Led Zeppelin tribute Dazed and Confused has benefited from the renewed activities of forebearers, in their case the November 2007 one-shot Zep reunion at England’s 02 Arena. “In the months surrounding the concert,” says vocalist Jason Ott, “we played more and better gigs than usual. That’s when we first began booking at A-list places like the Belly Up Tavern and Canes.”
Formed in 2006, the band doesn’t attempt to look like the mighty Zep. “We decided early on to let the music speak for itself,” explains Ott, whose day job is doing graphic design and cartography. “There are plenty of bands who dress like whoever they’re paying tribute to, but most of our fans are glad we don’t. Zeppelin’s music takes you on a trip all by itself, and you don’t need dragon suits or bell-bottomed jeans to ride.”
That said, Dazed and Confused is particular about replicating Zeppelin’s sound as authentically as possible. “Our drummer has a John Bonham replica kit, complete with a huge gong. Our guitarist uses a violin bow and Jimmy Page’s signature guitars, including a double-neck model.”
As for faithfulness to the original recordings, Ott says, “There’s some improv, but almost everything we play is something that Zeppelin did in the studio or in concert. Our drummer, Jeff Smith, is quite the Zep history buff, and he often presents us with alternate recordings of tunes, some of which are only heard on rare bootlegs.”
The group was among the final four in the Ultimate Music Challenge and earned three San Diego Music Awards nominations, winning Best Cover or Tribute Band in September 2009.
Asked about the band’s worst gig, Ott recalls a set at Canes. “I was jumping on the stage and slipped, gouging my leg open. Blood was spurting out, and it wouldn’t stop. The show must go on, so we used a guitar rag and duct tape and made a makeshift tourniquet, and I played the show without another hitch. I later found out that keeping a tourniquet on an injury like that for an extended period was not a good idea. It was horrific; it bled throughout the night, and I ended up in the ER the next day. Rock and roll!”
The groups were the Oktoberfest Bandslam 2012 winners. In early 2013, singer Jason Ott's All Request Acoustic Show landed a Friday night residency at the Harp.
In 2017, drummer Jeff Smith co-founded Aether X, alongside Everybody Panic bassist-singer Michael Alarid (formerly of Aghori), and singer-guitarist James Brady (formerly of New Day Mile).