The Community Arts Center, adding to its psychedelic lineup of exquisite tribute acts this month, will present another taste of the counterculture at 7:30 p.m. April 26, with Get the Led Out.
Although Get the Led Out was only formed in 2003, the Philadelphia-based band is made up of seven passionate Led Zeppelin fans who have been playing music for much longer.
It's arguably the dream of just about every rock fan to see the illustrious Led Zeppelin perform live, if only in their heyday in the '60s and '70s.
Although fans of today certainly can't travel back in time, several legendary bands who have "retired" still manage to pull together reunion tour after reunion tour. Not Led Zeppelin.
Led Zeppelin's grand musical reign only lasted from 1968 to 1980, with four reunion performances in '85, '88, '95 and 2007.
Something about their short time in harmony creates a sort of enigmatic mystique, piquing fans' curiosity and vision of the artists and making the band's legendary status even more substantial. Led Zeppelin certainly maintains that particular mystique, which shrouds several artists who were birthed from the counterculture of the 1960s.
The band members of Get the Led Out, who pride themselves on being "The American Led Zeppelin," were inspired by that mystique, enough to want to embody Led Zeppelin on stage.
Sure, there are a ton of tribute and cover bands out there - but the musicians in Get the Led Out sees themselves differently. Instead of trying to be a look-alike band; hence having six members instead of four, they emphasize reproducing Led Zeppelin's sound.
"We concentrate on replicating the studio recordings in a live-concert situation. Sometimes we'll have two or three guitars at once to do all of the over-dubs that Led recorded so the songs sound the same as they did on the record," Paul Hammond, Get the Led Out's electric-and-acoustic guitar and mandolin player, said.
"It's a bit more complicated and difficult, but the fans love it," Hammond said.
Hammond learned how to play blues from his father, when he was just 8 years old in the early '70s, drawing inspiration from artists of the time, like Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple.
He met bandmate Paul Sinclair, who performs on lead vocals as well as the harmonica in Get the Led Out, in high school.
After he and Sinclair had performed in different bands, worked in the recording business and in various sound studios, Hammond said other area musicians started to notice their talent and wanted to put together a Led Zeppelin tribute band.
"Originally, the concept was to do a look-alike band, but Sinclair didn't want to have anything to do with it. He wanted to do it like the records," Hammond said.
With that outlook, Hammond said they began to play larger clubs and international venues almost immediately.
"Since we're performing the music ourselves, we're not faking any motions," Hammond said.
When asked if it was tough to embody such a legendary band, Hammond said both yes and no.
"Paul (Sinclair) and I had been performing Led Zeppelin music since we were young. We were steeped in it, so we were used to it," he said.
As for the performance in Williamsport, Get the Led Out is excited to return, and hopefully sell out the show as they did previously, several years ago.
Hammond said he likes to see the diversity in the audience, since Led Zeppelin seems to blur all lines when it comes to ages of their fans. Hammond said they like to say they have an audience from age 8 to 80.
"Led seems to transcend generations ... it spans the generations because there's something for everyone. As time goes on, it gets even wider. New Led Zeppelin fans are born every day - they just don't know it yet," he said.
Audiences can expect what Hammond says is a fantastic light show, accompanied by Led Zeppelin's transcendent music, which blends everything from Celtic folk, acoustic, blues, classical, funk and more.