Zeppelin tribute band lands in Mission for one-night only show

ZepAgain will perform at the Clarke Theatre Oct. 8.

ZepAgain will perform at the Clarke Theatre Oct. 8.

It’s too late to see Led Zeppelin live in concert, but a Los Angeles-based tribute band might just be the closest thing.

Led ZepAgain has been touring and playing the legendary band’s music for two decades to sold-out venues, and they’re coming to Mission Oct. 8.

Swan Montgomery, who appears as vocalist Robert Plant, has been there since the beginning, and the current band has been together for 10 years.

Originally from Ireland, Montgomery moved to Los Angeles in 1991 on a record deal that ended up falling through. As he was mulling over moving back home, he was offered a job singing in a Led Zeppelin tribute band. At the time there was only one other successful tribute band playing The Doors, so he decided to give it a shot.

“I found out that I could carve out a little career by doing a tribute band and travelling and having a blast,” says Montgomery by telephone from his California home.

Montgomery says he was a Zeppelin fan since childhood when he bought a vinyl album in 1969, but never dreamed he would one day end up taking on the role of Robert Plant.

He says he always admired Zeppelin, but it wasn’t until he had to actually sit down and study the band — the singing, the bass line and guitar riffs — that he really appreciated the music’s intricacy and the dedication required to play it.

In January 2004, the band was playing at Hollywood’s House of Blues, and Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page happened to be in attendance. After the show he met the band in the dressing room backstage and that led to an invitation to see the O2 reunion of Zeppelin in London in 2007. It was the first full-length concert since the passing of drummer John Bonham 17 years before.

Montgomery said Bonham’s son Jason, who played at the O2 reunion, later joined ZepAgain on drums for one show, a real treat for the band.

Although the way they play the music will be familiar to Zeppelin fans, Montgomery says it’s not simply a matter of mimicking the band note for note.

“You have to try to portray the music as people are used to hearing it,” he says. “But, you also have to allow for some room to be yourself. We also bring our own little character.”

Sometimes the imitation is a little too good. Although Montgomery says he’s quick to tell people he’s not actually Robert Plant, years ago while on tour in Mexico the band was mistaken by a crowd for the real deal who wouldn’t believe the denials.

“They were so persistent that — and maybe I shouldn’t have done it — just for the hell of it I said, fine, Robert Plant,” he says laughing. “Just to make them happy.”

ZepAgain tries to blend modern concert entertainment with the classic Zeppelin performances, but they also do a lot of conceptual shows based on showing the band from different eras. Sometimes they’ll play ’79 in Knebworth, or ’73 at Madison Square Garden, or the classic ’69 Royal Albert Hall concert.

Montgomery says a lot of people go out to see ZepAgain to tap into memories they remember from live shows when Zeppelin was touring.

“I think when you can touch people’s hearts and emotions by doing something that you love, it’s so rewarding to watch people relive a moment.”

Although they’ve been to Vancouver before, this will be the first trip to Mission for the band that has been as far afield as Kosovo and Peru.

Led ZepAgain plays Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Clarke Theatre in Mission. Tickets are $25 in advance, and available by calling Ticketmaster at 1-885-985-500 or online www.ticketmaster.ca.

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

web
Mission students hold rally, say everyone welcome at school

Ecole Christine Morrison Elementary School hosted an Anti-Racism Day on June 15

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read