Ok, so I see a lot of gigs. Probably not as many as some people, but I go to quite a few at the smaller venues, primarily Trees Dallas, in Deep Ellum. Trees seems to bring the majority of the bands I like. If I’m writing or shooting a gig, it’s probably there. You can see well known bands there on the cheap and parking is not too inconvenient unless you get there late in the evening, then it’s impossible to find something. As soon as I heard that ZEPPARELLA was coming to town, quite honestly, I hadn’t heard much about them, but was curious.
Seemingly, there are plenty of cover bands, especially in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. And that’s OK, but most of them are just decent. They generally stay local, although they rarely seem to get much beyond the metroplex. It’s quite impressive when a San Francisco-based tribute band makes its way to Big D. An even BIGGER reason to attend is because local gal Holly West (HONEY) is now playing bass with them. Holly is one bad ass on the bass and a sweetheart as I found out.
So, I’d love to play in a tribute or “cover” band. No the music is not original to the ones on stage, but that doesn’t mean that they are any less qualifies as a musician. A talented musician works hard and long hours on everything, original material or not. Just depends on one’s personal taste. Another reason I like particular tribute bands is if I’ve never seen a particular artist in concert, a tribute band will bring that to life. For instance, PINK FLOYD. I never got to see them live. I have seen the tribute band BRIT FLOYD twice. I never knew how magical their music really was until I heard it played live. It’s just enchanting.
The difference to me between a “cover” and “tribute” band, is that a cover brings the music, but the tribute brings the music’s soul or gets pretty darned close. They become one with the music and they strive to become the best at playing it. Welcome to ZEPPARELLA who is: Clementine (founder and drums), Gretchen Menn (guitar), Anna Kristina (vocals) and our own Dallas gal, Holly West (bass).
I was supposed to have a photo pass when I arrived. Sometimes that falls flat and it did this time as well. Well, hell. I wandered inside and ran across Holly, who I had never met, but knew who she was from seeing her perform locally. I mentioned my issue and up we went to the front, and straight away, I had a photo pass. She introduced herself and was just the nicest person. Just noticing her over the years, she’s become better and better as a musician. Some badass bass solos were to come before the night was over.
Warming up the stage was HOLLY WEST’S band (featuring my bud Bobby Michaelides with BLACKOUT) and WHITESNAKE tribute,SAINTS AND SINNERS. Holly mentioned that this was her last show living in Dallas before she was going to leave for California. We will definitely miss her as she’s a well-loved and familiar face around these parts.
Like rising from depths of Hades, the ladies resurrected the music of LED ZEPPELIN and blew the shit off the doors. They led the night with “The Lemon Song”. Just superbly done. Following were classics like “Moby Dick”, “Bring It On Home”, “The Immigrant Song”, “Kashmir”, “Whole Lotta Love” and “When the Levee Breaks”. The highlight for me was “Dazed and Confused” and in historic Jimmy Page style, Menn astounded us with incredible modulated bowed harmonics, yes with a violin bow, just like Page. Her talent on this song blew us all away.
ZEPPARELLA is currently touring the United States, and will end up back home in San Francisco at the end of June. If you love the music of LED ZEPPELIN, I think you would be completely impressed with these ladies. Salude’.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH/M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY