Tribute acts face the intriguing reality of being generally perceived as a novelty while paying the same tariffs of blood and sweat required of all bands. And possibly more for those groups that chase down specific looks, their chosen artist's correct instruments, and other ways to provide a more authentic representation.
Led Zeppelin 2 is considered one of the most respected tribute groups in the world, taking considerable pains to be the ultimate in this area of expertise and performance. It's a labor of love that frontman Bruce Lamont feels will never get old. When asked if playing ever grows stale, the band's surrogate Robert Plant said, "If this is the job I'm going to have from here on out, I'm perfectly OK with that! I've had plenty of pretty fucking stale jobs over the years, you know?"
And while many tribute artists are so deeply engrossed in their singular path to homage, Lamont is a unique case in that his other musical endeavors bring him to the very edge of avant-garde sound, performing warped, psychedelic saxophone as the frontman of Chicago's Yakuza, and as a member of experimental supergroup Corrections House, which features members of Neurosis and Eyehategod.
Led Zeppelin 2 has become the fans' tribute, performing sets one may have encountered at a Zep performance in their day, rather than sticking to the predictable hits beaten mercilessly into the ground by classic rock radio. According to Lamont, the band has been delving into deeper cuts like "No Quarter" and "Custard Pie" recently, and have even started to test the waters of full album performances in the Midwest. Lamont wouldn't get in-depth about what songs we can expect when Led Zeppelin 2 hits Fort Lauderdale's Revolution Live later this month, however, he did hint at some direction, saying, "The guy playing John Paul Jones right now - his name is Matt Longbons -- is an amazing piano player, so we really want his chops to be at the forefront and really see what he can do."
Led-Zeppelin 2. 8 p.m., Saturday, February 22, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $18.50 in advance, $20 day of show. Call (954) 449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net.