Robert Plant at BottleRock

I decided to attend church on this particular Saturday on this particular weekend sans my periodic Sunday Mass. However, this time, church looked a lot like wine country in Napa. And the celebration was BottleRock instead of Christmas or Easter. And instead of a church hymn or Christmas music (which I love), church sounded a lot like Robert Plant singing. And so I joined along.

I believe sharing your God-given gifts to enrich the lives of those around you, whether family or friends or complete strangers is the gift that keeps on giving. And when that gift is the gift of song and music, I believe singing it, playing it and listening to it is a glimpse into heaven itself.

I joined my dear friend Shelley and her cousin Danielle, as they invited me to meet her friends on their annual trip to Napa for BottleRock. Good people. Wonderful environment. A perfect place for fun under the sun. They had rented a gorgeous mansion in wine country. It was a nice, hot, sunny afternoon by the time I joined everyone at the pool. Before long, we were off to grounds see what the bands had to offer. I made it a point to see Scott Weiland (playing Stone Temple Pilots standards), Michael Franti (in a cameo off stage), Capital Cities, The Avett Brothers, missing Passion Pit (whom I had already seen at Lollapalooza a few years ago as well as at a tiny bar in Chicago called the Empty Bottle on a Sunday night) cos I was there to really see one person and one person only.

Robert Plant.

Robert f!$cking Plant!!! Robert f!$cking Plant!!! Robert f!$cking Plant!!! I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning.

He played songs from his new album, and they were good. He played old blues covers by Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, and Muddy Waters. But what I came to hear were the other songs. He started the show with “The Wanton Song”, then over the course of the evening played “Going to California”, “The Lemon Song”, “Dazed and Confused”, “What Is and What Should Never Be” and rocked out to “Whole Lotta Love” before coming back for an encore with “Black Country Woman” and “Rock and Roll”.

I had a smile from ear-to-ear accompanying me all night. And at times a single tear joined in on the parade. I remembered when Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Heart performed “Stairway to Heaven” as a roaring, emotional and faithful tribute to the legends. The camera panned to Plant and Page, and you could visibly see tears stream down Plant’s face, witnessing the feelings he had given his generation for years, the culmination of their work displayed on that night.

And so I was there all alone amidst a sea of concert-goers, my friends all having left, freezing as the night temperatures crept to a chilly low, though unaware of it, completely awashed in the bliss of Plant’s voice. The voice of a generation. The voice of Led Zeppelin.

The voice of my childhood and young adult life.

Go Adventure. Go Travel. Go Live.

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