Led Zeppelin contoured the rock landscape with their groundbreaking heavy sound in the 1970s. I like to think about what Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham would have been like had they launched the band in this decade. Would they still shun promo TV appearances? I’d love to see them on SNL. Just think of their outrageous summer #festie performances and the hashtagged selfie posts from groupies and fans that would immortalize them in social media stats.
We don’t have to imagine the synergy between Plant and Page–we can see it in action this weekend at Zeptember 7 at Mulligan’s on the Blue. Now in its seventh year, the Zeptember tribute show has made itself the stuff of Maui legend. This year, more than 30 of Maui’s talented artists will get together to perform their favorite Zeppelin tunes from Presence, Zepplin’s seventh studio album.
“It’s brilliant to see returning attendees from Maui year after year,” says Zeptember co-producer Ruth O’Keefe-Todd. “Their support has made Zeptember an annual tradition. It’s not like watching a band on stage; it’s like being a part of the band. It’s a magical night that stays with you afterwards. From time to time, when you hear Zeppelin on the radio, you think back to the artists who performed that song on stage and it just makes you smile.”
Roger McKinley, the house bagpiper at Fleetwood’s on Front St., will open Zeptember 7 with his traditional “Zeppelin in B Flat Homage on Bagpipes in Kilt.” Other artists you can look forward to include Gretchen Rhodes, Joe Caro, Kai Katchadourian, Gina Martinelli, Satchel Gleason, Deborah Vial and Ani Hesse from Hollywood’s School of Rock. The band is led by co-producer Niles Rosenblad, who also plays lead guitar and is on vocals. You never know who might show up to jam on stage–last year, it was Mick Fleetwood on drums.
“This is not easy stuff to play, and is really not easy music to master,” says Rosenblad. “We have the best artists on Maui. These are some of the best in the world. Staying faithful to the original sound and vibe of Led Zeppelin is a major goal we all share. Getting creative within the structure, we are also providing numbers that are totally unique and vanish with the end of the evening. I think those special moments are part of the magical allure of Zeptember.”
The show benefits The Aloha Cancer Project (ACP), a nonprofit dedicated to to helping people deal with cancer by facing it with hope and aloha. The ACP provides a foundation to fight the disease with alternative tools–the two founders are survivors of cancer who want to assist individuals with information and fund alternative treatments not supported by traditional healthcare.
“Some ask for special music CDs to calm and support them on their way to chemo,” says O’Keefe-Todd. “Others, special makeup, wigs, a healing yoga session, specialty food, guidance with naturopathy or nutrition. Whatever the needs, Aloha Cancer Project tries to find and deliver the items requested. Zeptember 7 benefits this cause with a portion of every ticket sold. This year, for the first time, the event has tables of eight which include admission and VIP wait service with all the proceeds benefiting ACP. Corporations and individuals wishing to support can buy a table before the event and gain on stage promotion of their contribution.”
And it all happens at Mulligan’s.
“Zeptember is performed in an authentic Irish bar and pub, Mullligan’s On The Blue,” says O’Keefe-Todd. “Mulligan’s offers a true bar setting, perfect for the live music scene with a dance floor. Zeptember is the coolest, most nostalgic, most talent-filled Maui group event.”
Tickets are $35 per person in advance while advance General Admission is available. After these are gone, the price online goes to $45. Any tickets left on the day of show are available first-come, first-served at the door beginning at 4 pm. For information and tickets, visit Zeptember7.eventbrite.com.
Photos courtesy of Shooting Stars Photography
Saturday, Sept. 24
Mulligan’s on the Blue, Wailea