Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50-style sock hop in Vancouver

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By Steve Newton

Thirty years ago tonight–on June 10, 1985–Robert Plant played the Pacific Coliseum.

That was four days after NRBQ played the Town Pump, and for some reason I gave their club show slightly more coverage in my Night Shift column than Plant’s arena show.

I guess NRBQ was just better!

Anyway, here’s my admittedly skimpy review of the Plant gig, which featured drum great Richie Hayward of Little Feat fame.

Nearly 9,000 fans gathered at the Coliseum Monday (June 10) to take in the first show of Robert Plant‘s 1985 World Tour. He pranced and tippy-toed across a sloping, wood-grained stage that–apart from raised platforms for keyboardist Jezz Woodroffe and drummer Richie Hayward–was impressively bare of the usual concert accoutrements.

The roadies even came up through trap doors to service guitarist Robbie Blunt and bassist Paul Martinez.

The first–and rather lacklustre–half of Plant’s set was mostly taken up with tunes from his new LP Shaken ‘N’ Stirred, but it wasn’t till the Honeydrippers segment of the show that the good rockin’ really started.

The four-man Uptown Horns–wearing shades and gold lame jackets–were joined by the three-woman Harlettes, singing and dancing like excitable teens at a ’50s sock hop, and Plant gave the crowd what they wanted with tunes like “Good Rockin’ at Midnight” and “Sea of Love”.

A giant inflated Cadillac grill–with the Honeydrippers’ logo in the middle–framed the scene.

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