Chicago star watchers have picked Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant out of some local crowds this week -- he enjoyed a meal Monday evening at David Burke's Primehouse at the James Hotel, even thrilling guests in the lobby with an impromptu jam session -- and Tuesday night he thrilled the crowd at Taste of Chicago by joining Los Lobos on the stage.
Plant and his new Band of Joy (named for his mid-'60s pre-Zeppelin group) begin a brief tour next month, ahead of the Sept. 14 release of his new album, "Band of Joy," which finds the classic rocker mining more stateside roots rock in the wake of his 2007 award-winning collaboration with bluegrass icon Allison Krauss. The new disc includes Plant's take on Los Lobos' "Angel Dance," from their 1990 album, "The Neighborhood."
After an hourlong set by Los Lobos -- such exciting music buy such static guys -- Plant joined the band in Grant Park's Petrillo Band Shell for an encore, flipping his shaggy mane out of his eyes and saying, "OK, without any rehearsal, let's try this." Together, they launched into a chugging version of "Treat Her Right."
The crowd, of course, went wild. Not bad without a rehearsal -- Plant heated up quickly, eventually waving his arms and slipping in some rhythmic wailing.
"Apparently he's been a fan of our songs for a long time," Los Lobos' Louie Perez recently told Rolling Stone. The band will be filming a video with Plant for his version of "Angel Dance."