Gettin’ the Led Out: Zepparella at Slim’s


August 2, 2014


The all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band Zepparella rocked San Francisco at Slim’s on Saturday night, August 2. These beautiful women, clad in white from head to toe, were like little Led Zeppelin angels, traversing this once all-male dominant genre with loving grace and mad skills.

An interesting choice for an opener, “The Rover” got the crowd started. It then led into one of my personal favorites, the bluesy, sexy song, “What Is and What Should Never Be,” where singer Noelle Doughty shone and her signature inflections gave the song some claws.

I love me some “Immigrant Song.” I love it when Trent Reznor does it with Karen O. I love it when Great White does it. And now I love it when Zepparella does it. The power of Doughty’s pipes really showed here like a wind tunnel. In fact, I can feel the wind right now.

Drummer and founding member Clementine is a complete powerhouse. For me, some drummers often just hold the space and keep the time. But not Clementine. She makes herself known like a sonic boom. Keeping Bonzo’s memory alive is a perfect place for her, because she can more than handle the job.

Guitarist Gretchen Menn fills the room with her tigress presence, hard playing, and red fiery locks. She’s a treat to watch and experience. Of course, one things that stands out from that night is her Jimmy Page moment, using a violin bow to play guitar on “Dazed and Confused.” Simply flawless. In addition, Doughty and Menn have a wonderful connection, a la Plant and Page; they play off each other and are constantly in tune with one another.

Bass player Angeline Saris is quite varied in her influences, and it shows in her playing. Her confident playing brings forth a sweet childlike nature, but she is still well able to handle John Paul Jones’s creations.

These women certainly brought us Led Zeppelin, while adding their own flair and magic. My only issue is that I wanted more. Now, I realize the Zeppelin catalog is as immense as the number of  beautiful hairs on Gretchen Menn’s head, and they couldn’t possibly satisfy us all. But my ears were still hungry for the notorious sounds of “Black Dog,” “Rock and Roll,” “Thank You,” “D’yer Maker”, “All of My Love,” “Kashmir,” and “The Battle of Evermore.”  Even “Stairway to Heaven,” anyone? But they still brought me immense joy with their choice of encore, “Whole Lotta Love.” They simply nailed it!

Slim’s was their last stop for a spell. They are now headed into the studio to record for a few weeks. If you are local to the Bay Area and missed the show, you’ll have a chance to see Zepparella on August 21 at the Concord Festival in Todos Santos Plaza.


The Rover | What Is and What Should Never Be | The Lemon Song | Immigrant Song | Out On the Tiles | Dazed and Confused | Trampled Underfoot | Moby Dick | In My Time of Dying | Ramble On | The Ocean | Whole Lotta Love | Bring It on Home