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Get the Led Out Takes the Peak

Famed Led Zeppelin tribute band Get The Led Out made a soaring, head-first plunge into Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania on Friday, April 19th. Not only was this my first time witnessing GTLO in the flesh, but this was also the first of two back-to-back shows for the group at Penn's Peak. Let me tell you, I regret not taking off work for both shows, because ten back-to-back appearances at this venue wouldn't have been nearly enough. "The Mighty Zep" was truly incarnate in these fine musicians Friday night.


Firstly, the GTLO stars are no strangers to the Peak. Penn's Peak has only been around for two decades as a concert venue (it recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2023), and in that relatively short time frame, it has quickly gained an iconic reputation as a cozy place atop the mountain where musical legends can be found. GTLO singer Paul Sinclair even remarked after the encore on Friday that early on in the group's career, Penn's Peak was "the first place that gave us a chance." Both band and venue saw their beginnings around the same time, which made for a bittersweet reunion Friday night to kick off a weekend of celebrating "The Mighty Zep".


Emerging from a cloud of smoke, Get the Led Out immediately solidified their big-and-bold stage presence by tearing right into trademark Zeppelin classic "Rock and Roll". They had the crowd wrapped around their finger before this first song was even over, and knew they'd keep them there all the way through the encore show Saturday night. All in attendance were only too happy to have their attention lured into the merciless swagger of the next song, "Trampled Under Foot", and let me tell you, the groove factor there was instant.


One thing that GTLO holds near and dear is the goal of bringing the sound of Led Zeppelin's studio albums to the live stage- which is a goal they successfully accomplish note-for-note, word-for-word, and moan-for-moan. For example: one detail that I thoroughly enjoyed was the inclusion of John Bonham's count-in at the beginning of the Houses of the Holy track, "The Ocean" ("we've done four already..." and you know the rest). Another aspect of their live shows that replicates the studio sound so flawlessly is the fact that every member of the band wasn't just singing or only playing one instrument. All six members of this Philadelphia-based act could be seen bouncing around the stage between various guitars, keyboards, percussion, and even a theremin. Sure, Zeppelin had four members, but if you want to recreate that signature overdubbed sound from the record, you're going to need to bust out a couple more of the heavy duty musicians!


After leaving the audience mesmerized with their ethereal rendition of the mandolin-ridden "Going to California'', it was just about time for an intermission between their sets. Upon their return to the stage, the group dove back into the celebration with "The Song Remains the Same''. By far, the highlight of this second set, in my opinion, was drummer Derek Smith's wild and extended "Moby Dick" drum solo. Though I have never seen a live performance of John Bonham, nor even GTLO's late drummer Adam Ferraioli, I could feel it in that solo that Derek had done both of them more than proud.


Before the band wrapped up their second set, they first did justice to my favorite Zep track, "Fool In the Rain", which I admit I was both surprised and insanely overjoyed by hearing live for the first time. That's the beauty of GTLO, though; they're always changing up the set list, so you never know what they're going to play at your show! After that piece from "In Through the Out Door", the group appropriately ended their show with an intense and epic tribute to Zeppelin staple "Kashmir".


The encore songs, by a landslide, had the crowd hyped up the most. Led Zeppelin IV opening track "Black Dog" kicked off this final run of songs, but even a classic such as that was only the beginning. We all know there's no way to avoid "Stairway to Heaven", but why would anyone want to avoid it, anyway? With an 18-string guitar and all, GTLO has more than perfected the craft of bringing Zeppelin's most legendary song to the stage. It was hauntingly beautiful to hear each and every note of "Stairway" played right in front of me, and the echoes of every person in the audience singing along was beyond heartwarming. GTLO definitely has a love affair with their fans without a doubt.


Finally, in good Zeppelin fashion, the encore came to a close with some classic rock n' roll sex appeal. "Whole Lotta Love" is a crowd favorite amongst GTLO fans, and I could deduce this instantly. Lead vocalist Paul Sinclair even had his work cut out for him when the audience was getting ahead of themselves and singing his parts for him, leading him to joke with us, "That's my job! I think I got this!"


It was as explosive as it was stylish. As a 21st century girl who was born about 4 decades too late to see "The Mighty Zep" in their prime, I quickly came to realize Friday night that everything I heard about Get the Led Out is true; that they truly are the closest to Led Zeppelin you can possibly get. They're not a Zeppelin carbon copy, nor do they try to be- they're something much, much more special than that. They've got style, soul, and the spirit of the music that's in every Led Zeppelin fan both young and old. It was so comforting to see people in my early 20's age group hyped up for some Zep, because normally when I go to these classic rock shows, I'm the youngest person there by a few decades at least!


Seeing Led Zeppelin's music come alive right in front of me and entrance such a wide range of people was easily the highlight of my month. I can only imagine how much of a party the encore show was Saturday night, so I'll be sure to be a "repeat offender" and not miss these incredible musicians next time they come around. You shouldn't miss out on them, too!




Setlist for April 19th, 2024:

Rock and Roll

Trampled Under Foot

The Lemon Song

The Ocean

No Quarter

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

Ramble On

Dazed and Confused

Going to California

Black Country Woman

Hey Hey What Can I Do

(Intermission)

The Song Remains the Same

The Rain Song

Moby Dick

Thank You

Fool In the Rain

Kashmir

Encore:

Black Dog

Stairway to Heaven

Whole Lotta Love



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