Bustle In Your Hedgerow, the Led Zeppelin supergroup – don’t call them a tribute band – kicked off a stellar night of music at Freaks Ball XIII at The Brooklyn Bowl on Friday night. The group features Joe Russo (Furthur), Scott Metzger (Gov’t Mule, Steve Winwood), Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) and pianist/sound-sculptor/songwriter Marco Benevento as they brew up their unique take on the music of one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in history.

Tom Hamilton’s American Babies opened for Bustle on Friday. The Brothers Past front-man has been touring a lot with his Brooklyn-based group recently, and it showed as they kicked off Friday night’s Ball with a killer set. The Babies built up the Bowl crowd with their Tom Petty-esque Americana, mostly playing songs from their 2008 self-titled debut album and the more recent and well-received “Flawed Logic” (2011). The band has been tearing it up wherever they perform these days, and you can expect them to draw big crowds on the upcoming festival circuit this summer.

Bustle took the stage at around 9:45, capitalizing on the Babies’ hot stage by opening with the defiant “Immigrant Song.” The group then set the pace with a spacey “Dazed and Confused,” on which Benevento filled the vocal void with a haunting organ drone.

Bustle moved on from there with hard-hitting tunes like “What is and What Should Never Be” and “Kashmir” before jamming on “Out on the Tiles.”

Russo took the reigns on the intro to “Over The Hills and Far Away.” The song gave way to an experimental intersection of “Four Stix” and an organ-fueled “Lemon Song.”

The best part of Bustle’s Freaks Ball set came next. Beginning with a note-perfect rendition of “The Song Remains The Same,” Metzger took multiple face-melting solos during an uptempo jam before transitioning into an atmospheric “No Quarter.” The centerpiece was “Houses of the Holy,” which allowed Benevento to showcase just how weird he can really get. With his eyes closed and a his mouth a devilish grin, the mad scientist filled the room with his eerie sounds and note-bending echoes. “Ramble On” and “Moby Dick” capped off the medley, which featured a Joe Russo drum solo that, if you closed your eyes, made you think you were listening to Bonzo himself.

The back end of Bustle’s set included “For Your Life,” “Heartbreaker,” “Custard Pie” and “Celebration Day.” They closed the show with “Wonton Song”  and returned for with “We’re Gonna Groove” as their encore. [Note: We’re gonna groove? That’s a Zep song?]

Bustle’s set stayed true to the improvisational spirit and tightness that defined Led Zeppelin, who were recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. As Russo provided the heavy metal stomp, Benevento put his seemingly paranormal twist on every song the group churned out. Metzger met expectations in his role [on what instrument?], while Dreiwitz’s heavy drumming tied the entire set together.

Bustle In Your Hedgerow, while not quite a Zeppelin tribute band, pays tribute to the Led Zeppelin’s music in the most complimentary way that any band could – by making it their own.

-Carey Vanderborg

Photos By Lauren Enzlah! Check out our gallery on facebook here!