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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,316300,00.html

FOX New: Fox411

Stars Arrive for Led Zeppelin Reunion

Monday, December 10, 2007

By Roger Friedman

Stars Arrive for Led Zeppelin Reunion

Here in London, the news of Led Zeppelin’s impending reunion show Monday night is literally the talk of the town.

The Zepp get-together is actually part of a monster concert in memory of Atlantic Records

co-founder Ahmet Ertegun.

Other guests expected at the main show on Monday night include ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, as well as possible surprise appearances by the other Stones including Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood.

Foreigner, Mick Jones’ hit-laden group of the 1970s and '80s, is also scheduled to appear. So is Paolo Nutini, the best-kept secret on the current Atlantic Records, the only successful division of ailing Warner Music Group.

But the big doings might come at the after-show party, where Atlantic soul stars from America are set to let loose and show what Ertegun, Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin really made into legends. They include “Soul Man” Sam Moore, Percy Sledge, Ben E. King and Solomon Burke. Moore will solo and play at least one duet with Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers.

The show, set for the O2 Arena in southeast London, was postponed from Nov. 26 because Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page fractured a finger.

There was still some talk Monday at the rehearsals that Page wasn’t absolutely certain about joining Robert Plant and John Paul Jones for the reunion. But Led Zeppelin will go on, and the word is that their two-hour set will be a precursor for their first tour since bell bottoms were in fashion.

One person who apparently won’t be here: Pete Townshend of the Who. The scheduling change knocked him off the list.

Sunday, afternoon some of the non-Zepp acts rehearsed in a Putney studio, and small hairs were standing up on the backs of everyone’s necks. Percy Sledge worked out “When

A Man Loves a Woman” with the back-up singers, while Moore and Rodgers practiced “We Shall Be Free.”

Meanwhile, Wyman, who left the Rolling Stones in 1992 after 30 years, played with his Rhythm Kings — the house band for Monday — and surveyed the scene. He has no regrets about leaving the Stones.

“I have three children, I’ve published six books and I’m free to do what I want,” Wyman said. He still gets royalty checks, don’t worry. And he always goes to see the Stones when they’re playing in town.

“My kids say, 'Dad, why did you leave?' And I answer, 'So I could have you!'"

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20071211/ts_af...in_071211052122

Yahoo

Led Zeppelin score hit with storming reunion gig by Michael Thurston

Tue Dec 11, 12:45 AM ET

LONDON (AFP) - Rock legends Led Zeppelin demonstrated how they made their name as one of the world's greatest bands Monday, putting on a blistering show at a one-off comeback gig which left fans screaming for more.

The three surviving members of the 1970s group played a storming two-hour concert including all their classics from "Stairway to Heaven" to "Whole Lotta Love," and "The Song Remains the Same" for 20,000 lucky fans.

"I've waited 30 years for this," said John Charles, 48 from London. "It was fantastic. Jimmy Page, what can you say, what a guitarist," he told AFP at London's O2 Arena.

"Robert Plant was awesome," added Deborah Mataya, 46, who travelled from Chicago for the show. "It was so worth it. It was fabulous," she said.

The long-awaited gig -- 27 years after the band split in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham -- was poignantly preceded with old newsreel of the band in their heyday, before they appeared out of the darkness.

Plant's snake hips might be a bit broader these days, but his flowing golden hair remains the same, while Page's visceral guitar sound electrified the audience, many of whom were following on air guitar.

After a perhaps hesitant start not helped by sometimes muddy acoustics, the three ageing stars -- Plant, Page and bassist John Paul Jones -- and Bonham's son Jason on drums got into their stride with stomping rocker "Black Dog."

Plant's trademark soaring, screeching vocals soon disproved those who had worried he had lost his wailing youthful edge, while the wall-pounding beat provided by Paul Jones and Bonham had the audience rocking in the aisles.

But it was Page's guitar which really set the evening alight, triggering a roar when he strapped on his signature double-neck Gibson SG for "Dazed and Confused," featuring a searing violin-bow aided guitar solo.

The 63-year-old, his shock of white hair sopping with sweat by the end, leaned into his guitar like of old, his face contorted as he frantically worked the fretboard.

As the band relaxed, joint frontmen Page and Plant could increasingly be seen smiling at each other.

Other highlights included a majestic version of their epic "Kashmir," a wall of sound, while "Stairway to Heaven" took the audience from acoustic arpeggios to ear-splitting climactic guitar in barely five minutes.

The London concert, a tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, was originally scheduled for November 26, but was put back by two weeks after Page injured his left little finger stumbling over in his garden.

The band, formed by Page in 1968 from the ashes of The Yardbirds, are credited by some as having single-handedly created the cliche of the television-defenestrating, groupie-consumed rock band.

Their name came from a joke by The Who's drummer Keith Moon -- a rock wildman himself -- who forecast they would go down like a metallic version of the infamous airship. The "a" was removed in case US fans mispronounced it.

But they defied that prediction, and went on to sell more than 300 million albums over the decades, their records remaining rock staples despite Bonham's untimely death after choking on his own vomit in 1980.

Most fans had assumed they would never take the stage together again -- but then in September they unexpectedly announced the reunion for the tribute to Ertegun, who signed the band four decades ago and died last year.

In theory the gig was a one-off -- singer Plant has talked about doing "one last, great show" and has insisted it will not be followed by a tour. But Page and bassist Paul Jones dropped hints last week that there could be more.

As the fans headed into the London night with smiles on their faces, there was a clear hope that Led Zeppelin, buoyed by Monday's performance, will decide to get together again.

"I hope they do a mini-tour," said Mataya, while her compatriot Richard Cooper, 37, from Memphis, Tennessee was just pleased to have been there for one night.

"It's like a once in a lifetime experience," he said.

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http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainmen...story?track=rss

Chicago Tribune

Led Zeppelin reunion

Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones join the late John Bonham's son for sold-out benefit show

Tribune wire services

8:49 AM CST, December 11, 2007

After that performance, Led Zeppelin really must go on tour.

The reunited rock 'n' roll legends were superb Monday in their first full concert in nearly three decades, mixing in such classics as "Stairway to Heaven" and "Black Dog" with the thumping "Kashmir" and the hard-rocking "Dazed and Confused."

The three surviving members -- singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones -- were joined by the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums.

And it was the newest member of the band that was given the honor of kicking off the sold-out benefit show, pounding out the beat before the others joined in on a near-perfect "Good Times Bad Times."

After the lights went down at the O2 Arena, newsreel footage of the band arriving in Tampa for a 1973 performance was projected onstage. Then Bonham jumped in, soon to be joined by the rest.

They followed that with "Ramble On," and with it destroyed all rumors that the 59-year-old Plant no longer could reproduce his trademark wail.

With his button-down shirt mercifully buttoned up, Plant roamed the stage belting out hit after hit, rarely giving his critics anything to work with.

Page showed he still has the touch as well. Still, it was Bonham who may have been the star of the show. His driving beat even made the other members of the band watch in awe at the end of "Black Dog."

http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/sns-ap-le...-frontheadlines

Rave Reviews for Led Zeppelin Concert

By CHRIS LEHOURITESAssociated Press WriterPublished December 11 2007, 8:28 AM CST

LONDON -- On the morning after Led Zeppelin's long-awaited reunion concert, the music reviewers were already calling for more.

Playing a full set for the first time in nearly three decades, the authors of "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love" rocked the O2 Arena on Monday for more than two hours, leaving fans from around the world gasping in delight.

"With a synergy like this going on, it would be an act of cosmic perversity to stop now," Pete Paphides of The Times of London wrote.

The band's three surviving members -- singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones -- were joined at the sold-out benefit show by the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums.

The 16-song set mixed the classics with the thumping "Kashmir" and the hard-rocking "Dazed and Confused," which Plant introduced by saying, "There are certain songs that have to be there, and this is one of them."

Plant's high-pitched screeches and moans also filled the arena, while Page used a cello bow during the solo in "Dazed and Confused" and picked on his double-necked guitar to ring out the famous notes to "Stairway."

Although a full tour remains a mystery -- Plant is reportedly due to tour with bluegrass star Alison Krauss -- the band surely proved that it still had what it takes to keep an audience interested.

"Page dispensed power chords like an aged Thor lobbing down thunderbolts for kicks," Paphides wrote about "Black Dog," the band's third song of the night.

Other media also hailed the show as a success.

"They sound awesomely tight," Alexis Petridis wrote in Tuesday's The Guardian. David Cheal of The Daily Telegraph said the band's "familiar old sinew and swagger were still there."

The Independent was a little less effusive in its praise, but Andy Gill did write that the call-and-response routine between Plant and Page during "Black Dog" was "one of the night's more engaging moments."

Gill also singled out Bonham, who was sitting in for his father. John Bonham died in 1980 after choking on his own vomit, leading to the band's breakup a few months later.

"Jason Bonham makes a more than merely able replacement for his father on drums: indeed, there's a stronger funk element to his playing which kicks the songs along with more elan," Gill wrote.

In the Evening Standard, John Aizlewood gave the concert five stars.

"Two hours and 10 minutes after they began `Good Times Bad Times,' ... they had assuaged the doubts and delivered a show of breathtaking power and spine-tingling excitement," Aizlewood wrote.

The New York Times reviewer Ben Ratliff said Plant "was authoritative; he was dignified."

"As for Mr. Page, his guitar solos weren't as frenetic and articulated as they used to be, but that only drove home the point that they were always secondary to the riffs, which on Monday were enormous, nasty, glorious," Ratliff wrote.

Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times said the band "played the first sets with easygoing confidence. Their good humor built into triumphant intensity as the night wore on."

Daily Star writer James Cabooter may have written what all Zep fans have been thinking since the concert was announced months ago.

"Led Zep were pure class," he wrote. "Now bring on the full reunion tour."

Edited by SteveAJones

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Rolling Stone

by David Fricke

For the second encore of their first full concert in twenty-seven years, at London’s 02 arena last night, Led Zeppelin tore into “Rock and Roll,” from their untitled fourth album, with a joyful vengeance. As drummer Jason Bonham hammered with the ghostly precision and ferocity of his late father, guitarist Jimmy Page fired dirty chunks of Chuck Berry and bassist John Paul Jones kept iron time with familiar reserve, singer Robert Plant sang the most obvious words of the night: “Been a long time since I rock and rolled.” Overhead, images of a much younger Zeppelin, in concert during the early and mid-Seventies, flashed on a huge digital-video screen. In those films, Led Zeppelin were the biggest, loudest and most cocksure band in rock. Jimmy Page’s now snow-white hair was still jet black; Robert Plant was a golden god, not yet a Viking elder, and the late John Bonham — whose death in 1980 abruptly ended Zeppelin’s reign — still ruled the engine room.

But the band that played underneath those memories last night was not the one that misfired at Live Aid in 1985 or again in New York in 1988. This one was rehearsed, ready and out to kill. This band was Led Zeppelin in every way.

Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham the Younger opened their two-hour show with the confident wit and colossal nerve of “Good Times Bad Times,” the first song on Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album. Even before Plant opened his mouth, the original fury — a surprisingly lean, dub-like crossfire of cannonshot chords, frantic, gulping bass runs and polyrhythmic swagger — was in order and in force. “In the days of my youth/I was told what it means to be a man,” Plant sang, in the slightly lower register of someone who gives those lessons now. It was an appropriate effect, too — an admission of age delivered with feral pride — on a night dedicated to the memory of Zeppelin’s late friend and mentor, Atlantic Records’ co-founder Ahmet Ertegun. (Proceeds from ticket sales will go to music scholarships, created in Ertegun’s name, at schools in New York, England and his native Turkey.) Earlier, a quote from Ertegun, who died in 2006 at age 83, hung from banners at the sides of the stage: “It is a great life, this life of music.” Zeppelin honored that sentiment by playing like a band renewed, not merely reunited.

