By Rod Lee
Dismissive as he is of notions that the rock group Get The Led Out (GTLO) is a “cover band” or “tribute band” for Led Zeppelin, Paul Sinclair would have a hard time convincing an audience of several thousand in attendance for a GTLO show at Indian Ranch the evening of July 13th of this fact.
He tried. A mere waif of a young man, attired in black from head to toe (his hair matched the color of his wardrobe), Mr. Sinclair, who is the lead singer for Get The Led Out, made a concerted effort, as he apparently does every time he is on stage, to assert that the members of his ensemble are simply diehard fans of Led Zeppelin—“just like all of you.”
The distinction is hardly worth quibbling about. The proverbial “if it walks like a duck” applies.
Powered by Mr. Sinclair’s voice, which never wavered as he blasted its way through a sizeable portion of the Led Zeppelin catalog over the span of two hours, GTLO must surely be the closest thing to Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and the late Jon Bonham—“the mighty Zep”—that exists on planet Earth.
Larger in composition that those legendary four, Get The Led Out draws on the full amp of Mr. Sinclair’s vocals coupled with the wailing guitars of several instrumentalists and the drum work of Adam Ferraioli. Indeed, the crowd was not lifted out of its surprisingly relative subdue until the second half of the performance when Mr. Sinclair shouted “all right, Webster, you are in for a treat now” as Mr. Ferraioli launched into a red-hot rendition of “Moby Dick.”
The smoothness GTLO achieves being something to behold, still there is no underplaying the importance of Mr. Sinclair to the effectiveness of the production. GTLO, he mentioned (his engagement with the audience was ongoing and sincere throughout the set), “rotates” from gig to gig about thirty of the more than sixty songs from the Led Zeppelin collection that GTLO has mastered; which keeps onlookers guessing as to what comes next.
None of this would be quite so effective, however, without Mr. Sinclair’s continual movement; lifting the standing microphone and waving it around, pointing at the crowd with both hands to solicit their approval, slashing the air with his fingers as a maestro conducting at orchestra would, literally springing into action from out of the darkness when the lights are dimmed, darting from one side of the stage to the other—a la Mick Jagger. All the while raising the roof with a steady on-key shriek, which left one listener wondering what those tame-by-comparison Country singers who initially established Indian Ranch as a popular music destination (like Patty Lovelass, who has a “lane” at the campground named after her) would think.
The show was Get The Led Out’s first ever at Indian Ranch but probably not its last. Like The Mavericks and Charlie Daniels, the group will undoubtedly be asked back.
What struck someone not all that familiar with the Led Zeppelin portfolio was the sense that “I’ve heard this before” as the hits rolled forth. “Ramble On,” “Heartbreaker,” “The Rain Song,” “Kashmir,” “When the Levee Breaks,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” “Good Times Bad Times.”
GTLO—“the American Led Zeppelin”—has no need for fake British accents to get the job done. Nor does the group have to patronize the appearance of the well-known original cast principals (as evidence of this, Mr. Sinclair jokingly remarked late in the show that the audience must be wondering “why is Howard Stern (himself) singing lead vocals and why is Robert Plant (Paul Hammond) playing the guitar?”
By the time Mr. Sinclair and his cohorts came out for an encore and launched into a letter-perfect version of “Stairway to Heaven” (which everyone knew was going to be a finishing touch of the concert), the crowd was revved to a fever pitch. But there was more; with the follow-up “Whole Lotta Love” ripping into the nighttime air, it almost felt like the Indian Princess tour boat was dancing in the water at the edge of Webster Lake.
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.