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Led Zeppelin - 'Celebration Day' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/2f/54/51/3206_LedZeppelinCelebrationDay_1359407988.jpeg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 28, 2013    
 
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A fitting epitaph to a band that have once again proved they are one of the best the world has ever seen.

Messrs Page, Plant and Jones had much to prove when they reunited – Jason Bonham once again filling in for his late father John – at the O2 in London back in 2007 to honour the late, great Ahmet Ertegun: the Atlantic label boss who put his faith in the band all those years ago. Previous reunions (in the eighties for both Live Aid and Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary) proved to be somewhat shambolic and disappointing so this was a chance to show the world once again why Led Zeppelin are revered as one of the best, if not the best, rock band ever. And, but for a tentative run through the opening numbers ‘Good Times, Bad Times’ and ‘Ramble On’, they do just that!

After a boisterous version of the Led Zeppelin IV classic ‘Black Dog’ the band really kick into gear and treat us to a selection of songs that cover every one of their studio albums excepting, perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘In Through The Out Door’. There are simply wonderful versions of ‘In My Time Of Dying’, ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’, a suitably blues soaked ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and they even give a first live outing to ‘For Your Life’ from ‘Presence’. Save for the relatively brief appearance of Page’s trusty violin bow and Theremin, during ‘Dazed And Confused’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ respectively, the extended solos and improvised jams that the band were famed for in their heyday are kept to a minimum as Zeppelin let the music do the talking with a simply monstrous version of ‘Kashmir’ and a towering rendition of the perennial ‘Stairway To Heaven’ being particular standouts: prompting Robert Plant to exclaim “Hey Ahmet, we did it!” The only song that doesn’t work for me is the aforementioned ‘Dazed And Confused’ where Page works on the wah-wah pedal a bit too much for my liking; as a result the song doesn’t have the crunch about it we’ve come to expect.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Plant is not so much the leonine rock god of old – although he still proudly struts about in leather strides! – but more the respected elder statesman of the rock world, who out of all of them has earned that respect with a distinguished solo career spanning the last 30 years. His voice may not be able to reach the heights it used to but he still has that plenty power and emotion in his unmistakable rich timbre to give new meaning to these old songs. The sly old silver fox Jimmy Page shows why he is still considered one of the best guitarists of his generation peeling off those classic licks with such feeling that he puts his peers to shame; and his virtually note perfect solo to ‘Stairway...’ put shivers down my spine. John Paul Jones fulfils his unassuming supporting role with ease and you can only marvel at how he plays his intricate keyboard parts while still nailing the beat using bass pedals. What can I say about Jason Bonham? He does himself and his late father proud with a thunderous display of power and passion; even contributing harmony vocals to a sprightly ‘Misty Mountain Hop’. But as the band bring the evening to a close with a raucous rendition of ‘Rock And Roll’, you can see the emotions start to spill over for Jason and you can’t help but shed a tear about how much this means to not only him but Jimmy, Robert and John as well.

This DVD/2CD set has been a long time coming but boy has it been worth the wait; it really is a celebration of a truly historic night and a fitting epitaph to a band that have once again proved they are one of the best the world has ever seen.

Alister Strachan

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