The tribute act Kashmir goes to great lengths to recapture the experience of seeing Led Zeppelin play live in the 1970s.
So naturally, who better than Kashmir founder/guitarist Frank Livingston to create the ultimate Zeppelin playlist?
Kashmir plays the final installment of the “Rock The Barns” winter concert series Saturday, March 2, at the Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn.
Despite nonstop shows in the Midwest since the band’s inception nearly 18 years ago, Kashmir has remained intact through its passion for the music.
“Nobody ever will or could be Led Zeppelin, but it is so much fun trying,” said Livingston.
Last year, Kashmir performed a sold-out show at Rock The Barns.
Livingston said the March 2 show will be different because the band now has a better understanding of which songs will work at the venue, thanks to feedback from friends they made after the last Rock The Barns gig.
Just don’t ask Kashmir for a setlist. They play what feels right in the moment.
“Sometimes, it’s hard to decide because we love the entire Zeppelin catalog,” Livingston said.
That love compels the band use vintage gear onstage. Livingston said one of the most important pieces for him onstage is an unmodified 1983 Marshal Plexi top amp which allows him to chase the sound immortalized by guitar god Jimmy Page.
When asked to list his favorite Led Zeppelin songs, Livingston supplied a playlist that should appeal to both newbies and veteran fans alike.
Following are his picks and his thoughts on each track.
Editor’s note: Livingston’s answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Livingston: I love seeing the audience move together to the groove of this.
”Stairway to Heaven”
Livingston: Always has a spiritual thread that connects everyone in the audience.
”Over the Hills
and Far Away”
Livingston: It’s a great sing-along at the shows.
Livingston: This song is a very hard song to do accurately. The communication between the drums and guitar are key.
Livingston: This song is as complicated — if not more complicated — than any prog rock song.
Everyone thinks that this is just a simple churning groove. Quite the contrary.
This song and feel cannot be taught. The pattern and feel to this song comes from the history and background associated with the piece.
Editor’s Note: Led Zeppelin’s version is a reworking of “When the Levee Breaks,” by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie. In 1929, the country blues duo recorded the song, which is believed to have been inspired by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.
Livingston: I love the counterpoint between the mandolin and guitar.
Livingston: The audience loves this.
”Dazed and Confused”
Livingston: This IS Jimmy Page.
Livingston: As soon as you hear the opening riff, it puts you in the mood.
Been Lovin’ You”
Livingston: This is always one of my all-time Zep favorites. So much emotion and passion comes out of this song.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for the March 2 show at the fairgrounds, 411 E. Court St., Elkhorn.
Opening for Kashmir is Waxlips, expected to go on at 7 p.m. Food and beer will be available.
Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Visit the Walworth County Fairgrounds website for more details.