You could see the pleasure — in the way Plant kicked at the base of his mike stand in “Ramble On,” sending it in an arc over his head ‘72-style, and in the big grin on Page’s face, blown up on the screen, as Bonham flew into the climactic drum thunder of “Black Dog.” For much of the show, even with a full, wide stage to themselves, Page, Plant and Jones stood in tight formation at the foot of the drum riser, often facing Jason, as if they were still in rehearsal. “I just want to have fun!” Plant barked at one point, as the band swerved from the extended, frenzied mid-section of “In My Time of Dying” back into the song’s blues-march backbone.

Zeppelin did not walk or waltz through any of tonight’s sixteen songs. You could hear the care, the weeks of practice that started back in June, in the live debut of “For Your Life” from the 1976 album Presence, a song which, according to Plant in our recent cover story, the band tried in the first rehearsals but dropped after two days. Obviously, there was no staying away from its eccentric oceanic chop. There was no getting away from the warhorses either. “No Quarter” came with the obligatory dry ice. “There are certain things we had to do — this is one of them,” Plant said, almost in apology, introducing “Dazed and Confused.” Page was soon back in ancient ritual — pulling long wah-wah groans from his Gibson Les Paul with a violin bow under a rotating steeple of green-laser beams.

More impressive, though, was the fresh tension in the song’s slow-drag sections as Page, Jones and Bonham pulled at the tempo, heightening the expectation between Page’s bent-note growls and Bonham’s thundercrack rolls with extra delay. “Stairway to Heaven” was also not quite its overfamiliar self, and refreshing for it, Page fingerpicking the opening motif and hitting the ringing twelve-string chords with a relaxed, folk-rock grace, echoing Plant’s thousand-yard stare as he sang “And it makes me wonder . . .” The inevitable “Whole Lotta Love,” the first encore, was almost identical to the second-album script except for a short, tantalizing passage of raw-blues argument after the whooping-theremin blowout — no drums, no bass, just Plant and Page’s guitar snapping at each other like junkyard dogs.

Any doubts about Plant’s ability to still hit the high notes, his willingness to go stratospheric, was obliterated at the right, dramatic points in “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “Kashmir.” Jones and Bonham locked in like family. And Page was a continual shock on guitar, mostly because he has played so little in public for the past decade. At sixty-three, Page is undiminished in his sorcerer’s mix of reckless ferocity — stammering runs, strangled howls, granite-block chords — and guitar-army wow. He recreated the harmonized-lick break in “Ramble On” with a sly blend of phasing and natural glide, and evoked the riff-orchestra swoop of “The Song Remains the Same” with a sustained rain of twelve-string harmonics. It was also clear why Page’s solo career has been one of fits and starts. In Led Zeppelin, Page built the perfect beast for his fury and ambitions. Last night, he cut and slashed against Jones’ percolating clavinet in “Trampled Underfoot” like an enraged butche, and matched Plant’s hairpin cries in the field-holler passages of “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” with a devils’ choir of distortion.

At times, Zeppelin seemed to amaze themselves. “Spectacular!” crowed Plant, turning to Bonham with pride at the end of “Rock and Roll.” As the words “Led Zeppelin” filled the back screen, before the band left the stage for good, Bonham dropped to his knees and bowed, as if to say “I’m not worthy,” In fact, he was, in spades, pushing his elders — hard — in the circle dance “Misty Mountain Hop” and the steady, exotic ascension of “Kashmir.”

It is only fair to point out that there were other performers on the bill, including Foreigner, Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings and members of Yes and Emerson Lake and Palmer — all squeezed into an hour’s potpourri to pay tribute to Ertegun and his reign at Atlantic, with varying historic accuracy. Rodgers got the first, major ovation of the night, but with a version of his 1969 hit with Free, “All Right Now.” Singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini — the youngest featured act by about twenty-five years — did his best with “Mess Around,” written by Ertegun for Ray Charles, then followed it with “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down),” a 1966 hit for Cher, an Atlantic artist, but on another label. Stranger still, Nutini sang it with a raspy, trilling effect that eerily called to mind a late-Sixties cover of the song by British singer Terry Reid — best known now for being the guy who turned down Page’s offer to be in Zeppelin and suggested Plant instead.

It is also important to note that Zeppelin left the building wiithout making any reference to their future together, if there is one — no “See you next year!” or “Until next time . . .” The only message they left behind was, “We were the best — and still are.”

The waiting begins again.

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http://arts.independent.co.uk/music/review...icle3242197.ece

The Independent

Led Zeppelin, The O2, London

The Return of Rock and Roll

By Andy Gill

Published: 11 December 2007

With the possible exceptions of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, no other band reunion could excite the fervour prompted by Led Zeppelin's long-awaited appearance at the O2, particularly since Cream buried their various hatchets a few years ago.

Certainly, it's hard to imagine any other act charging a whopping £135 for a ticket, and still being so over-subscribed with requests that they have to run a lottery to choose which lucky blighters will have the opportunity to part with such a princely sum for an evening's entertainment.

Expectations would already be high whatever the price, but that kind of outlay raises the bar to even more vertiginous heights – although there is a point at which the cost virtually ensures satisfaction.

It's like the adage about being in debt: if you owe the bank £10,000, you have a problem; but if you owe them £10,000,000, the bank has a problem. Likewise in this case, if you've paid £135, you have more of a vested interest in believing you've had a great time than if you'd only paid £20 or £40.

So although the terms "awesome" and "brilliant" could be heard amongst the departing throng following Zeppelin's first full-length concert since John Bonham's death in 1980, they were perhaps more an inevitable self affirmation than a considered judgment on the show itself – which like all performances, had its highs and its lows.

The event was billed as a tribute concert to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, a beloved friend and mentor to the band. I don't know how much the 20,000 audience knew – or cared – about Ertegun's career and his position in American music history, but it certainly struck me as strange, for a man who was so crucially involved in the development and promotion of black music in all its forms, from jazz and blues to soul, that there was no black presence on the bill.

There were plenty of musicians heavily influenced by black music, certainly, but this merely served to remind one of the accusations of plagiarism levelled early in their career by Led Zeppelin's light-fingered (and often uncredited) appropriation of blues material originally written by the likes of Willie Dixon.

Tonight at least, Robert Plant is at pains to give due credit to the originators, acknowledging the roots of "Trampled Underfoot" in Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues", and giving props to Blind Willie Johnson as author of "Nobody's Fault But Mine".

But the white-blues bias did tend to overbalance the concert as a whole. And frankly, if the main course is as dense and heavy as Led Zeppelin, the last thing one needs is a starter as rich and stodgy as Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings. Unless it's Foreigner, the epitome of redundant '80s stadium-rock.

Zeppelin's headline segment opened with quaint period newsreel footage of them arriving in America in their heyday, before the familiar chords of "Good Times, Bad Times" heralded their appearance. Here, and on the subsequent "Ramble On", it became immediately apparent that Jason Bonham makes a more than merely able replacement for his father on drums: indeed, there's a stronger funk element to his playing which kicks the songs along with more elan, particularly on "Trampled Underfoot", where it lays a tight bed beneath John Paul Jones's funky clavinet riff.

The sound early in the show was somewhat murky and billowing, at times an undifferentiated clangour through which Jimmy Page's piercing guitar solos cut like razors. But by "Black Dog", things have settled down somewhat, the riff's tricky curlicues coming through more clearly; and Robert Plant's call-and-response jousting with the crowd on the "uhh-uhh/uhh-uhh" mid-song breakdown is one of the night's more engaging moments.

It's followed by the blowsy slide-guitar blues "In My Time Of Dying", on which Page's climactic blizzard of notes seems to congeal like molten lead. That in turn is succeeded by "For Your Life", the most-puzzling piece in the set. "This is our first live adventure with this song," says Plant in his introduction – and no wonder, one thinks, listening to this routine riff-a-rama whose melody remains a mystery.

"Trampled Underfoot" is a distinct improvement, but its impact is immediately dissipated by a lengthy section of downbeat blues-rock, starting with "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and incorporating "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Dazed And Confused" – cue Page's employment of violin bow to send waves of lowing noise careering around the arena, Plant moaning along in unison – with only the heavily vibrato'd keyboard and vocals of "No Quarter" as respite.

Which, being the closest the band came to the dread jazz-rock fusion, is no respite at all, to be honest. It all seems rather sluggish and draggy, an impression not dispelled when Page straps on his emblematic double-necked guitar for "Stairway To Heaven", scourge of guitarshop salesfolk the world over.

The evening's high point comes with the mighty "Kashmir", whose middle-eastern-toned riff has a golem tread which makes it the song best equipped to withstand the arena's questionable acoustics. It's also given the most satisfying of the visual backdrops on the huge screen behind the band, a complex series of mandala devices which brings out the song's exotic flavour.

"There are people out there from 50 countries!" marvels Plant in his introduction. "This is the 51st." Encores of "Whole Lotta Love" and "Rock And Roll" bring the evening to a close, the former given the full-on laser and dry-ice treatment for Page's celebrated mid-song breakdown section of guitar and theremin.

One can't help feeling, however, that these big, uptempo rockers would have been better placed in the middle of the set. But for those happy punters departing Greenwich in a state of mild euphoria, just to be here was clearly enough.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml...11/bmzep111.xml

The Telegraph

Led Zeppelin: Then it got better still

Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 10/12/2007

David Cheal reviews Led Zeppelin at the O2 arena

"I must be one of the happiest 18,000 people in the world today," said a middle-aged man on the London Underground yesterday afternoon. And with good reason: he had a ticket to the big one. Twenty-seven years after they disbanded, Led Zeppelin were back together, for one night in London, in what was surely the most feverishly anticipated reunion gig of all time - a concert for which millions around the world applied for tickets.

And as the lucky critic who was handed this dream ticket, I have to say that I was in my own fever of anticipation in the days building up to the big event: anxiety dreams clouded my sleep - what if they turned out to be not-very-good, or only played three songs? - while my waking hours were distracted by the thought that soon, I'd be watching the greatest band in the world on stage.

Well, three of them: on the drum-stool, Jason Bonham was replacing his dad John, whose death from a vodka binge in 1980 marked the end of the road for Zeppelin as a group. For a rock fan, and a writer who has covered some big shows over the past 20 years, gigs don't get any bigger.

But could it possibly live up to the expectation? Well: I was blown away.

The first song, Good Times, Bad Times, dispelled all fears. The familiar old sinew and swagger were still there, singer Robert Plant's voice seeming untouched by age, guitarist Jimmy Page, his hair now almost white, firing off little solos that were a taste of things to come, John Paul Jones's bass twisting and driving, Jason Bonham's drums crisp and powerful.

I felt a little sorry for the string of support acts who had warmed up the crowd - star names such as Bill Wyman, Keith Emerson, Paul Rodgers and Foreigner, but whose contributions were immediately swept away like dust in the breeze by the awesome foursome.

Then it got better. Ramble On was just sensational, and the crowd, hitherto a little subdued, began to wake up and shout. The band's body language spoke volumes: they were watching each other, playing to each other, smiling: they were a group.

Then it got better still: Black Dog. Byzantine riff, pulverising drums, hollering vocals. Magic. And no sign of Jimmy Page's finger injury that had caused the gig to be delayed. "Good evening," said Plant.

How much better could it get? Here's how much: In My Time of Dying, driven by such a dark, filthy, shivery blues riff, the electrifying change of pace, drums and guitar locked into a sensational groove. It scarcely seemed possible that a group could be this good.

Trampled Underfoot was a reminder that Zeppelin were fusing funk and rock 20 years before the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and that John Paul Jones is a great keyboard player.

And Nobody's Fault But Mine was a reminder that, contrary to myth, Zeppelin were - are - not a heavy metal band, not a prog-rock band, but a band who played and loved the blues, were electrified by it, and in turn electrified it.

And so it went on: they never flagged, although the crowd seemed a bit limp at times. Bonham was astonishing: he didn't just lock into Jones's base grooves - he played off against the guitar and the vocals. He was listening. And they had clearly done a lot of rehearsing.

