Kid Rock, the Foo Fighters and Lenny Kravitz took turns tearing through short versions of Led Zeppelin classics during the Kennedy Center Honors tribute to the band, which aired last night (Dec. 26) on CBS.
On our televisions at least, the Foo Fighters’ two-song set from the live event on Dec. 1 was cut in half — yeah, cause who would want to watch Dave Grohl drum on ‘Black Dog’ anyway, right television guys? At least we got to see him bash through ‘Rock and Roll’ as the band’s usual drummer, Taylor Hawkins, took over lead singer duties and did his best Robert Plant impression.
Kid Rock was up next, with another special guest drummer, Kenny Aronoff, for a somewhat screechy and over-abbreviated take on ‘Ramble On,’ from 1969′s ‘Led Zeppelin II.’ In his defense, there are very few Zep tracks this side of ‘Immigrant Song’ where the mood and dynamics can be delivered properly in the two minutes each artist was apparently allowed.
Kravitz — again joined by Aronoff — fared better on his sprint through ‘Whole Lotta Love’ from that same album, thanks in no small part to his “oh yeah, we forgot how good that guy is” lead guitarist, Craig Ross. President Obama could be seen singing along in the crowd for this song, a sight that probably gave Ted Nugent a seizure.
Thankfully, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart were given more time for the climax of this musical tribute, a performance of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ that you can see below.
Watch Foo Fighters, Kid Rock and Lenny Kravitz’s Kennedy Center Performances
In a performance that had Robert Plant on the verge of tears, Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart sang ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as the finale of a star-studded musical tribute to Led Zeppelin during the Kennedy Center Honors, which were broadcast last night (Dec. 26) on CBS.
It seems like about 3,000 people were on stage during this performance, with the Wilson sisters joined by late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s son Jason on drums, as well as a gigantic house band featuring string and horn sections and what appeared to be two different vocal choirs.
As anyone who’s seen their frequent live performances of ‘Rock and Roll‘ or ‘The Battle of Evermore‘ can tell you, the Wilson sisters know how to play Led Zeppelin live. From the moment they began, all eyes and ears were focused on Ann Wilson, and she knocked this one out of the park, leaving John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and a clearly misty Plant with big smiles on their faces as they watched from the balcony.
Watch the Wilson Sisters Perform ‘Stairway to Heaven’