Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Robert Plant performed “Stairway to Heaven” at a cancer benefit show organized by Duran Duran‘s Andy Taylor, marking the first time the legend has sung the classic track live since Led Zeppelin‘s 2007 reunion show.

Taylor, who played guitar and contributed backing vocal in new wave favorites Duran Duran from 1980-1986 and again from 2001-2006, was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer in 2018. His life expectancy was brief, but as revealed earlier this year, a revolutionary treatment has left him asymptomatic and could even extend his life but about five years.

At the charity event at the Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, England, Taylor welcomed an array of guests onstage, including Plant who sang four songs — three Led Zeppelin covers and a medley of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”

The full performance has been shared in a Facebook video, which can be viewed further down the page. The “Stairway to Heaven” performance begins near the 55-minute mark.

The 75-year-old singer still bears the distinct nasal-toned croon present on the iconic song that was released more than 50 years ago, delivering a tender, stirring performance.

READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Figures Out How to Play Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Ear on Guitar

The Led Zeppelin IV track is one of the biggest songs of the classic rock era and while its significance isn’t lost on Plant, he confessed in 2019 that he can no longer relate to it lyrically “because it was so long ago.”

“I would have no intention ever to write along those abstract lines anymore,” the singer told UCR, “I look at it and I tip my hat to it, and I think there are parts of it that are incredible. The way that Jimmy [Page] took the music through, and the way that the drums reached, almost climaxed and then continued. … It’s a very beautiful piece. But lyrically, now, and even vocally, I go, ‘I’m not sure about that.’”

Setlist — Andy Taylor Cancer Benefit Show (Oct. 21, 2023)

Note: Fundraiser for The Cancer Platform, with band including Taylor on guitar, plus Guy Pratt (bass, Pink Floyd), Kenwyn House (guitar, Goldray & Reef) and David Palmer (Rod Stewart). Setlist incomplete and out of order. (Via setlist.fm)

01. “The Wild Boys (Duran Duran song)
02. “Man’s a Wolf to Man
03. “Forever Young” (Rod Stewart cover)
04. “Hungry Like the Wolf” (Duran Duran song)
05. “Addicted to Love” (Robert Palmer cover)
06. “Yours” (Ella Henderson cover) (with Ella Henderson)
07. “Ghost” (Ella Henderson cover) (with Ella Henderson)
08. “Thank You” (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Robert Plant)
09. “Black Dog” (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Robert Plant)
10. “Stairway to Heaven” (Led Zeppelin cover) (with Kenwyn House and Robert Plant)
11. “Season of the Witch / For What it’s worth” (Buffalo Springfield cover) (with Robert Plant)

Andy Taylor’s Charity Show — Full Performance

The 19 Songs Led Zeppelin Never Played Live

Recapping the Led Zeppelin songs that never made their way to the stage and crowds.

Gallery Credit: Lauryn Schaffner

The Songs 30 Huge Rock + Metal Bands Only Played Live Once

Note: songs that were played as part of a medley and cover songs were not considered for this list. Only full performances of individual songs were taken into account.

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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