I could go on but I'm running out of space. Dazed and Confused! Since I've Been Loving You! Stairway to Heaven! They were fantastic. Better than I expected.

It was a joy and a privilege to be there.

The Led Zeppelin vox pop

Last Updated: 7:01am GMT 11/12/2007

"It was brilliant. The best bit had to be when the band came on stage and suddenly it hit me - the realisation that they really had got back together. It was like a dream come true." - Mark Sainsbury, 40, Pontypridd

"They were better than I ever could have imagined. It was just how my father said it would be - he told me I had to go. For gentlemen of advanced years, they were wonderful." - Marianne Borrows, 31, Southampton

"The first four or five songs were very bad. I think it was the Arena's sound engineers, but they managed to sort it out and then it was fabulous. The performance was much better than when I saw them in the 1980s - they were drunk then." - Jan Hartman, 47, Rotterdam"They played an unusual set. Of course they played Stairway To Heaven and Whole Lotta Love, but they also played Trampled Under Foot and other songs from across their whole career." - Cath Lewis, 38, Essex

"I can't say I was their biggest fan before tonight, but tomorrow I will go out and buy all their albums." - Brett Golledge, 35, Essex

"They were nothing like 25 years ago. There was no subtlety to their playing and the audience reaction was poor." - John Walker, 60, Cambridge

"I saw the McCartneys, the Gallagher brothers and Mick Jagger in the crowd. It makes you realise how big this concert was." - Peter Higginson, 30, London

"It was an interesting night, but to be honest the band seemed a bit tired by the time it was all over. And I was getting a bit tired of it all too." - Michael Grodner, 28, Liverpool

Edited by SteveAJones

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The Salt Lake Tribune

Whole lotta love

Fans pay upwards of $2,000 to see Led Zeppelin reunion

Article Last Updated: 12/11/2007 12:32:36 AM MST

Led Zeppelin fans from around the world descended Monday on London to see the legendary rock band perform a full set for the first time in nearly three decades. Led by its three surviving members - singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones - Led Zeppelin was to be joined by the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums for the benefit show Monday at the O2 Arena. Priced at $250, tickets have been selling on the Internet for upwards of $2,000.

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http://www.star-telegram.com/455/story/352345.html

Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX USA)

Posted on Tue, Dec. 11, 2007

Rave reviews for Led Zeppelin concert

By CHRIS LEHOURITES

Associated Press Writer

Song remains the same at Zeppelin reunion

LONDON -- On the morning after Led Zeppelin's long-awaited reunion concert, the music reviewers were already calling for more.

Playing a full set for the first time in nearly three decades, the authors of "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love" rocked the O2 Arena on Monday for more than two hours, leaving fans from around the world gasping in delight.

"With a synergy like this going on, it would be an act of cosmic perversity to stop now," Pete Paphides of The Times of London wrote.

The band's three surviving members - singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones - were joined at the sold-out benefit show by the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums.

The 16-song set mixed the classics with the thumping "Kashmir" and the hard-rocking "Dazed and Confused," which Plant introduced by saying, "There are certain songs that have to be there, and this is one of them."

Plant's high-pitched screeches and moans also filled the arena, while Page used a cello bow during the solo in "Dazed and Confused" and picked on his double-necked guitar to ring out the famous notes to "Stairway."

Although a full tour remains a mystery - Plant is reportedly due to tour with bluegrass star Alison Krauss - the band surely proved that it still had what it takes to keep an audience interested.

"Page dispensed power chords like an aged Thor lobbing down thunderbolts for kicks," Paphides wrote about "Black Dog," the band's third song of the night.

Other media also hailed the show as a success.

"They sound awesomely tight," Alexis Petridis wrote in Tuesday's The Guardian. David Cheal of The Daily Telegraph said the band's "familiar old sinew and swagger were still there."

The Independent was a little less effusive in its praise, but Andy Gill did write that the call-and-response routine between Plant and Page during "Black Dog" was "one of the night's more engaging moments."

Gill also singled out Bonham, who was sitting in for his father. John Bonham died in 1980 after choking on his own vomit, leading to the band's breakup a few months later.

"Jason Bonham makes a more than merely able replacement for his father on drums: indeed, there's a stronger funk element to his playing which kicks the songs along with more elan," Gill wrote.

In the Evening Standard, John Aizlewood gave the concert five stars.

"Two hours and 10 minutes after they began 'Good Times Bad Times,' ... they had assuaged the doubts and delivered a show of breathtaking power and spine-tingling excitement," Aizlewood wrote.

The New York Times reviewer Ben Ratliff said Plant "was authoritative; he was dignified."

"As for Mr. Page, his guitar solos weren't as frenetic and articulated as they used to be, but that only drove home the point that they were always secondary to the riffs, which on Monday were enormous, nasty, glorious," Ratliff wrote.

Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times said the band "played the first sets with easygoing confidence. Their good humor built into triumphant intensity as the night wore on."

Daily Star writer James Cabooter may have written what all Zep fans have been thinking since the concert was announced months ago.

"Led Zep were pure class," he wrote. "Now bring on the full reunion tour."

Edited by SteveAJones

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Mail & Guardian International Edition

Led Zep reunion: Papers hail return of rock'n'roll

London, United Kingdom

11 December 2007 03:21

Rock legends Led Zeppelin showed they have not lost any of their appeal, despite a 27-year break in performing, advancing years and the death of the band's original drummer, British press said on Tuesday.

The legendary 1970s band's one-off reunion gig at London's O2 Arena on Monday night was hailed as the return of rock'n'roll, although clearly the old rockers' wild party days are well behind them.

Instead of vodka and champagne-fuelled parties, the band's only riders were apparently cups of tea and coffee.

Inevitably, the band's most famous song, Stairway to Heaven -- scourge of guitar shop owners the world over -- became a stairlift in several commentaries. But all were approving.

"It was breathtaking and spine-tingling. This really is as good as popular music gets," wrote reviewer Jon Aizlewood in London's Evening Standard.

"Led in their old pencil," the Sun tabloid said over a photograph of singer Robert Plant (59) and guitarist Jimmy Page (63), strutting on stage in front of 20 000 fans.

The best-selling daily's reviewer Pete Sampson compared Led Zeppelin to the manufactured pop that dominates today's charts.

"Their classics proved music doesn't rock like it used to," he added.

"Older equipment may take a while to get going, but once the requisite valves heat up, the quality is unmistakable," the Times reviewer, Pete Paphides wrote, saying Led Zep invented rock-funk long before the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

At the Daily Mirror, reviewer Gavin Martin said: "Page may no longer swagger across the stage, his guitar worn low like a gunslinger as he churns out riffs.

"And Plant can't scream and strut like he did in his rock-god heyday. But the awesome power and majesty of the music was undiminished."

The Times and the Independent pinpointed Black Dog as one of the highlights.

"Page dispensed power chords like an aged Thor lobbing down thunderbolts for kicks," Paphides said.

"It had been good before, but something of the devil seemed to get hold of them at this point."

The Independent's Andy Gill said the sound up to that point had been "somewhat murky", but Black Dog was where it settled down.

"Robert Plant's call-and-response jousting with the crowd on the 'uhh-uhh/uhh-uhh' mid-song breakdown is one of the night's more engaging moments," Gill wrote under a headline: "The Return of Rock and Roll."

At the Guardian, Alexis Petridis wrote: "After a tentative, feedback-scarred opener of Good Times, Bad Times, it's difficult to believe this is a band who have barely played together for the best part of three decades.

"They sound awesomely tight."

For many the ethereal Kashmir was the high point. "Some tunes have dated better than others -- because the moment Page and [Jason] Bonham locked into Kashmir, something transcendent took hold," said Paphides.

"They were fantastic. Better than I expected. It was a joy and a privilege to be there," the Daily Telegraph's David Cheal said.

The two-hour concert, one of the music world's most anticipated of the year, has fuelled speculation that Led Zeppelin could reform -- 27 years since they split after the death of drummer John Bonham.

"Events that have so much resting on them rarely unfold with such an air of assurance," Paphides wrote. "With a synergy like this going on, it would be an act of cosmic perversity to stop now." -- AFP

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Led Zep puts on heavenly show

O2 Arena, London, England - December 10, 2007

By DARRYL STERDAN -- Sun Media

zep256.jpg

Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin1 perform on stage during the Led Zeppelin Tribute To Ahmet Ertegun concert, held at the O2 Arena on December 10, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Ross Halfin/Exclusive by Getty Images)

LONDON -- The magic remains the same.

A generation after they last performed a full concert together, the surviving members of the legendary Led Zeppelin made what can only be called a triumphant return to the stage at London's O2 Arena last night.

Playing for a sold-out crowd of devotees, VIPs and media from around the world, the band -- 59-year-old singer Robert Plant, 61-year-old bassist John Paul Jones and 63-year-old guitarist Jimmy Page, joined by late drummer John Bonham's 41-year-old son Jason -- proved beyond doubt that despite their age, they still wield the hammer of the gods.

Sure, Zep may have been your daddy's rock band, but make no mistake: The British blues-metal icons brought enough swagger, sweat and sheer walloping power to blow most of today's young turks out of the water.

They were greeted like the heroes they are by the wildly enthusiastic crowd of nearly 20,000, who had paid #125 each (about $250 Cdn) for tickets to the concert after beating out millions of fans in an online lottery.

From the opening moments, it was clear they were going to get their money's worth -- and that they were bearing witness to the biggest comeback in rock history.

Kicking off the evening with Good Times Bad Times -- the first song from their debut '69 album -- the band burned through a high-energy 130-minute set that drew from nearly every album in their decade-long career.

Detractors and naysayers who suggested the band might not be able to deliver the same show they did decades ago were quickly proven wrong. Though his hair is now a silver tangle of mad-scientist curls instead of black locks, Page was still every inch the ultimate guitar god, peeling off blistering solos and showing no ill effects from the broken left pinky that delayed the show by two weeks.

A goateed Plant was in equally stellar form -- even if he sang the odd note in a slightly lower register than the banshee wail of his youth. Jones and Bonham held down the bottom end as if they had been playing together for years, with the latter doing a magnificent job of echoing the sound and style of his great father.

The production itself was no slouch, either, with the group backed by a stage-wide video screen and bathed under washes of light from a giant spider-like rig.

You could quibble that it didn't equal the sprawling three-hour shows they used to put on, but as someone who saw them back in the day, let me tell you they were never this tight. And the sound and lights were never this good. And this time, we didn't have to sit through a half-hour drum solo.

By the time it wrapped up after a smoking version of Rock and Roll, the fans most certainly had not had enough.

We can only hope the band feels the same way.

A song-by-song review of last night's Zep show:

Good Times Bad Times: Could there be a more perfect opener? We think not. Even better: They totally nail it -- especially Page, whose solo is nothing short of firebreathing.

Ramble On: Plant seems to be singing a little lower than he used to. Otherwise, it sounded every bit as good as the original.

Black Dog: Ten minutes in and they've started bringing out the big guns. And hitting the mark. Bonham handles the offbeat rhythm without a hitch. And Page reels off another searing solo. Plant doesn't have to work too hard to get the crowd singing along on the, "Ah, ah, ah, ahhhhhhhhh" refrains.

In My Time of Dying: Page switches to a hollow-body electric and pulls out the slide for this serpentine epic workout from Physical Graffiti.

For Your Life: Before the gig, Page told interviewers the band had rehearsed this buried treasure from Presence, which they never performed live before. You'd never know it from this version.

Trampled Underfoot: Jones puts down his bass and moves to the keyboard for this funky number, which Plant explains was inspired by Delta bluesman Robert Johnson's Terraplane Blues.

Nobody's Fault But Mine: Another slow-burning epic, this time from Presence. Plant tells the crowd this one came from the Staples Singers and the Blind Boys of Alabama. More to the point, he plays a pretty wicked harmonica solo.

