offering, even rock numbers had as much shape as power, whether the chugging rumble of "Cindy, I'll Marry You Someday" or a two-tone version of Led Zeppelin's "Houses of the Holy," which started on a cowboy trip gilded by crack multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott on pedal steel guitar before building to a thunderous rock conclusion in which Scott shifted to an electric guitar.
Plant gave Richard Thompson's "House of Cards" a mannered delivery with vibrant flourishes, punching up its roomy groove. In adorning the mellow blues gospel of "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down," Plant's delicate handling included a near-withholding of many syllables in the song's early portions while Scott plucked out a ringing banjo backdrop.
Patty Griffin forged frequent vocal alloys with Plant, but was more compelling within the band's framework as a source of accents and counterpoint, adding bright spots to "You Can't Buy My Love." Her lead on the sturdy gospel of "Move Up" was lively and sharp, while Miller's gruff, snappy lead on "Somewhere Trouble Don't Go" served as a different, equally pleasant alternative direction. Scott's rugged voicing of "Satisfied Mind" was barroom country with substantial wallop as the rest of the band loaded its chorus. (more)