The New Mexico Philharmonic performed at the University of New Mexico’s Popejoy Hall Saturday night, but this was not one of their typical concerts.
“Stairway to Heaven, “Good Times and Bad Times” and “Whole Lotta Love” filled the air, as this concert showcased the music of rock band Led Zeppelin and featured screaming fans and electric guitar solos.
The musicians created an event that mixed classical music with upbeat hard-core rock.
The New Mexico Philharmonic performed alongside a Led Zeppelin cover band, whose lead singer’s voice was almost identical to Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin.
“This was one of the most exciting shows I’ve attended at Popejoy,” said Julia Kirby, a freshman at UNM studying nursing and theater.
“The lighting for the show was very impressive, very well-choreographed,” she said. “I’ve seen several different shows like this and the lights have never been quite as elaborate, but I really enjoyed it.”
Kirby attended the concert with her mother and her older brother, who grew up listening to Led Zeppelin.
Both siblings rocked out during the concert, cheering and whistling in between songs and solos, moving their heads to the beat of the music and singing along to many of the favorite lyrics.
The New Mexico Philharmonic is made up of 73 musicians and uses a variety of instruments, including viola, piccolo, oboe, English horn, trombone, harp and more.
Audience members ranged greatly in age, but the show was definitely geared more towards the crowd who may have experienced listening to Led Zeppelin when they were in their early stages.
While some event-goers arrived in suits and floor-length dresses, others arrived ready to rock in Led Zeppelin T-shirts and more casual attire.
The lead singer asked questions of the audience, holding the microphone out for Led Zeppelin fans to sing the most well-known song lyrics.
Between songs or after the drum, electric guitar and electric violin solos, many audience members stood and cheered, throwing up the rock-on hand horns.
The performance on Friday was not the only of its kind, as the New Mexico Philharmonic will soon team up with a Beatles tribute band to perform a similar concert on Feb. 3 of 2018 at Popejoy Hall.
Students who are interested in attending future shows at UNM’s Popejoy Hall can often purchase discounted tickets online, at the UNM Bookstore ticket office or at the UNM Ticket Office at The Pit.
Timber Mabes is a culture reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @timbermabes.