No Quarter: Jones' trademark keyboard spotlight lasts 10 minutes -- which is about half the length of the epic versions they used to play back in the day. Come to think of it, at eight songs an hour, they're playing about 50% more material than before. Good value for that #125 ($250)!

Since I've Been Loving You: Apparently, they're sticking with the slower groove for a while. No complaints here -- though we are gonna be ready to hear another rocker pretty soon.

Dazed and Confused: "I don't know how many songs we recorded together," says Plant, adding that when they put together their set list, there were some songs that "had to be" included. "This is one of them." Damn right. Midway through, the violin bow has been unsheathed! Page launches into his solo while standing in the middle of a spinning laser pyramid -- exactly as he did on the band's '77 tour.

Stairway to Heaven: It's Stairway. What more is there to say? Except that they pulled it off like champs. "Hey, Ahmet," says Plant at the end. "We did it." Indeed they did.

The Song Remains the Same: Page has pulled out the doubleneck SG. This one seems a little slower than the studio version. But hey, they have been on for 90 minutes. And they are senior citizens.

Misty Mountain Hop: Again, the energy on this one seems to be flagging just a bit. Plant even sounds a little winded. Maybe they should have kept it to 90 minutes.

Kashmir: That thing we said about keeping it to 90 minutes? Never mind. They redeem themselves with this slowly thundering version. "There are people here from 50 countries," Plant says. "This is the 51st country." Jones is on keyboards, but Page does a pretty fair job of bringing the guitar army to life.

Whole Lotta Love (Encore): This one is also a little slower than the studio version -- but in this case, it only makes it sound heavier and more aggressive. Plant tops it off with one last scream that's probably still echoing over the Thames.

Rock and Roll (2nd Encore): They couldn't have closed with anything else. And they couldn't have played it any better than this. Like racers heading for the finish line, they saved one last burst of speed for the end of the race.

The final bow. Or is it?

6 stars out of 5 Yes, that's right.

Edited by The Pagemeister

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JAM! Showbiz (Canada)

Led Zeppelin back in concert

Led Zeppelin reunion raises a whole lotta questions

By JOHN KRYK -- Sun Media

The Police? Every little thing they did wasn't magic. Genesis? Few seemed to care they turned it on again. And the Spice Girls? Just a bunch of wannabe's.

But Led Zeppelin? Now there's a 2007 reunion to get jacked about.

If you don't own at least one Led Zeppelin album or CD, most of the people you know do. For instance, the mighty Brit rockers have sold more albums in America -- 109.5 million -- than U2 and Metallica combined. Only The Beatles, Garth Brooks and Elvis Presley have sold more.

That's a whole lotta love for one rock band.

And tomorrow, 27 years to the week after disbanding, Led Zeppelin reunites for the first time as headliners at a public concert. The three surviving band members -- guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones -- will perform with the son of their late drummer, John Bonham, at a benefit show at the 02 Arena in London, England.

Zeppelin is expected to play for 90 minutes starting at about 9 p.m. London time. Opening acts include Pete Townshend, Foreigner and Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings. The original date for the show was Nov. 26, but Page needed time for his broken left pinky to heal.

Each of the 18,000 fans who'll be in attendance literally has won the lottery. Some 25 to 30 million people tried to log on to the event's ticket-lottery website on Sept. 12 -- and crashed it. In all, the site has received half a billion page views -- yes, billion -- and one million people eventually registered for the ticket lottery.

Those who didn't win any of the $250 tickets have been making scalpers rich. At a charity auction in England, someone paid $170,000 for a pair.

"The response is staggering. It's quite overwhelming," Jones said. "Sorry they can't all be there."

So, what can we expect from the band that redefined hard rock in the '70s? Here are answers to the 10 burning questions surrounding the reunion:

1. When did they decide to play this concert?

On June 10, according to Rolling Stone. That was the day the three surviving Zep members and Jason Bonham gathered with instruments in a rehearsal space for the first time in 19 years.

"We had a very, very secret tryout in June -- just to see if a) it was possible, and B) if anybody wanted to do it, to see if the will was there," Jones told Sun Media. "And it was pretty exciting, I have to tell you. We made all the musical cues, and we were pretty hot. From that, we're just taking it to a gig.

"We didn't want to announce anything until we were sure ... Also we knew that everyone would start speculating wildly about whatever may or may not happen."

Bottom line: "We didn't have to shake hands and say, well, at least we sort of know that it might not be a good idea," Page told Sun Media. "It was quite the opposite. It was really exhilarating; it was really thrilling to be playing together again."

2. Can Jason Bonham adequately fill in for Bonzo?

First off, John (Bonzo) Bonham is irreplaceable. Few now dispute he was rock's greatest drummer. His drumming was so integral to the Zeppelin sound that the others instinctively knew the band could not continue without him.

His son, Jason, will fill in, just as he did at Zeppelin's one-off reunion in 1988 for the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary bash, and again at Zeppelin's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1995.

"(Our) music is in Jason's veins. There's no one else you'd really want to be on stage if Jason is around to do it," Page said. "He has been playing Led Zeppelin songs in a live situation since he was very young."

Says Jones, "It has been fantastic playing with Jason, the few times that we've done it so far. He's just absolutely amazing. He's a really fine musician with a lot of similarities with his dad. But he's his own man, and he hits hard -- and really knows his stuff."

Bottom line: As Jones said, "He grew up with Zeppelin music in more ways than one, and he was taught drums by his dad. What could be better?"

3. Has Jimmy Page recovered from his broken finger?

Presumably. Still, there are concerns.

Anyone who has tried to play guitar coming off a broken finger can tell you how difficult and painful it can be to play. That must especially be so if you're attempting Jimmy Page's Led Zeppelin solos.

What's more, the Riff King is 63 and hasn't played an important live gig in eight years (when he toured with the Black Crowes); he played poorly at the previously Zep reunion gigs; and the U.K. Sun two weeks ago reported that he "is a bit rusty."

Yet it's hard to imagine Page would risk undermining his or Zeppelin's legacy with an embarrassing performance. The whole point of this show, according to Plant, is to make up for the substandard reunion one-off performances of the past. And, grey hair and all, Page looks healthier now with a Les Paul slung over his shoulder than he has since 1975.

Bottom line: Expect Page to be on his game.

4. Can Robert Plant still hit the high notes?

Not all of them. Enough of them? We'll see. This is as crucial to the Zeppelin sound as anything.

Any devout Zep fan who has heard bootleg recordings of Zep concerts through the '70s can tell you that it was after the 1972 tour that Plant stopped singing most high-range songs from the first few albums. Plant once said he had throat surgery in 1973. Seems his vocal ceiling was forever lowered.

For what it's worth, two weeks ago the U.K. Sun reported that "Robert has been struggling with the high notes. To avoid any embarrassing vocal wobbles with the world watching, they decided it would be best to transpose the songs in a lower key," the report said.

Bottom line: They won't be playing Communication Breakdown.

5. What songs will they play?

They're not saying. Well, not really.

"We're trying to make it a surprise," Jones said. "We don't want to give it all away. We played kind of the normal songs at the rehearsal, but we don't want to say too much about that."

Will there be some acoustic, or atypical songs attempted from the back corners of the Zeppelin catalogue?

"More than likely," Page told Sun Media in October. "We've got a blueprint (of a setlist). Now it's time to start constructing."

Bottom line: Fans will instantly recognize most, if not all, of the songs Zep plays.

6. Will there be backing musicians?

"No, you've got to be joking," Jones said. "We've never needed to do that."

Ah, but Plant felt he needed to do that for his musical reunion with Page in the 1990s. Apparently, the only way he could stomach singing Zep songs again with Page for their Unledded and Walking into Clarksdale tours in the '90s was if they dragged those songs to the precipice of unrecognizability, with the aid of literally dozens of eclectic musicians -- one of whose names could not be John Paul Jones. Thus, no one could accuse Plant of reforming Led Zeppelin, or reliving the past, or rehashing old musical ground.

"The whole process of that Unledded thing was just, you know, involving other sorts of (musical) colours, if you like," Page told Sun Media. "The hurdy gurdy player ... the Egyptian musicians. (It) was a kaleidoscope. But this is getting right down to the nitty gritty. I never felt comfortable with people filling in."

Oh, and whatever songs they do play, don't expect any half-hour-long improv "stretch-outs" because, as Jones said, "we want to get in as many songs as we can."

Bottom line: There will be three members of Led Zeppelin along with the fourth member's son playing Zeppelin songs that "are going to be extremely recognizable," Jones said.

7. Have they mended their fences?

Page, Plant and Jones have had their run-ins and tiffs over the years.

Time, though, is the great leveller.

"Everything's cleared up, and we're just concentrating on the music now," Jones said in October. "There are lots of personalities in this band. We've been together for an awfully long time. Everything's settled."

Bottom line: It's about time.

8. Will the concert be shown live on TV of the Internet?

No. And there are no plans in the works even to make a DVD of the event, Jones told Sun Media.

Speculation is, if the band has an off night, they won't want the world to ever see it.

But, like life at Jurassic Park, Zep fans find a way. Any number of tech-savvy fans in the crowd likely will be holding up cell phones and streaming their video live to the web.

Bottom line: Best of luck trolling the Net tomorrow at about 4 p.m. EST, 3 p.m. CST or 2 p.m. MST.

9. Is this show a prelude to a new album, or a 2008 tour?

Who knows. There's plenty of smoke on that front but no fire yet.

Regarding new material, Page told Sun Media he'd be surprised if they don't come up "with all manner of things" at rehearsals. "I mean, that's what it's all about. But as far as it going any further, I don't know."

Regarding a tour, it was at a club show in Cincinnati last month that the frontman for The Cult, Ian Astbury, told fans his band would be back next year, opening for Zep.

And just this week, an Internet report claimed Zep will play its first U.S. show since 1977 at the eclectic Bonnaroo summer festival in Manchester, Tenn.

Officially, the band's management says "no decision has been made" on a 2008 tour.

Bottom line: "Basically, we are concentrating on this show," Jones told Sun Media. "That's where all the energy is going. I mean, who knows, but one step at a time."

10. Are they as arrogant as ever?

You betcha. Supreme confidence is what drove that band, as much as anything.

It was in 1975 that Plant famously crowed: "It's not just that we think we are the best group in the world. We think we are so much better than whoever is number two."

Fast-forward to last month, and Plant's opinion hasn't changed a drop. "We weren't in competition with anybody," he told Uncut. "We were Led Zeppelin. We were, at that time, the biggest band in the world. There wasn't anyone else. There was no one near us. We were out there on our own."

Bottom line: He's right.

http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/L/Led_Ze...716411-sun.html

CONCERT PREVIEW:

'Led' the show begin

After 27 years, the time has finally come for the Led Zeppelin reunion.

By DARRYL STERDAN -- Sun Media

LONDON -- For Led Zeppelin fans, Celebration Day has finally arrived.

Tonight's the night that the legendary British blues-metal gods reunite for their first full concert in more than 27 years -- and for the lucky few Canadians who are here in England to take in the one-off show, it's a fantasy come true.

"Oh yeah, this is definitely one of my childhood dreams," said Larry Norton of Halifax as he waited in line yesterday to pick up his wristband ticket at the O2 Arena box office.

Like more than a million others, the 48-year-old Norton -- a systems analyst with the Fisheries and Oceans Department -- entered an online lottery back in October in hopes of scoring one of 9,000 pairs of tickets to the concert. Unlike 99% of his competitors, he won.

"I heard back within a few hours. I was shocked, to say the least."

That goes for Scott Smith of High River, Alta.

"I didn't even enter the lottery," the 47-year-old oil worker confesses. "I didn't even think it was possible. But my buddy entered and he won. I was pretty thrilled when he told me."

Smith and Norton were among thousands of winners from 70 countries who swamped the Greenwich venue yesterday, waiting in long lines amid tight security for more than five hours to claim the prized wristbands, which sold for #125 each, about $250 Cdn.

