Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters + The Last Internationale: The Cap 9/25/14

The first night of Robert Plant's tour with his new band the Sensational Space Shifters, which included new material and Led Zeppelin classics, proved how apt their moniker is.

Led Zeppelin’s blues and rock songs were steeped in mysticism. And their lead vocalist, Robert Plant has put out many albums since that group split, with perhaps the most successful being the much-lauded Raising Sand, a collaboration of Americana and folk covers done with Alison Krauss. This year, Plant is back with an excitingly dubbed new band, The Sensational Space Shifters and with their backing, he stretches the sonic palette he has working with for decades. And their first album, lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, is a wonderous and delightful amalgamation of Appalachian folk and North African and Eastern sonics that will prove as timeless as anything he’s done before. The Space Shifters include Juldeh Camara on unique instruments, the kologo, which is similar to a banjo and a ritti that is played with a bow, both Justin Adams and Liam “Skin” Tyson on guitars, John Baggot on keyboards and synths, Billy Fuller on bass and Dave Smith on drums.

The first night of the band’s proper tour was a sold-out show at the famed Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. Along for the ride were The Last Internationale, a New York based band whose debut album We Will Reign was released earlier this year. As some might imagine, with Plant headlining, few people were there to catch The Last Internationale and at times the audience’s chatter overwhelmed the band’s performance (particularly during a bluesy/gospel acoustic tune). But from what I could hear, the band had a little bit of an anarchic edge to them, kinda like Sleater-Kinney at times, which helps give their politically-minded music an extra charge. Delila Paz lost the crowd during the gospely tune but got their attention right back with their cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My”. Guitarist Edgey Pires dedicated the tune “Wanted Man” to patriots like Edward Snowden (to which the man behind me spit out, “he’s a traitor”) and welcomed the audience to make this year as notable for social change as “1968” was before the finale song of their set.

Plant and the Space Shifters played a fantastic and trippy set that lasted about 90 minutes and had much of the crowd in the seated balcony on their feet, clapping and stomping along. They mixed in new tunes from lullaby with classic Led Zeppelin material as well as some folk covers (like the “older than olden” cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault but Mine”). Without a doubt the Zeppelin tunes were a treat to hear. “Going to California” instantly got the crowd singing along with Plant, enough so that he let them finish some verses and portions of “Whole Lotta Love” were mashed into the rocking sandwich of “Seventh Son” and “Who do you Love”.

But Plant wanted the audience to appreciate the new stuff too, often chatting with the crowd, suggesting these songs will be as classic as the other stuff given time before introducing “Stolen Kiss”. The wildest moments came during the new songs, starting with “Poor Howard” and ending with “Little Maggie” which saw Camara performing with abandon across the stage. Before kicking off the latter tune to close out the night, Plant warned, “don’t get too excited, you might not like it”. However there was little not like about “Maggie”. With its frantic bluegrass merged with mystical elements, the song was a powerful conclusion to a exciting show from the musical legend. Plant and The Space Shifters are a rowdy bunch and if you catch one of their live shows, you’ll see just how apt their name is.

The Last Internationale:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters:

The Last Internationale setlist:

Moanin’ at Midnight

Life, Liberty,

Killing Fields


We Will Reign

Wanted Man

Besta [? –spiritual song I couldn’t hear]

Hey Hey, My My (Neil Young)


Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters setlist:

Poor Howard

Pocketful of Golden

Thank You (Led Zeppelin)

How Many More Years/How Many More Times (Howlin’ Wolf )


Going to California (Led Zeppelin)

A Stolen Kiss

What is and What Should Never Be (Led Zeppelin)

Turn It Up

Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You (Joan Baez)

Fixin’ to Die (Bukka White)

Seventh Son / Whole Lotta Love / Who Do You Love (Led Zeppelin)


Nobody’s Fault but Mine (Blind Willie Johnson)

Little Maggie

Robert Plant Tour Dates:


27 Brooklyn USA

28 Brooklyn USA

30 Toronto Canada


2 Chicago USA

4 Denver USA

7 Los Angeles USA


9 Newport UK

10 Bournemouth UK

12 London UK

14 Hull UK

15 Glasgow UK

17 Leeds UK

18 Newcastle UK

20 Cambridge UK

21 Wolverhampton UK

23 Belfast UK

24 Dublin IE

26 Blackpool UK

27 Llandudno UK

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