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Tune into the softer side of Zeppelin

A Whole Lotta Led adds new acoustic opening

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By Nicole Fitzgerald

As if A Whole Lotta Led — Whistler’s, if not Canada’s, most coveted Zeppelin tribute band — needed another draw to pack in a sold-out crowd an hour and half before show time.

Well the local boys just went and did it anyways by hosting the first-ever early acoustic set show with elements of folk, country and blue grass with blues sensibility rocking out Zeppelin favourites Saturday, March 10 at Dusty’s.

“People were requesting it all the time,” said Grateful Greg Reamsbottom, A Whole Lotta Led frontman, of the acoustic addition. “It’s the softer side of Zep.”

Going to California, Tangerine and That’s the Way are a few tunes that will strum their way into the 9:30 show set, followed by the regular, fully-plugged-in show Whistlerites have all come to know and love.

“It's kinda like a WWII Spitfire fighter plane,” Reamsbottom explains of Zep’s acoustics. “In the air (like the electric set) it's loud, fast and dangerous, it'll blow you out of the sky! But on the ground, the acoustic set is beautiful, almost elegant, you still know it’s a fighter plane, but you can appreciate the construction and design of it more – same thing with the music, you can get closer to it without getting bitten! (The acoustic tunes) are as much a part of the Zeppelin musical legacy as the electric songs, to me anyway.”

Reamsbottom, along with bassist Mike Wilson, drummer Tom Rimmer and guitarist Phil “Creekside” Richard, crank out the odes to Plant at the speed of a freight train with the precision of a clockmaker.

From just turned legal-drinking-age teens to old timers who remember seeing Zeppelin live, the high energy and incredible music prowess of the veteran musicians wins over young and old alike, recently selling out every show in Whistler to date.

The main show will include everything from crowd pleasers such as Dazed and Confused to lesser-known gems such as Traveling Riverside Blues, with Reamsbottom singing those skyscraper notes that Robert Plant himself would be proud of.

“One of the nicest compliments came from an older guy who had seen Zep four times in the ‘60s and ‘70s, he said that when he closed his eyes, he couldn't tell the difference!” Reamsbottom said.

Be sure not to miss out on Richard’s violin bow and electric guitar stunt during a fiery solo that always brings down the house along with Rimmer's "Moby Dick" drum solo and Wilson's bass lines in The Lemon Song.

“The Immigrant Song, Over The Hills And Far Away, Moby Dick and The Ocean always get the crowd going, but honestly, the crowd's pretty much going all the time,” Reamsbottom said. “That’s what makes this music so much fun to play.”

So if Dusty’s was at capacity by 9 p.m. at past shows without an early set, that means people will be lining up jugs and playing pool to pass the time even earlier.

Get there early to avoid waiting in line or not getting in at all. Whole Lotta Led crazies will be out in full force.

“We’ve got some great fans, lot's of people that come to almost all the shows, so there's more than a few crazy stories,” Reamsbottom said. “But the most recent fan thing was the two half-naked, body-painted ladies running around misbehaving terribly at the last Moe Joe's show – funny as hell, but a little distracting.”

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