To thwart scalpers, winners had to present photo ID, the credit card they used to buy their tickets, and the confirmation code they were issued in order to claim the wristbands, which cannot be removed before showtime.

Of course, that hasn't stopped people from selling "tickets" on eBay for thousands of dollars. Whether some of those buyers will be disappointed tonight remains to be seen. But for promoters, the cash registers are ringing. Inside the O2 lobby, vendors were already selling #15 programs to the event at a steady clip.

"I've been here since 10 a.m. and it's just been like this all day," said one merchant, pocketing cash and handing over programs virtually nonstop. "I've never seen anything like this."

Indeed. The three surviving members of Zeppelin -- guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones -- have not played a full show together since drummer John Bonham drank himself to death one night in 1980.

For tonight's gig -- a fundraising tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who signed Zep back in the '60s -- Bonham's 41-year-old son Jason will be behind the kit. An all-star band led by former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and featuring guest appearances by Foreigner, Paul Rodgers, Paolo Nutini and more will open the show.

But all eyes will be on 59-year-old Plant and 63-year-old Page. Fans wonder whether the former can still hit the caterwauling notes of his youth, and whether the latter can pull off the guitar pyrotechnics of old -- especially since he fractured his left pinkie finger, delaying the concert by two weeks. And of course, they wonder if this will be one last blowout or the christening of a relaunched Zep.

Plant -- who has previously expressed his reluctance to regroup -- seemed to reverse his stance in an interview printed yesterday in a British paper.

"It wouldn't be such a bad idea to play together from time to time," he told the Sunday Times -- but then he added: "I don't think I said that. No. No. No. Somebody else inside me was saying that ... We're not having any more of that. It was great, but I've got to go down the highway now."

Either way, the fans we spoke to are just happy to be getting a second chance to catch the heroes of their youth.

"I've never seen them before," says Smith. "There's lots of songs I want them to play."

After all, he quipped: "It's been a long time since I rock 'n' rolled."

He's not alone.

http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/L/Led_Ze...711234-sun.html

Why Zeppelin is as popular as ever

By JOHN KRYK -- Sun Media

If you think teenagers and young adults today aren't into Led Zeppelin these days, think again.

All those 25 to 30 million hits in September that crashed the 02 Arena show's ticket-application website weren't just clicked by grey-ponytailed men.

Amazingly, Led Zeppelin has sold 20 million albums since 1990, and it has been reported that 40% of Zeppelin albums sold since 2000 have been bought by people under age 25. You can't even walk the halls of any high school nowadays without spotting at least one kid wearing a Led Zeppelin T-shirt.

Indeed, in some ways the band is as popular as ever among teenagers.

"I think it's because the music was actually played by four virtuoso performers, if you like, that actually managed to gel," Page told Sun Media in October. "Unlike a lot of other bands from that time with virtuoso musicians in there, here we had four musicians who really did honestly connect. And the music was played superbly well.

"There as so many new musicians, young musicians, who (are using Zeppelin music) as the ultimate textbook, because it touches on so many areas. It's honest music ... and that's what turned me on to playing for the first time as a kid."

Even more young people around the world are being turned on to Zep music because, since October, all of the band's songs and albums finally have been made available for legal download purchase. And in November the band finally, 27 years after disbanding, released a definitive two-disc best-of album, Motherlode. An XM satellite radio station that plays nothing but Zep music 24/7 has even started up, so the band's legend will only keep growing.

"I've always thought that the music we made in the '70s wasn't really of that time anyway," Jones told Sun Media. "It was very unique music. We weren't really part of a movement -- prog rock, or heavy metal, or any of those categories ... We had links to the early electric blues movement in England, and there was a mixture of folk and other world music that we were using, and that was influencing us at the time.

"But I feel that we were not of that time, and therefore we're not of this time either. The music didn't date for those reasons."

For his part, Page seems to have made it his life's work over the past two decades to ensure Zeppelin's rightful place in rock's Pantheon. He personally oversaw the digital remixing of the group's entire catalogue for the CD box sets in the early '90s. He was involved at every stage of reviving, enhancing and choosing the audio and visual material for the band's seminal DVD four years ago. He even grants interviews to the ink-stained press corps every now and then to explain, support or, if needs be, defend Zeppelin -- something he and the band almost never cared to do in the '70s.

Although they might not always agree on matters touching Led Zeppelin, for Plant, Jones and especially Page, it was -- and still very much is -- all about the music.

"Our legacy, for me," Page said, "is if kids can .... be inspired, then my job's done."

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New York Daily News

Monday, December 10th 2007, 3:45 PM

Led Zeppelin reunites in London

By Jim Farber

A whole lotta people pined to see the first complete concert to be corralled under the Led Zeppelin banner in 27 years - a show which takes place Monday night at the 02 Arena in London.

Millions swamped the site that sold tickets to the mega-event in the fall.

20,000 lucky souls made the cut.

One fan reportedly spent $117,000 to score a ducket. Many others doubtlessly spent thousands to travel to the U.K. just for this one event.

Who can blame them? Anyone who saw the "Unledded" tour in the ‘90s - which reunited key players Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, with a host of different musicians - knows the enduring power of the Zeppelin legacy. Yet that tour strove to reinvent the Zep catalogue, elaborating their work with influences from around the world. Tonight’s concert means to honor the original style, bringing back bassist/multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones to help them do so.

Obviously, the band won’t have the use of late drummer John Bonham. (For a bit of dynastic destiny, they’ve got his son Jason in his stead).

The original, surviving trio have come together only a few times since the elder Bonham’s death - most prominently at Live Aid in ‘85 and for the Atlantic Records 25th anniversary show at the Garden in 1988. But neither of those shows were full concerts. They just offered three and five songs, respectively.

Tonight’s show, which serves as a salute to the late head of their old record company, Ahmet Ertegun, promises 90 unbroken minutes.

That so many people yearn to be there to witness it speaks to far more than mere nostalgia or bragging rights. Led Zeppelin’s catalogue has aged particularly brilliantly over the last few decades. Though critically reviled throughout most of their recorded life, in death the band became recognized as one of the most forward-seeing, ground-breaking, and far-ranging bands in the history of recorded music. Not only did they help provide the blueprint for heavy metal - a distinction they themselves consider dubious - they also created speed metal ("Communication Breakdown,") the power ballad ("Stairway To Heaven,") and so-called "world beat" music ("Kashmir").

Still, much of their music lands beyond category. A cut like "Immigrant Song," with its tense repetitions and odd tunings, sounds as shocking, strange, and compelling today as it did when it first appeared 36 years ago. I was lucky enough to see the original Zeppelin at the Garden in June of 1977, and the power and range of it still lives with me.

Tonight, that mania and zeal has a chance to come back, if only for a brief stint and for a chosen few. The band remains mum on whether a full reunion tour will follow. In the meantime, fans the world over await word on how tonight goes.

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http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=3976789

ABC News

Dec 10, 2007 (AP)

Led Zeppelin to Return to Stage

Led Zeppelin to Return to Stage Amid Hype and Nostalgia for 1st Time in 19 Years

Once may be enough for Led Zeppelin as band members reunite for the first time in 19 years at a much-hyped London concert Monday.

Some 20 million people competed in an Internet lottery for the 18,000 tickets, priced at $250 each, for the show at London's O2 Arena. It has already been postponed a month because of guitarist Jimmy Page's broken finger.

The band split up after Bonham's death, and whether there will be any more Led Zeppelin reunions is an open question.

Page has said he is eager to do it, Jones has been noncommittal and Plant, in effect, said: "Don't ask."

"I've got things I've been working on for the past four years that I'm proud of," Page said in an interview with Q magazine. "Some of the songs I've got ready are as good as anything I've done in the past. I wouldn't necessarily save them for my solo career."

Plant, who was reluctant to join in publicizing the reunion concert, told Rolling Stone magazine that "if people don't talk about a tour, anything is likely."

"The more people talk, the more pressure it puts on everybody," he said.

And if there is no more Led Zeppelin after Monday's show? "That's fine," Plant says, "because we will do it with a good heart."

The concert is a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records who launched Led Zeppelin in the United States.

Profits from the show will go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which supports scholarships to universities in Turkey, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

Led Zeppelin reunited briefly in 1985 for Live Aid and again in 1988 for a 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records.

They also played a short set with other musicians when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

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Led Zeppelin: Seems Like Old Times

By Hugh Porter/London

It was the most anticipated event in recent rock history. In September, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin announced that they would reunite for a one-time-only tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records, in the group's first headline show since it disbanded in the wake of drummer John Bonham's death in 1980. Over the intervening three months, the level of expectation and suspense had reached proportions as colossal as any of Zeppelin's bombastic rock anthems. And at 9pm on Monday evening at London's O2 arena, Jason Bonham struck the first beat of Good Times, Bad Times, launching his father's former bandmates, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant, on an electrifying two hour and 10 minute tour through the peaks of the band's 12-year career.

Dressed in black — perhaps to lay to rest the ghosts of clumsy reunions past (members briefly regrouped for 1985's Live Aid concert and the 1988 Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary) — Zeppelin seemed to pull together and pull it off. Early technical issues (including a muddy struggle through the quiet bits of Ramble On) were resolved and forgotten by the next song, Black Dog, as the band warmed to their task and timing. The international crowd of all ages — OK, predominantly balding baby boomers — were in their element. Gleeful fifty-something execs with no more outward display of rock n' roll than an open collar mixed with kids in vintage Led Zeppelin T-shirts and studded belts; parents rocked out with their kids. If the crowd's attitude was akin to worship it's no surprise: the event was a pilgrimage, with fans flying in from over 50 countries around the world (although American accents predominated in the former Millennium Dome's bars and restaurants before the show).

To call the concert eagerly anticipated would be an understatement. One million people registered for a lottery to buy the 18,000 $255 tickets — which subsequently became some of the most expensive ever sold on the secondary market, going for around $2,000 each. A 25 year-old man from Scotland — not even born when Zeppelin split — spent $170,000 for a pair in a charity auction. Ticket-holders started lining up outside the arena on Friday, sleeping outdoors in the December chill just to get a choice spot in front of the stage when the gates opened. Even ticketless fans felt compelled to do something — anything — Zep-related to mark the reunion. One Oxfordshire hotel ran a luxury Led Zeppelin weekend, offering guests "TV's to defenestrate" and a menu of red snapper (in tribute to the band's legendary seafood-and-groupie incident). Theaters around the U.K. — including one under O2's canvas roof — screened old Zeppelin concert footage, as did network television.

But in the South London arena, it was just like days of old, albeit with a few changes. Where once lighters flickered in appreciation, there was now a sea of tiny screens as the crowd held their camera-phones high. Robert Plant kept his shirt buttoned, while his pants were fitted rather than spray-on tight. His once-blond mane was graying and his craggy features lent him the appearance of a Tolkeinesque wizard; Jimmy Page's hair was flowing white instead of dark and unruly. And while thankfully his embroidered silk bell-bottomed suit didn't make an appearance, his violin bow did, for the solo on Dazed and Confused, as the crowd, a bit old for headbanging, nodded furiously in time. And when Page pulled out his double-necked guitar, the camera-phones came out again, for it meant only one thing: Stairway to Heaven. At that moment it was all right to indulge in the threadbare rock radio staple; live, the experience was spine-tingling. The band closed the set with a powerful version of Kashmir; minutes later a deafening roar greeted the encores Whole Lotta Love and Rock And Roll. There were no acoustic ballads, no half-hour guitar solos and Jason Bonham wasn't asked to emulate his father's drum-solo slogs — Moby Dick had to make way for the hits, obviously. But the show was a triumph, and will surely fuel calls for a full tour next year (a rumor the band won't confirm).

It's sometimes easy to forget how huge Led Zeppelin in their prime really were: the group has sold over 300 million albums to date, and their last two U.K. concerts before Bonham's death, at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire in 1979, drew an estimated 400,000 people. By that point, punk was rebelling against the excesses that Zeppelin embodied and that Spinal Tap were soon to lampoon. But passion for Zeppelin's fierce rhythm and blues and accomplished musicianship endures. After all, it's been a long time since we rock and rolled. And Monday night was a triumphant reminder of that.

