By Evelyn Peregrin
The vocal crowd could not contain themselves. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters jumped from their seats, neatly in rows, and after each song was played, gravitated closer to the stage. No one moved to stop them until finally a young girl of no more than 10-years-old, wearing a shirt that read ‘Got Zep?’, laid her hands on the main stage. She continued to dance with her family while the fog machine produced a transcendental effect and the band finished their set.
Three generations of Led Zeppelin fans gathered in the SOPAC theater on Nov. 17 to see Get The Led Out “The American Led Zeppelin” experience made possible by a group of professional musicians who have been performing the great rock band’s catalog for the last 10 years.
“I never expected to be in a cover band,” Paul Sinclair, 51, said. The lead vocalist was passionate about writing his own songs but was asked in 2003 to be a part of a Led Zeppelin group based in the local Philadelphia area. “They wanted to dress up like Zeppelin, be in character but I had no interest in that,” he said.
Sinclair compares ‘Get the Lead Out’ (GTLO) to the Fab Faux, a tribute band of professional musicians who only play the Beatles. The catch is they only play the studio versions of the songs, just as someone might hear them on the radio.
“I love that philosophy. We’ll do whatever it takes to make the songs happen the way you know and love them,” Sinclair said. “That’s what separates us and that’s the vision that I put forth since the very beginning.”
The band’s credentials suggest that vison has produced the desired results. GTLO just finished a West Coast tour consisting of 26 shows in 36 days and has played the Red Rock Amphitheatre, near Morrison, Colorado, for three years in a row.
The drive to please their audience comes from being fans of the music themselves, according to Sinclair. He said they even change their set list for every show and allow fans to request songs through social media a week or so before the show.
“I liked that GTLO doesn’t seek to impersonate Led Zeppelin, but rather to honor their memory,” Gabi Hunt, a junior at Seton Hall said, after seeing her first Get the Led Out show at the SOPAC. The diplomacy and international relations and environmental studies double major thought that the energy in the room was amazing. “Seeing a bunch of moms crowding the stage at the end was hilarious; it was a nice reminder that life doesn’t stop at 30.”
Katie Fatzler, an employee at SOPAC, was working the box office the night of the show and witnessed a large, excited crowd waiting to hear the sounds of Zeppelin live once again. “There was one man who said he’d seen GTLO perform over 200 times,” the senior journalism major said.
Get the Led Out has been playing together for 10 years, Sinclair said, with the same band members as when it was formed, and a new bass player. If they ever have a shortage of hands to recreate a sound from “The Mighty Zep” they turn to members of their crew.
“We get out there and put on a rock concert,” Sinclair said. When asked what he would say to young artists covering well-known songs, he spoke adamantly and with no hesitation. “Give them all the goose bump moments.”