In 2007, Jason Bonham played the most hotly anticipated gig in rock history. Two weeks ago, the film of that gig had a brief run in Buffalo, and it was a mind-melting, heart-lifting affair. Jason was filling the drum throne for his late father, the revered, iconic John Bonham, and backing his father’s bandmates, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones for Led Zeppelin’s one-off reunion performance. One can only imagine the pressure the drummer must have been under. But guess what? He absolutely killed it. And he helped Zeppelin turn in a performance on par with the best of its past triumphs. (The film will be released on home video, CD and vinyl Nov. 19 as “Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day.”)
There are tribute bands, and then there are bands like Zappa Plays Zappa and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, in which deeply talented sons carry forward the music of their fathers with passion, grace and integrity. Bonham and the LZE last passed through town in 2011, pausing to offer an inspired show inside the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts. During that performance, singer James Dylan and guitarist Tony Catania greatly aided Bonham in summoning the might and majesty of Led Zeppelin’s music. The band returns to do it again at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Rapids Theatre (1711 Main St., Niagara Falls).
Tickets are $40 advance, $45 day of show (box office, www.rapidstheatre.com).
– Jeff Miers