Edited by The Pagemeister

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http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1930032007

There's life in the legend yet as Led Zeppelin hit new high

JULIA KUTTNER AT THE O2 IN LONDON ALMOST 20 years since they last took to the stage together, Led Zeppelin drowned out the commotion accompanying the most hyped concert in a generation with a blistering two-hour set.

More than 20 million people had applied for 18,000 seats for the charity gig at London's O2 arena and one Scottish fan was rumoured to have paid £83,000 for two tickets.

The legendary band's 12-year reign of guitar blues and rock earned them worldwide worship in the shape of 300 million record sales.

And last night Led Zeppelin landed their mothership and fulfilled their promise.

Before the event, guitarist Jimmy Page had implored fans not to compare the charity show to others in the past and had insisted the concert would be a one-off.

Surviving members Page, singer Robert Plant, and bassist and keyboard player John Paul Jones were joined by the late John Bonham's son, Jason, on drums.

The fundraising event was for an education project in memory of Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records boss who signed the band in 1968.

After the lights went down, newsreel footage of a 1975 performance in Tampa, Florida, was projected onstage.

With thousands of fans worked into a frenzy, Bonham began thumping the skittering beat before the surviving founders joined in on Good Times, Bad Times.

In jeans not quite as famously tight as they were 27 years ago, Plant still had the energy to strut his 59-year-old body across the stage. However, he mercifully kept his shirt buttoned up.

The 20-minute long Dazed and Confused raised stadium rock to a new level.

With tickets featuring a face value of £125, if you thought the audience had dug into their pension funds for a big night out you may be right.

But there was plenty of punching the air by fans who wouldn't have been walking in 1980, the year John Bonham died.

Since then, Led Zeppelin have performed only a handful of gigs, including Live Aid in 1985 and an Atlantic Records anniversary show three years later.

By their own admission, each reunion was a shambles, so anticipation ahead of last night's set at was high.

It was chance to revisit a time when rock was king, the record industry was at its peak and Led Zeppelin were its all conquering leaders.

After more than an hour the bulk of the fans got what they seemed to want most - a rendition of Stairway To Heaven.

Plant seemed to shake away the years and get livelier as the show went on. And two hours in the band were still running on full engines as they launched into the shuddering opening of Kashmir.

Whole Lotta Love had the crowd screaming out every word along with a passionate Plant. And the furiously fast finale of Rock n' Roll had the arena whipped into a frenzy.

An emotional Plant thanked the fans, but had Led Zeppelin enjoyed the experience as much as their 18,000 lucky followers?

This morning millions of rock fans will be crossing their fingers and hoping for a positive answer to that question.

THE SET LIST

Good Times Bad Times

Ramble On

Black Dog

In My Time Of Dying

For Your Life

Trampled Underfoot

Nobody's Fault

No Quarter

Since I've Been Loving You

Dazed And Confused

Stairway To Heaven

The Song Remains The Same

Misty Mountain Hop

Kashmir

Whole Lotta Love

Rock'n'Roll

Edited by SteveAJones

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http://www.cbc.ca/arts/music/story/2007/12...ow.html?ref=rss

CBC.CA

Whole lotta queuing, security for Zeppelin fans

Last Updated: Monday, December 10, 2007 | 11:09 AM ET

CBC News

Led Zeppelin fans hailing from around the globe have descended on London, England, for Monday night's much anticipated reunion concert featuring the legendary band.

More than one million people vied for tickets for the show at London's O2 arena, with 9,000 pairs of tickets ultimately made available.

Fans from various countries who have purchased standing-room tickets wait in line Monday at London's O2 centre to ensure a good spot.

(Cate Gillon/Getty) A legion of fans queued for hours on Sunday to pick up the actual tickets, with organizers taking strict measures to avoid having them resold by scalpers or on the internet.

Agents reportedly verified each patron's photo ID, the credit card used to buy the tickets and the confirmation number issued online at the time of purchase. They also slapped a wristband on each ticket holder that must remain in place until Monday night's concert.

Demand has been high to see Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones play their first reunion show in nearly two decades, with Jason Bonham, the son of the band's late drummer John Bonham to take his father's place on stage.

Heightening the anticipation for devoted Led Zeppelin fans was the band's recent revelation that they will perform a track that was written when the band was still together, but never before played in public.

The one-off show is a charity benefit in honour of late record mogul Ahmet Ertegun, who first signed Led Zeppelin in 1968. Ertegun died in 2006.

Monday night's lineup will also include Foreigner, Pete Townshend and Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings.

Promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who also staged the Live Aid and Live 8 concert events, told the BBC that the Led Zeppelin reunion has likely generated more interest than any show he has ever organized.

Originally slated for late November, the concert was postponed until Monday after guitarist Page fractured a finger.

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http://pd.startribune.com/sp?aff=3&key...=Led%20Zeppelin

Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune

Article 1:

The newest member of Led Zeppelin was given the honor of kicking off the band's reunion Monday night, pounding out the beat before the surviving founders joined in on a near-perfect "Good Times Bad Times."

After the lights went down at London's O2 Arena, newsreel footage of the band arriving in Tampa, Fla., for a 1973 performance was projected onstage. With thousands of fans worked into a frenzy, drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham, began thumping the skittering beat, soon to be joined by guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones and singer Robert Plant.

The song, rarely played live in the band's heyday, proved a perfect starting point for this performance:

"In days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man," sang Plant, showing no trouble reproducing his trademark wail at 59. "Now I've reached that age, I've tried to do all those things the best I can. ... No matter how I try, I find my way to the same old jam."

While Page and Bonham both sported sunglasses, Plant mercifully kept his button-down shirt buttoned up.

Zeppelin returned for the benefit show to play its first full set since 1980, the year John Bonham died after choking on his own vomit. Robbed of "Bonzo's" pulsing drums, the band decided it couldn't go on and split up on Dec. 4, 1980.

Now, with an estimated 20 million fans vying for tickets pared down to a lucky 18,000 or so _ including one who paid more than $168,000 for his pair _ most of the rest are hoping for more tour dates.

But Plant _ with his screeching, often unintelligible lyrics leading the way during the band's 12 years and eight studio albums _ may be toughest of the three to be convinced that it's a good idea to go on tour.

"The whole idea of being on a cavalcade of merciless repetition is not what it's all about," the 59-year-old Page told The Sunday Times leading up to the performance.

That certainly won't be music to the ears of millions of fans who are hoping hear "Stairway to Heaven," "Whole Lotta Love" and "Kashmir" in concert again. Plant, who recently released a successful album with bluegrass star Alison Krauss, did give an indication that this may not be the last of Led Zeppelin, however.

"It wouldn't be such a bad idea to play together from time to time," Plant added.

Monday's concert wasn't the first Led Zeppelin reunion, but it was surely the biggest. The band played together in 1985 at Live Aid, and joined forces again three years later _ with Jason Bonham on drums _ to play at the 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records.

At their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1995, they teamed up with other musicians for another short set.

Priced at $250, tickets have been selling on the Internet for upwards of $2,000.

Kenneth Donnell, 25, said he paid $168,500 for his tickets from British Broadcasting Corp. radio's "Things That Money Can't Buy" charity auction last month.

"I was gutted that I was not born in the 1960s and able to see Led Zeppelin in the 1970s like my dad," Donnell told The Sunday Times.

Monday's show is dedicated to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who died last year. Proceeds from the show are to go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which provides scholarships to universities in the United States, Britain and Turkey.

The show was originally scheduled for Nov. 26, but was postponed until Monday because Page injured the little finger on his left hand.

---------------------------

Article 2

On the morning after Led Zeppelin's long-awaited reunion concert, the music reviewers were already calling for more.

Playing a full set for the first time in nearly three decades, the authors of "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love" rocked the O2 Arena on Monday for more than two hours, leaving fans from around the world gasping in delight.

"With a synergy like this going on, it would be an act of cosmic perversity to stop now," Pete Paphides of The Times of London wrote.

The band's three surviving members _ singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones _ were joined at the sold-out benefit show by the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums.

The 16-song set mixed the classics with the thumping "Kashmir" and the hard-rocking "Dazed and Confused," which Plant introduced by saying, "There are certain songs that have to be there, and this is one of them."

Plant's high-pitched screeches and moans also filled the arena, while Page used a cello bow during the solo in "Dazed and Confused" and picked on his double-necked guitar to ring out the famous notes to "Stairway."

Although a full tour remains a mystery _ Plant is reportedly due to tour with bluegrass star Alison Krauss _ the band surely proved that it still had what it takes to keep an audience interested.

"Page dispensed power chords like an aged Thor lobbing down thunderbolts for kicks," Paphides wrote about "Black Dog," the band's third song of the night.

Other media also hailed the show as a success.

"They sound awesomely tight," Alexis Petridis wrote in Tuesday's The Guardian. David Cheal of The Daily Telegraph said the band's "familiar old sinew and swagger were still there."

The Independent was a little less effusive in its praise, but Andy Gill did write that the call-and-response routine between Plant and Page during "Black Dog" was "one of the night's more engaging moments."

Gill also singled out Bonham, who was sitting in for his father. John Bonham died in 1980 after choking on his own vomit, leading to the band's breakup a few months later.

"Jason Bonham makes a more than merely able replacement for his father on drums: indeed, there's a stronger funk element to his playing which kicks the songs along with more elan," Gill wrote.

In the Evening Standard, John Aizlewood gave the concert five stars.

"Two hours and 10 minutes after they began `Good Times Bad Times,' ... they had assuaged the doubts and delivered a show of breathtaking power and spine-tingling excitement," Aizlewood wrote.

The New York Times reviewer Ben Ratliff said Plant "was authoritative; he was dignified."

"As for Mr. Page, his guitar solos weren't as frenetic and articulated as they used to be, but that only drove home the point that they were always secondary to the riffs, which on Monday were enormous, nasty, glorious," Ratliff wrote.

Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times said the band "played the first sets with easygoing confidence. Their good humor built into triumphant intensity as the night wore on."

Daily Star writer James Cabooter may have written what all Zep fans have been thinking since the concert was announced months ago.

"Led Zep were pure class," he wrote. "Now bring on the full reunion tour."

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Led Zeppelin, O2 Arena, London

By Ludovic Hunter-Tilney

Financial Times

Published: December 11 2007 17:44 | Last updated: December 11 2007 19:53

Just in case we needed reminding that band reunions don’t come bigger than this, the set opened with archive footage showing a dandyish Led Zeppelin touching down in their private jet, The Starship, en route to a stadium in Florida where they broke The Beatles’ box office record in 1973.

Back then, an air of notoriety and violence surrounded them. There were rumours of black magic and outrageous tales of sexual depravity. Yet they were derided too. Reviewers sneered that they were “crass”, a “limp blimp”; they were blamed for stealing the blues from black musicians and caricatured as barbarians. (When the Financial Times, far-sighted as ever, published a rave review, Robert Plant was delighted: it meant that his father, a regular reader, would forgive him for not becoming a chartered accountant.)

Both the notoriety and the mockery have vanished. Instead, a nostalgic surge of Led Zep mania has been unleashed. Fans from as far as New Zealand flocked to the O2 Arena in Greenwich; black market tickets exchanged hands at vastly inflated prices; news crews excitedly counted in the celebrities.

The sense of occasion was heightened by the nature of the show, a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records, who died last year. In spite of unconfirmed whispers of a tour next year, it was publicised as a one-off gig – the first time Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had played a full-length set together since 1979.

Joined on drums by Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham, whose death in 1980 precipitated the group’s break-up, they made an unobtrusive entry on stage. Suddenly, the lights went up and there they were, playing “Good Times, Bad Times”, the first song on their first album. One-two punch riffs, Plant’s bluesy wails, powerhouse drumming and sinuous basslines – this was Led Zeppelin as they should be, not the uncooked band who disappointed at their brief Live Aid reunion slot in 1985.

