What does it take to be called the greatest live performance of one song ever performed? Firstly, it takes a great song. Check to that-'Stairway to Heaven' is definitely a great song.
What else? How about a multitude of varied string, brass, electric and acoustic instruments and not just one choir, but two of them. Check again.
Wonderful musicians and choral arrangements performing at their peak. Check again.
And, to top it off a lead singer who can match note for note the way the song is supposed to be sung. Ann Wilson of the band Heart did not miss a thing. She hit every high note. In fact, she reminded people of why Heart is going into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
Women can make some classic rock music sound better as lead singers. Guns N Roses, Journey and Zeppelin and many others have songs that now sound better with women fronting them.
This performance a few weeks back was la creme de la creme. It was the Kennedy Center honors annual show. Led Zeppelin was receiving the honors and they felt it for sure on this incredible ensemble of sound.
Unbelievably poignant and rhythmically perfect, it was like the greatest rock song performance sung live in the English language ever before on planet earth and forever more on planet earth. Try topping this one. It may never happen.
The whole tribute from that night, including Jack Black and Lenny Kravitz, can be seen below.
Originally published February 2013