It’s not totally true that you can’t see Led Zeppelin anymore.
It’s true the band broke up in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, but the experience of seeing Led Zeppelin live is available today thanks to Kashmir: The Live Led Zeppelin Show.
From the clothes to the hair to their voices and all the lasers and visuals in between, Kashmir is hailed as the most authentic and accurate representation of Led Zeppelin on the road today, with its tribute to the group known as one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
“What we try to do is try to emulate the live experience as if you went to a Led Zeppelin concert,” lead singer Jean Violet said. “There’s so many tribute (shows) now, but what we’re trying to do is replicate a live show.”
Kashmir: The Live Led Zeppelin Show comes to the Paramount Theatre in Rutland at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.
Violet, aka Robert Plant in Kashmir, took the band from its early Bleecker Street beginnings to Madison Square Garden, to touring the country in a short period of time, averaging almost 100 shows a year. He originally put the band together with different musicians in New York City, “kinda for fun, and it took off like a rocket.”
“The band was called Time of Dying — that was one of their big songs. It’s still my favorite Led Zeppelin song,” Violet said by phone recently.
But a little later he formed a slightly different incarnation, which became Kashmir.
“These guys were all studio musicians and I started to see the potential of what could be done,” Violet said. “I jumped on it and put together a new band in 2000. My goal was to play theaters, festivals and large events, and here we are 18 years later and that’s exactly what we do.”
Plant described “Kashmir” as the definitive song of the band.
“I don’t think Jimmy Page agreed with that,” he said, “but that’s what I went with.”
And while Violet himself never had the chance to see Zeppelin live, thanks to concert footage and a collection of bootlegs, the full experience was recreated.
“We’re playing it pretty close to the record for the most part,” Violet said. “But every once in a while we’ll go off into tangents and jam, and try to interact with the audience.
“A lot of people say this is the closest thing to a Led Zeppelin show since my wife (and I) went back in ’75,” Violet said. “And a lot of kids say this is the closest I’ll ever get to seeing Led Zeppelin live.
“It’s one of the few things you can do (where) a dad can take his son, and then his son can take his son,” Violet added. “We have 14-year-old kids with their dad and grandfather. You don’t see that too much anymore.”