Jimmy Page’s first guitar solo, deft and brutal as a flick-knife, was cheered to the rafters: there was no sign of the broken finger the 63-year-old sustained during rehearsals, which caused the postponement of the concert by several weeks.

He alone had dressed in a muted echo of the band’s old theatricality, resembling a rogue preacher in his black frock-coat, cowboy boots and shock of white hair. Jones, characteristically anonymous, wore jeans. The 59-year-old Plant, hair as leonine and lustrous as ever, was also casually attired, though his trousers were cut tight enough to reveal an impressively taut backside – a tribute, perhaps, to the clinging outfits of old.

There aren’t many heritage rock events where the shape of the singer’s bottom matters. But Zeppelin are different. If sex is one of rock and roll’s prime motivating factors, then no band has managed to sound as horny as them. Their groupie-chasing days may be long gone, but they still managed to convey magnificently the roiling, hormonal urgency of their songs.

During “Ramble On”, Plant’s moans and screams melded with Page’s guitar solos in a primeval parody of scat singing. Soon Page’s coat was discarded and he and Plant were circling each other, volleying the heavy blues call-and-response routines of “In My Time of Dying” back and forth. Their chemistry was electrifying.

The setlist was a well-chosen mix of rarities and classics. “Trampled Under Foot”, a hypnotic hard funk-rock track from 1975’s Physical Grafitti, was unexpected; even more so was “For Your Life” from 1976’s Presence, which the band had never played live before. The old warhorse “Stairway to Heaven” was unveiled, its over-familiar opening chords giving way to the timeless drama of the later sections. (“Hey Ahmet, we did it!” Plant called out, as if amazed that they had successfully brought life back to rock’s hoariest chestnut.) “Kashmir” was gloweringly mystical, faintly daft like so many of their songs yet moody and overwhelming too.

There were odd glimpses of the Zeppelin who got up the noses of critics. “No Quarter”, with its meandering keyboard rhythms and overwrought vocals about “dogs of doom”, was tedious. And the aggressively demanding way Plant declaimed the line, “Way down inside, woman, you need it!”, during an admittedly storming rendition of “Whole Lotta Love”, brought to mind the misogyny they willingly took from the blues, accompanied by a charge of postwar English sexual frustration.

Yet that ferocity of desire was also the secret of their genius. It was illustrated by the concert’s highlight, “Dazed and Confused”, one of the first songs they wrote as a band. To roars of acclaim Page produced a trademark violin bow and began sawing it across the guitar. Huge gouts of feedback, expertly manipulated, roared out. Bathed in eerie green lights, he morphed into the guitar magus of legend. It was elemental in its force. The myths and controversies surrounding them have died away, but Led Zeppelin can still make us feel profoundly alive.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

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http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showb...ticle571141.ece

LED ZEPPELIN celebrated their triumphant comeback gig by planning world domination over cups of tea and coffee.

Unlike their hellraising heyday, singer ROBERT PLANT and guitarist JIMMY PAGE slapped each other on the back and were handed giant mugs of hot drinks.

But then the rock fighting talk began and they discussed returning to Madison Square Garden in New York - the scene of their three sell-out shows in 1973.

My source backstage at London’s O2 Arena said: “Robert had a couple of bottles of beer before going on stage but afterwards it was just hot mugs of tea and coffee.

“The band were really fired up and were talking about their late drummer JOHN BONHAM and what he would have thought about it - it was a time for reflection.

“Then the talk went to: ‘What next?’ Was this it or would there be something else?

“One of the guys started talking about their three concerts at the Garden. There was a consensus of: ‘Why the f**k not?’ It is one of the best live music venues in the world.

I have no doubt after their reaction they will be there next year playing to a sell-out crowd.”

I said in my Bizarre manifesto I held wrinkly rockers in high esteem - and Led Zep’s first show for 19 years didn’t disappoint.

Hinted

At the reunion gig the three surviving members - Page, Plant and JOHN PAUL JONES - were joined by Bonham’s son JASON on drums.

The band have hinted they would launch a tour if they enjoyed performing.

And if they loved it as much as their 18,000 screaming fans at London’s O2 Arena, expect to see them at a sold-out venue near you soon.

To see more pics of Led Zep in action, and the celebs who attended theyir gig, click on the link below.

Page is has been up for doing more gigs for a while, but Plant has been enjoying his solo career and has been reluctant.

But it seems the reaction of the fans and a bit of backstage back-slapping has turned his head.

When Page launched into their brilliant encore, it was clear it wouldn’t be the last time we’d heard that trademark riff live.

A return was also predicted by support act PAOLO NUTINI who was backstage with the legends. He said: They seemed very happy.

Based on the show they gave I think they will tour.” All the stars in the audience were full of praise for the Leds.

FOO FIGHTERS frontman DAVE GROHL walked around at the aftershow party looking stunned at their brilliance.

He said: “That was truly amazing. Jason Bonham was fantastic on drums. I think he was even better than me.”

Just one word from LIAM GALLAGHER: “Mega”.

VERVE frontman RICHARD ASHCROFT wasn’t saying much but he did get noticed - he turned up with a dodgy bleached barnet.

Led Zeppelin? They’ve still got a Whole Lotta Love to give.

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FROM SFGATE (San Francisco Chronicle online)

Rave Reviews for Led Zeppelin Concert

By CHRIS LEHOURITES, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

(12-11) 07:23 PST LONDON, United Kingdom (AP) --

On the morning after Led Zeppelin's long-awaited reunion concert, the music reviewers were already calling for more.

Playing a full set for the first time in nearly three decades, the authors of "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love" rocked the O2 Arena on Monday for more than two hours, leaving fans from around the world gasping in delight.

"With a synergy like this going on, it would be an act of cosmic perversity to stop now," Pete Paphides of The Times of London wrote.

The band's three surviving members — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones — were joined at the sold-out benefit show by the late John Bonham's son Jason on drums.

The 16-song set mixed the classics with the thumping "Kashmir" and the hard-rocking "Dazed and Confused," which Plant introduced by saying, "There are certain songs that have to be there, and this is one of them."

Plant's high-pitched screeches and moans also filled the arena, while Page used a cello bow during the solo in "Dazed and Confused" and picked on his double-necked guitar to ring out the famous notes to "Stairway."

Although a full tour remains a mystery — Plant is reportedly due to tour with bluegrass star Alison Krauss — the band surely proved that it still had what it takes to keep an audience interested.

"Page dispensed power chords like an aged Thor lobbing down thunderbolts for kicks," Paphides wrote about "Black Dog," the band's third song of the night.

Other media also hailed the show as a success.

"They sound awesomely tight," Alexis Petridis wrote in Tuesday's The Guardian. David Cheal of The Daily Telegraph said the band's "familiar old sinew and swagger were still there."

The Independent was a little less effusive in its praise, but Andy Gill did write that the call-and-response routine between Plant and Page during "Black Dog" was "one of the night's more engaging moments."

Gill also singled out Bonham, who was sitting in for his father. John Bonham died in 1980 after choking on his own vomit, leading to the band's breakup a few months later.

"Jason Bonham makes a more than merely able replacement for his father on drums: indeed, there's a stronger funk element to his playing which kicks the songs along with more elan," Gill wrote.

In the Evening Standard, John Aizlewood gave the concert five stars.

"Two hours and 10 minutes after they began `Good Times Bad Times,' ... they had assuaged the doubts and delivered a show of breathtaking power and spine-tingling excitement," Aizlewood wrote.

The New York Times reviewer Ben Ratliff said Plant "was authoritative; he was dignified."

"As for Mr. Page, his guitar solos weren't as frenetic and articulated as they used to be, but that only drove home the point that they were always secondary to the riffs, which on Monday were enormous, nasty, glorious," Ratliff wrote.

Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times said the band "played the first sets with easygoing confidence. Their good humor built into triumphant intensity as the night wore on."

Daily Star writer James Cabooter may have written what all Zep fans have been thinking since the concert was announced months ago.

"Led Zep were pure class," he wrote. "Now bring on the full reunion tour."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

From SAN JOSE CALIFORNIA MERCURY NEWS:

Led Zeppelin to return to stage

The Associated Press

Article Launched: 12/10/2007 04:35:26 AM PST

LONDON—Once may be enough for Led Zeppelin as band members reunite for the first time in 19 years at a much-hyped London concert Monday.

Some 20 million people competed in an Internet lottery for the 18,000 tickets, priced at $250 each, for the show at London's O2 Arena. It has already been postponed a month because of guitarist Jimmy Page's broken finger.

Page, 63; John Paul Jones, 61, and Robert Plant, 59—original members of the band—have recruited drummer Jason Bonham, 41, to take the place of his father, John Bonham, who died in 1980.

The band split up after Bonham's death, and whether there will be any more Led Zeppelin reunions is an open question.

Page has said he is eager to do it, Jones has been noncommittal and Plant, in effect, said: "Don't ask."

"I've got things I've been working on for the past four years that I'm proud of," Page said in an interview with Q magazine. "Some of the songs I've got ready are as good as anything I've done in the past. I wouldn't necessarily save them for my solo career."

Plant, who was reluctant to join in publicizing the reunion concert, told Rolling Stone magazine that "if people don't talk about a tour, anything is likely."

"The more people talk, the more pressure it puts on everybody," he said.

And if there is no more Led Zeppelin after Monday's show? "That's fine," Plant says, "because we will do it with a good heart."

The concert is a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records who launched Led Zeppelin in the United States.

Profits from the show will go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which supports scholarships to universities in Turkey, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

Led Zeppelin reunited briefly in 1985 for Live Aid and again in 1988 for a 40th anniversary concert for Atlantic Records.

They also played a short set with other musicians when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ON THE COVER OF SACRAMENTO (STATE CAPITAL)CALIFORNIA BEE:

A 10x6 INCH COLOR PIC FROM THE CONCERT (SAC BEE NEVER DOES THIS!)

AND ONE INCH BOLD HEADING “ZEPPELIN FLIES AGAIN”

The actual article was pulled from Philadelphia Inquirer with general overview and similar to the AP feeds.

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Stairway to Heaven now requires installation of electric stair climber

Last night's gigantic and hugely successful Led Zeppelin reunion concert at London's O2 arena marked the first time since 1980 that every stoner's favorite band took the stage for a full show. During their last major tour Jimmy Carter was in office, and snorting blow was almost as hilarious as getting a rim job from a 14-year-old girl. Sure, the song may remain the same (as the current Led Zeppelin set list indicates) but what about the times?

4076_medium.jpg

Houses of the Hairy

LZthen-now.jpg

*source: 23/6: NEWS YOU CAN MISUSE*

bastard reviewer. :angry:

:P

:lol:

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http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/led_zeppelin/news/10811

LED ZEPPELIN REUNION: THE FIRST REVIEW

Led Zeppelin

The legends make the most spectacular comeback

I’ve just got home from the Dome and the Led Zeppelin gig, so hopefully you’ll forgive me for the fact that my thoughts aren’t quite as neatly organised as usual. First off, I have to point out that, at the risk of sounding smug, they were fucking great.

I’ve been listening again to those ‘90s records recently (the “No Quarter” set, the “ Clarksdale” album, Jimmy Page’s album with The Black Crowes), and my biggest fear before the show starts is not – as rumours suggest – that Robert Plant won’t be able to handle the vocal gymnastics, but that Page will smudge the dextrous flurries that his astonishing songs demand.

Initially, it seemed like this might be the case. Led Zeppelin begin with “Good Times Bad Times”, then a slowed version of “Ramble On”, and Page’s playing seems muddy, unresolved, lacking the brute delicacy that the songs demand. Plant is magisterial, throwing his mic stand around with an unlikely kind of dignity, but it's hard to tell whether Page – his spirit brother-cum-nemesis – is playing badly, or whether the sound is corrupting his efforts.

