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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss // Live @The Louisville Palace Theater // 5.2.2023

Article and Photos by: Michael W. Bright


Louisville KY- As happens so often at this particular venue, an artist looks out from the stage, around the gorgeous renaissance style theater with fond recognition, pleasant memories. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss shared their own recollections, with Krauss recalling that she had recorded a stunning live concert DVD here in 2002, and Plant reminiscing about the duo’s debut performance in public, which took place at this same Palace Theater 15 years earlier. On this night, their perfectly paced performance played to a completely full house, thrilling fans with their blend of traditional folk, blues, and reimagined rock music.

Robert Plant

They opened to a palpable exhale of anticipation with “Rich Woman,” and  “Fortune Teller,” from Raising Sand, “Album of the Year,” winner at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Not unfamiliar territory. Krauss is one of the most successful bluegrass artists of all time, with over 27 Grammy Awards to her name. The rich, soft, smokey weaving of their voices, the magic that drew them together and reunited them again was the glamor and the glue for the evening. Plant and Krauss have released two albums together, Raising Sand, in 2007, and Raise the Roof, in 2021. The concert thoroughly explored those popular, award winning collaborations.

Throughout, the artists bantered with the audience, with Plant charmingly introducing Krauss as the “Queen of Rivendell” and she countered, remarking that he was born from “the Boggs of Middle Earth.” Plant’s voice got stronger as the evening went on. Alison’s angelic voice is always perfection. Within 30 years of performing she has never missed a note. Tonight, contrary to her usual mellifluous violin style, she scraped the strings, harshly at times, to emphasize the murky tone of certain songs’ delivery.

Alison Krauss

Together they mined gold halfway through the night with a pair of retooled Led Zeppelin covers, “Battle of Evermore” and “When the Levee Breaks,” high points in the evening. The pair covered Everly Brothers, UK folkie Bert Jansch, Allen Toussaint, and Ray Charles, among others. The former singer for Led Zeppelin explained, “this is a song that Alison wrote when she was in high school,” before launching into Zep’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll.”

Krauss and Plant delivered an unforgettable performance, a rare, musical, mystical chemistry from a pair, mythic within their own singular epic histories. A bit unusual that a concert composed mostly of little-known cover songs could conjur magic and sell-out, over and over.

The concert tour continues, with U.S. dates continuing into July.

Michael W. Bright
Michael W. Bright enjoyed a 30 year career in rock radio, both on the air and most notably as Program Director of seminal Alternative Rock icon WFNX in Boston. His first concert experience was Jefferson Airplane in 1967 and he hasn't gotten live music out of his system yet. He currently lives on a small farm in pastoral Pewee Valley, outside of Louisville, Kentucky with his huge family.