Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening at Hard Rock Tampa
Jason Bonham decided to do a tour in 2010 of Led Zeppelin music to honor his father, John Bonham, the original drummer of Led Zeppelin. 12 years later he is still on the road playing LZ in between his gig with Sammy Hagar’s “The Circle”. A different kind of tribute band in that Bonham has the pedigree and the blessing of original band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones to perform their music. In December of 2007, Zeppelin played their reunion show “Celebration Day” together in London at the O2 with Jason on drums. Celebration Day can be found on YouTube and DVD.
Going to Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening is as close as you’re gonna get to a live Zeppelin show these days. There were dozens of Led t-shirts in the crowd at Tampa’s Hard Rock Event Center. They came to groove, rock and pay homage to one of the world’s greatest bands. Bonham has put together an accomplished group of musicians to play these intricate pieces of music. Think “Kashmir” or “No Quarter” as well as some radio rock classics like “The Ocean” and “Rock & Roll”. The iconic “Stairway to Heaven” is an incredible sing-along for everyone.
Lead singer James Dylan looks nothing like Robert Plant but close your eyes while listening and you hear Dylan channeling Plantlike vocals, his range is ridiculous. He carries himself with rockstar presence. Lead guitarist Jimmy “Mr. Jimmy” Sakurai is an incredible guitarist who has been playing Zeppelin since he was a teenager. He has honored the band in several tribute bands playing note for note Zepp’s live performances. Dorian Heartsong is the bass man and Alex Howland on keyboards, broke out the mandolin for “Going to California”.
Of course, there is the leader and drummer, Jason Bonham. No matter how much pedigree you have, if you don’t have the chops, you cannot play Led Zeppelin and Jason certainly does! Jason honors his father’s legacy and brings the music not only to the diehard fans of Led but the younger generations who may or may not have grown up with it. He tells stories of his childhood with his famous dad. For two hours you are taken to the days of the music of the Mothership. Just announced, JBLZE will be playing the 2023 Rockville Festival in Daytona Beach on Saturday, May 20th!
It was a family affair with Jason’s son Jager opening the show. A solid young rock band, “Jager Henry”, keep your eyes and ears out for them being on the move! Tampa’s Hard Rock Event Center is such a great venue for shows. It’s intimate, chill and allows for a great time.
Vicky Sullivan Photos