Ladies sure all that glitters is gold in female Led Zeppelin tribute

If the lady who’s buying the stairway to heaven finds the stores are all closed – stores that sell stairways to heaven, Rona, maybe – and she can still get what she came for when she gets there, that is, heaven, then why does she even need a stairway to heaven in the first place?

Questions like this can keep you up all night.

“We’re all sort of scratching our heads over that one,” agrees Connie Chaoss, lead singer of Zeppelina. It’s an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band playing Blackjack’s Roadhouse in Nisku Saturday night. There’s nothing about that sentence that doesn’t rock.

It’s good to know the female perspective isn’t much different than the male one on what is considered the man’s man classic rock band of all time, the band that wrote songs about The Lord of the Rings and the land of ice and snow and superfluous stairways to heaven. On the female perspective of same, Chaoss doesn’t bother analysing Zeppelin lyrics so much and continues, “It’s just about getting out and rocking it just as good if not better than the guys.”

Is that a challenge? A gauntlet thrown down? The Vancouver singer, whose other tribute project is a nun-fronted Black Sabbath cover band called Sister Sabbath, says the general reaction to Zeppelina has so far been along the lines of, “Holy, s—, chicks playing Zeppelin – now this I gotta see,” but at some point, and right soon, the novelty has to end and the real rock ‘n’ roll must commence. Otherwise just knowing Zeppelina exists would be enough without needing to see it live.

Chaoss says, “I don’t really see it as a novelty. We’re just four gals who got together to pay homage to a band that we really, really love. The girls I’ve got on board have the chops to back it up. For us, it’s a homage from a female perspective, and in doing so, we actually see a lot of girls in the crowd.”

Able to hit the notes the present-day Robert Plant can’t, Zeppelina also sometimes gets this backhanded compliment, Chaoss says: “I thought it was going to suck – but you guys actually rock.”

The point has been made.

There is a danger that tribute musicians can become lost in their homage. The 2001 documentary Tribute paints a rather sad picture of a musical career spent pretending to be someone else, accepting applause that’s not meant for you. Chaoss says she keeps it all in perspective, putting most of her energy into her original metal band, My Own Chaoss (which will return to play Edmonton in July).

“This is just for fun,” she says, “My tribute bands make the money and my own band takes the money – and it keeps me working full time.”