LIVERMORE – One of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” will come to life on the Bankhead Theater stage when “Classic Albums Live: Led Zepplin II” arrives on Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $40 to $80 while students and active military personnel are $17. For tickets visit lvpac.org or call 925-383-6800. The Bankhead Theater is at 2400 First Street in Livermore.
A Canadian-based group familiar to rock music aficionados, Classic Albums Live brings together world-class musicians to perform some of the most famous albums of all time, note-for-note, cut-for-cut. Their dedication to delivering high musical quality without gimmicks inspired the Toronto Star to describe their performance as “just the album as you heard it before you wore it out on the family turntable.” Classic Albums Live will perform Led Zeppelin’s iconic second album in its entirety, including such legendary hits as “Whole Lotta Love,” “Heartbreaker,” “Moby Dick” and “Bring It On Home.”
Even as Led Zeppelin celebrated the success of their first wildly popular self-titled album, the four band members, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones, were already hard at work on their second. They pulled the album together over six months in 1969, while on tour throughout North America and London. The eagerly anticipated result, released that October, reached number one on the U.S. charts by the end of the year, bumping the Beatles’ “Abbey Road.” “Led Zeppelin II” cemented their place in rock music history with what Rolling Stone called “one of the greatest, heaviest and raunchiest albums ever, steeped in both Delta and Chicago blues, Sixties psychedelia and gentle-to-bone-crushing dynamics.”
Craig Martin, producer of Classic Albums Live, told the Toronto Sun he founded the group in 2003 after hearing one too many poor tribute bands. He knew he wanted a more musically authentic experience and believed that others would appreciate that as well. Martin started with a small venue in Phoenix, Arizona and, in just a few years, Classic Albums Live had proved him right, filling prestigious venues across Canada and the United States with enthusiastic audiences.
Martin specifically selects exceptional musicians who focus on playing the world’s most well-known and familiar rock albums with absolute detail and precision. He compares the group to a symphony orchestra performing the works of great composers. Every note of the album including vocals and sound effects is faithfully recreated, resulting in what has been called a true “rock immersion” experience. As Martin says, this is music the band members of Classic Albums Live grew up with. They know the songs inside and out and, in the preparation process, they spend hours listening to each note carefully, finding ways to perform it live without any recorded elements. As many musicians and instrumentalists as are needed to accurately recreate each album are brought in for every performance.