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New Jersey Notes: Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

By Bob Beucler

originally published: 11/22/2017

New Jersey Notes:  Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

The Led Zeppelin tribute band Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience brought its spot-on Led Zeppelin show to Starland Ballroom on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The band’s two-hour plus set was a tour de force that showcased their own talent as musicians and also put the magic of Led Zeppelin on full display, illustrating why that band achieved the status that it did.

Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience recreates the power of a Led Zeppelin live show, not only visually from the outfits, the instruments and the stage mannerisms, but more importantly sonically.  The band doesn’t just play Led Zeppelin, it plays like Led Zeppelin.  Singer Matt Jernigan has the look, swagger and howl of Robert Plant down to a T. Guitarist John McDaniel has studied Jimmy Page so extensively that his fretting and pick attack on the strings are virtually identical to the way Page himself played.  For the Led Zeppelin purist, this is a crucial detail that this band did not overlook.  

New Jersey Notes:  Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

The rhythm section of Adam Sandling (bass/keyboards) and Bevan Davies (drums) stays faithful to not only their instruments but also to their place on stage.  John Paul Jones never stood out in front with Led Zeppelin but would instead stand next to the right side of John Bonham’s kit.  Likewise with Sandling, who hung to the back of the stage all night with Davies, letting Jernigan and McDaniel work the crowd.

New Jersey Notes:  Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

New Jersey Notes:  Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

Zoso – The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience is for the hardcore Zeppelin fan.  The band plays various incarnations of the live versions that Zeppelin played, whether from The Song Remains the Same album and movie, the BBC sessions, the How the West Was Won live CDs and even bootleg versions.  The hardcore fan will be able to pick them all out, and it’s great fun doing so.

The band thundered through a full collection of Zeppelin material and even included a sit-down acoustic set the way Zeppelin did during their shows.  Standouts of the night included Rock and Roll, The Ocean, The Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, Whole Lotta Love and Stairway to Heaven with McDaniel playing a cherry Gibson EDS-1275 doubleneck guitar.

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Opening for Zoso were Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn. Triple Goddess got the night started with its heavy original guitar rock, pounding through its 30-minute set and getting the crowd going. This 4-piece formed in the suburbs between Atlantic City and Philadelphia.  Their hard-hitting sound stems from their working class South Jersey roots and a wide array of influences spanning virtually every era of heavy rock music. Triple Goddess includes Frank Sacco (vocals/guitar); Bobby Andrews (drums); Matt Peterson (guitar); and Joseph Sacco (vocals/ bass).

New Jersey Notes:  Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

Next on the bill was Ripped, a longtime original New Jersey power rock band.  Ripped gets its sound from a two-guitar attack and songwriting that harks back to the heavy guitar rock of the 70s such as Alice Cooper, Mahogany Rush, Aerosmith, Budgie and April Wine. Ripped includes Steve Sroczynski (vocals); Steven Keller (guitar); Brian McGee (guitar); Colin Tisch (bass); and Bob Beucler (drums).

New Jersey Notes:  Zoso, Triple Goddess, Ripped and Black Dawn

 The final opener was Long Island, NY’s Black Dawn, which blasted through a tight set of its original metal.  The heaviest band of the three, their sound crosses over to thrash. Black Dawn has been performing live music of the metal / heavy rock genre in the Long Island / NYC area since 1996 and cites Godsmack, Staind, Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch, and Three Days Grace among their influences.  Black Dawn includes Matt Kotten (guitar/vocals); Tom Kelly (guitar); Shawn Cox (bass); and Enzo DiPaolo  (drums) -- apologies to Black Dawn for no photos… I had just finished my set with Ripped and was breaking down my drums during your set.

All photos by Bob Beucler except for the photo of Ripped, which was taken by Mitch Speert.  For more photos from the show, click here for the piece in NJ Stage Magazine.

Pioneer Productions Presents Wendy-Lane Bailey Women's Work
(DENVILLE, NJ) -- Pioneer Productions kicks off its new Living Room Series with Women’s Work - an evening of songs by female songwriters on September 16 at 6:00pm at the Arthur Murray Studios in Denville. Conceived and performed by singer/storyteller Wendy-Lane Bailey & composer/pianist Michele Brourman it has a funny, sometimes challenging but always defiantly feminine viewpoint that brings the worlds of Broadway, pop, and country together in one show.
Stone Pony To Honor Butch Pielka
(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- A special day of music to honor the legacy of the original Stone Pony co-owner and manager, Robert “Butch” Pielka, will be held Sunday, October 7, from 2:00 to 9:00pm at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. The lineup includes reunions of Cats on a Smooth Surface and The Shakes, and Lance Larson.  More names are expected to be added.
Victor Wainwright & The Train To Perform At Lizzie Rose Music Room
(TUCKERTON, NJ) -- The Lizzie Rose Music Room presents Victor Wainwright and the Train on Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30pm. A 3 time BMA Piano Award winner,  BB KING Entertainer of the Year Award Winner, and Band of the Year Award winner, Victor Wainwright is at the top of his game right now.  The band is touring in support of their latest record, The Train, on Ruf Records. Tickets are 30 in advance and $35 at the door.
State Theatre presents Lost 80's Live
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White Eagle Hall Presents Sloan
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Let’s Hang On’s Tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons LIVE! at The Strand
Q: So what do four guys from Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Massachusetts — and all currently based out of Florida — have in common with four guys from “Joisey” this summery August 3, 2018 evening at the Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ?
80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America
I never in a million years would have thought about iPlay America in Freehold as being an event venue. To me, it's a place to ride bumper cars, have kids' birthday parties and play video games. Never been there.
The Great Rock N Roll Time Machine LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
As we make our way inside the Grunin Center of the Arts located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ, this Saturday, July 28, 2018, we see music lovers of all ages. Some of them are wearing street clothes but some are decked out in outfits from the 1970s and ’80s for tonight’s concert by the ’70s and ’80s tribute band, The Great Rock N Roll Time Machine.
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“Rock and Roll Icons!” Hippiefest LIVE! at BergenPAC
A light summer rain is falling outside Englewood, NJ’s BergenPAC this Wednesday July 25, 2018, as music lovers decked out in peace signs, tie-dyed shirts, and bell-bottomed jeans arrive for tonight’s Hippiefest concert event starring Vanilla Fudge, Rick Derringer, Mitch Ryder, and Badfingers’ Joey Molland.

Event calendar
Monday, Aug 20, 2018


Asbury Park Industry Ball 2018 @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

FINDING FEEBAS @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Alex Laurenzi Quartet @ 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing, Ewing - 8:00pm


Eighth Grade @ The Newton Theatre, Newton - 7:00pm

View all events


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