Celebration Day | Bringin’ It On Home

Although he admits it’s a lot of work and a lot of fun, Pessoni doesn’t see Celebration Day turning into a week-long El Monstero-type run. “But we do try to add some new songs each year to make things different for the returning fans.”

 

 

February 26 & 27
The Pageant, St. Louis

Any sort of Led Zeppelin fan would be crazy to miss the annual appearance of local tribute Celebration Day, now entering it’s fourth year. The tribute is brought to you by several members of El Monstero, the six-night-sellout Pink Floyd tribute, including guitarist Jimmy Griffin, vocalist Mark Quinn and drummer John Pessoni, with the addition of bassist Cubby Smith (of Dr. Zhivegas fame) and keyboardist Dave Grelle (of The Feed).

Pessoni, who currently plays in Joe Dirt and whose previous resume includes stints in The Urge and Stir, is the brainchild behind Celebration Day.

“I’ve been wanting to do this for like 20 years,” he tells me in a phone interview. “Back before I even heard of a tribute band, I’d always wanted to play a show of just Zeppelin all night.”

At the 2005 El Monstero shows, Pessoni told KSHE DJ Favazz about his idea. It was Favazz’s idea to recruit guitarist Griffin. “He was like, ‘Do it. Get Jimmy. We’ll plug it on KSHE.’” he says. The idea finally came to life in 2006 and repeated in 2007 and 2008.

“We started doing two shows in 2008. So much work goes into it, you may as well do a weekend,” Pessoni says.

2009 saw the band with no good options for dates at the Pageant, causing the shows, held in November in the past, to be pushed into February 2010.

“It seemed to work well in November, around the holidays,” Pessoni says, “But so far February seems to be selling well so we may leave it there. We’ll see how it goes.” With Saturday’s show nearly sold out already, it seems to be going well.

Although he admits it’s a lot of work and a lot of fun, Pessoni doesn’t see Celebration Day turning into a week-long El Monstero-type run. “But we do try to add some new songs each year to make things different for the returning fans.”  This year will also see the addition of Brad Sarno (of Blue Dixie fame) on pedal steel guitar.

So what are Pessoni’s favorite Zep tunes? “’Rain Song’ might be my favorite overall Zeppelin song, even though I barely play on it; but as a drummer, my favorites to play are probably ‘Dazed and Confused’ and ‘Kashmir,’” he says.

Saturday’s show is already sold out but there are still a few tickets left for Friday. Get them while they last. It’s sure to be a rockin’ good time. | Amy Burger
 

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