Lady Led Zeppelin ramblin’ into Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL VALLEY, Colorado “-Female rockers performing as classic rock cover bands isn’t a new idea for Colorado’s Vail Valley, but Led Zeppelin cover band Zepparella’s members keep their shows new by doing what the band they admire did best.
Led Zeppelin improvised a lot on stage, said Clementine, the single-name co-creator and drummer for the band. That improvisation is what keeps Zepparella’s shows fresh ” each show is different because of it, she said.
“It allows us to become our own band within the structure of playing someone else’s songs,” Clementine said. “What happens at the time is exactly what should be happening.”
The San Francisco-based band started about four years ago. Clementine had been a member of another female tribute band called AC/DShe, so she knew all the right people in the music scene to help get the new band going.
She started the band with guitarist Gretchen Menn, who was also in AC/DShe, as more of a practice project. The ladies were learning and playing Led Zeppelin songs and figured they should show off their work on stage.
“(Led Zeppelin) are like, our heroes,” Clementine said. “They’re kind of why we play the instruments we play.”
And why not play the songs of your heroes if they’re the reason you play in the first place?
Clementine said Zeparella might be one of thousands of tribute bands ” whether they’re male bands impersonating female bands or vice versa ” but when it comes down to it, it’s really just about the music, she said.
“The way we always approached it is that we come from a musical place,” she said. “We’re not really into recreating their shows.”
Zeparella consists of “four women intent on bringing the passion, the beauty, the aggression, the musicality of Led Zeppelin alive,” says the band’s biography on its Web site. Their shows bring emotion into the music and aim to bring the audience along for the ride, the biography says.
While the group plays Led Zeppelin songs as close to their original sounds as possible, the ladies definitely add their own flavor to the music. They try to play a lot of familiar songs that crowds recognize, but they also play some of Led Zeppelin’s lesser-known songs.
“We like to play things people love to sing along to, and (we play) some songs people maybe forgot about,” Clementine said. “We play a diverse taste of the catalog (of Led Zeppelin’s music).”
Zepparella has produced two albums ” “Live at 19 Broadway,” in 2005, and “A Pleasing Pounding,” in 2008. The more recent album claims to dig a little deeper into the “true-fan” songlist, whereas the first album took on mostly Led Zeppelin classics.
The group tours mostly in the Western United States, although their current tour stops off in places like New York and Boston. Zepparella’s Colorado stops include Breckenridge, Denver and Mango’s Mountain Grill in Red Cliff, where they’ll play Friday night.
Clementine said the group takes the tour spots as they come. The group played at Mango’s in February and loved it, she said.
“Some of my very favorite venues are in very small towns,” she said. “We like the vibe of the smaller places. … It’s like everyone in town is there at the show.”
When asked if there’s anything else people thinking about going to the show should expect, Clementine’s answer was simple:
“That (the show) totally rocks.”
Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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