Song three, though, suggests it’s the mixers coming to terms with the venue. “Black Dog” is quite brilliant, and it’s striking how much Page is better suited to that glottal, elemental take on the blues than the more baroque excesses of some of his material. “In My Time Of Dying”, with some fantastic slide, compounds this idea that his gifts now are focused at the raw, rather than at the progressive, end of his spectrum. If The White Stripes were ever to come clean and cover a Zep song, it strikes me that this should be the one.

As the show progresses, though, Page comes into his own, and the sort of songs I thought they’d never play – “Trampled Underfoot”, “The Song Remains The Same” – are quite superb. On the former, John Paul Jones at the keyboards comes out of his shell, while Plant manages to come across like the golden god of yore, while still retaining an implausible decorousness. There’s a great moment during “Since I’ve Been Loving You” (part of an expansive mid-section which includes “Dazed And Confused”, “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and a wonderful “No Quarter”) when Plant stands cross-legged looking quizzically, ostentatiously at Page as he solos.

It’s an unlikely moment of approval from Plant, who’s seemed the least needy of the original band prior to the gig – he has an excellent solo career to cultivate, after all (and sadly there’s no “Battle Of Evermore” and Alison Krauss, as some of us hoped). I blogged a couple of months ago about “Raising Sand” and said something about how the more reserved R&B/country stuff was what Plant should stick with nowadays. After tonight, though, I think I was wrong; his voice can still pull off this thunderous schtick, with such soul and guts that the high frequency ululations (there’s no “Immigrant Song”} aren’t missed at all.

I may be raving now, and I should go to bed. But I should also note that “Stairway To Heaven” is reclaimed from that world of cliche in which it has existed for over three decades, and that Page dusts down the doubleneck for it. He also gets out the e-bow for “Dazed”, showcased in a laser pyramid for his impressively avant-garde solo.

Jason Bonham looks like he should be in a nu-metal band, but does just fine. “Misty Mountain Hop” manages, inconceivably, to make the Dome feel psychedelic. Greg Dyke and Marilyn Manson – plus bouncer and girlfriend – seem to be enjoying themselves nearby. My wife keeps texting from the other side of the arena, convinced Martin O’Neill is sat in front of her. Kevin Shields is here. Men from America, mainly, are calling for catheters whenever I go to the bogs.

“Kashmir” induces me, not for the first time, to write the word “imperious” in my notebook. “Whole Lotta Love” is preposterously overdriven. I may be a little tired, and not completely in control of my tenses. Three things though, before I call it a night: one, this whole business was better than I could ever have imagined; two, they’d better do it all again next year for the benefit of the rest of you; and three, I’ll write something more coherent in the next issue of Uncut, out in the first week of January.

Review Post: John Mulvey

Led Zeppelin played:

Good Times Bad Times

Ramble On

Black Dog

In My Time Of Dying

For Your Life

Trampled Underfoot

Nobodys Fault But Mine

No Quarter

Since I've Been Loving You

Dazed and Confused

Stairway To Heaven

The Song Remains The Same

Misty Mountain Hop

Kashmir

*

Whole Lotta Love

*

Rock And Roll

Now you can see live footage from the Led Zeppelin O2 Arena concert by clicking here - great quality clips of Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven and Whole Lotta Love are online to view here: http://www.uncut.co.uk/news/led_zeppelin/news/10823

Plus, you can check out some of the fan's immediate reactions here: http://www.uncut.co.uk/blog/index.php?blog...mp;pb=1#more567

A longer more in-depth review will follow in the next issue of UNCUT magazine.

Don't forget, if you were at the O2 Arena, email us with your photos, reviews, and opinions! Email us at: Uncutaudiencewith@ipcmedia.com

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Led Zeppelin's Rocking Return

By JIM FUSILLI

December 12, 2007; Page D9

Wall Street Journal

London

A Led Zeppelin reunion is as unlikely as a Beatles reunion: Much as the Beatles would be unthinkable without John Lennon and George Harrison alive and on hand, the death of John Bonham in 1980 left Led Zeppelin with a seemingly unbreachable void. And yet here were Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones on the stage at the 02 arena Monday night as the headliners in a London concert billed as a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, the courtly, influential co-founder and head of Atlantic Records. On drums for the reconstituted Zeppelin was Jason Bonham, 41-year-old son of the band's original drummer. He first played in concert with the surviving members during a brief set at Atlantic's 40th anniversary celebration in 1988.

A Whole Lotta Love: A reunion worth waiting for.

Filling his father's shoes is asking a lot of Jason Bonham. Not only was John Bonham an inventive and powerful drummer, but his interplay with Mr. Page's guitar lines is as responsible for the band's singularity as its musical wanderlust and Mr. Plant's bluesy, helium-like vocals. That often-intense interaction gave Zeppelin's live shows the possibility of surpassing their recorded music.

Jason Bonham's, and the band's, battle plan Monday was immediately apparent. They played old Led Zeppelin tunes with incredible raw power, allowing for invention within familiar structures -- and sometimes not-so-familiar ones: The band rarely resisted an opportunity to push the songs, bending arrangements with sheer force and volume. They reworked several numbers -- subtly, to accommodate and exploit Mr. Bonham's gifts -- and played one tune, "For Your Life" (from the album "Presence"), that they'd never performed in concert before. For a band that hasn't been on stage together in almost 20 years -- and almost a decade more than that for a full performance -- Led Zeppelin was as tight as a rock group could be. Its members mixed their brand of rock and metal with an authority that suggested they still might be the best rock band in the world.

And then they played the blues. The 63-year-old Mr. Page, who broke his left pinkie last month, pushing the show back from its original Nov. 26 date, was relentless. Volume can carry rock numbers, but in an instrumental trio there's no place for a soloist to hide in the down-tempo blues. The group laced together a series of blues numbers that were inspired, according to Mr. Plant, by Robert Johnson and others, but they bore the Zeppelin stamp of tense pauses punctuated by Mr. Page's piercing playing.

Under a shock of hair that's now more white than gray, Mr. Page's face often bore a hapless expression. But it was completely misleading. The guitarist was in control of his music -- until he decided to push himself to the edge, as he did in "Nobody's Fault but Mine" and "Since I've Been Loving You." When it didn't work to perfection, it wasn't for lack of adventure.

Zeppelin wasn't the only act on the Ertegun tribute bill: The Rhythm Kings, ex-Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's band, served as the backing group for several singers -- including 20-year-old Paolo Nutini, the last artist at Atlantic mentored by Mr. Ertegun. The talented Mr. Nutini sang "Mess Around," a hit that Mr. Ertegun wrote for Ray Charles, and "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)," a curious choice. Mr. Ertegun's memory might have been better served by a couple of tunes from Mr. Nutini's excellent debut disc, "These Streets." Paul Rodgers, formerly of Free and of Bad Company, showed that his voice hasn't lost its gritty edge, and Foreigner played one tune, "I Want to Know What Love Is." "If it wasn't for Ahmet, none of us would be here," said Foreigner's Mick Jones.

But that was preamble, and the moment Zeppelin opened with "Good Times Bad Times," the first song on their 1969 eponymous debut album, all else was forgotten. Fighting a muddy sound system, the quartet blasted through "Ramble On," "Black Dog" and "In My Time of Dying"; in each song, Mr. Bonham abandoned his father's familiar riffs and played something of his own. Mr. Page responded with beefier playing that Mr. Jones echoed on bass.

Early in the show, Mr. Plant's voice couldn't pierce the rumble, and for most of the set he remained in mid-range. When Mr. Plant, at last, unleashed a howl in a remarkable reading of "Kashmir," Mr. Page broke into a broad grin. In large part, though, the singer adapted well: His voice now has a burnished timbre that suits the bottom-heavy muscularity of the group.

Mr. Plant spoke to the audience of a rock band's obligatory songs. On this night, one was "Dazed and Confused," a potent blues that Mr. Page marred -- as he did in the band's heyday -- by playing his Les Paul with a bow. Another such number was "Stairway to Heaven," which came late in the set. Mr. Plant wasn't up to the required vocal soaring, and his ragged version was the evening's low point. "Hey Ahmet," Mr. Plant shouted to the rafters, "we did it!" Barely.

The band also chose to ignore its folky side -- no "That's the Way" or "Going to California" -- and it would have been a pleasure to hear Mr. Plant bring some of the techniques he's added to his vocal arsenal over the years to these tunes. But Led Zeppelin's two-plus-hour performance was so authoritative and so dynamic that it may have been a wise choice to leave the folk instruments in their cases and allow a highly charged audience to continue to roar.

There were some quaint, backward-looking touches on the stage -- the flaming Hindenburg logo on Mr. Bonham's kick drum; the stylized letters "Zoso," which some fans consider the real name of the album "Led Zeppelin IV," on Mr. Page's amplifier -- but the band didn't act like old-timers back together for a one-off showcase. They attacked their songs like they had something to prove -- and were better than even the most ardent Zeppelin fan could have expected. While they didn't directly address whether they'll play more shows next year -- Mr. Plant already has some commitments for '08 that might affect that decision -- the music, with Mr. Bonham in firm control behind the drum kit, suggested Led Zeppelin has much more to say.

Mr. Fusilli is the Journal's rock and pop-music critic.

URL for this article:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119741753512922073.html

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In London, Led Zeppelin Gets a Whole Lotta Love

By Erik Huey

Special to The Washington Post

Wednesday, December 12, 2007; C01

LONDON -- Everyone has a Led Zeppelin story. This is mine.

The lights in the O2 Arena have just gone down. And Led Zeppelin -- a little blues-rock combo from the 1960s and '70s that went on to sell more than 300 million albums and rival the Beatles in terms of influence -- is about to to take the stage for its first full concert in 27 years. I am on the floor a mere 15 yards from the stage at Monday night's benefit show for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund (in honor of the co-founder of Atlantic Records, Zeppelin's record label, who died last year).

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones stride onstage, joined by Jason Bonham, son of their original drummer, John Bonham, whose death in 1980 caused the band's breakup. As they pick up their instruments, I'm consumed by one overwhelming sentiment: Can they pull it off? Can a trio of 59-to-63-year-old men recapture the raw thunder and sexually charged intensity of their youth?

For that matter, can we?

I'm an attorney now, staring down the barrel of 40. But think of the person you were decades ago -- adolescent, unshackled by cynicism and Weltschmerz, full of youthful abandon and an unblinking belief in the sheer possibility of things. And if you grew up in the '60s, '70s and '80s, Zeppelin may well have been the soundtrack to your adolescence.

As they launch into the opening chords of "Good Times Bad Times," the band seems to acknowledge the limitations brought on by the passage of time. "In the days of my youth/I was told what it means to be a man,/Now I've reached that age/I've tried to do all those things the best I can." Indeed, they're doing pretty well, for old guys.

By the time they finish their second and third songs -- "Ramble On" and "Black Dog" -- it is becoming clear that, even if they are not gods who walk the Earth as men, these are no mere mortals before us. And this is going to be no mere rock show. We are witnessing history.

An unlikely sequence of events led me to this arena tonight. Along with more than 20 million other Led Zeppelin fans, Mike Smith -- my college roommate, who now lives in London -- entered an online lottery to win the chance to buy one of only 8,000 pairs of tickets to the show. The concert Web site received more than 1 billion individual page views in a single day, causing it to crash. Then, a couple of weeks later, like Charlie of Chocolate Factory fame, Mike won the golden ticket, which granted him the right to pay 250 pounds (more than $500) for a pair. Since his wife is not a huge fan, he invited me to fly to London from D.C. to see Zeppelin.

Before I know it, I'm standing in front of a young customs agent at Heathrow who asks, "What is the purpose of your visit?" "To see Led Zeppelin," I emphatically reply. She nods politely and says "Oh, Led Zeppelin, is it? When is he playing?"

Now the self-described sons of thunder are launching into their fourth song of the night, the swamp-blues grind of "In My Time of Dying." Clearly used to playing only in a rehearsal space, they crowd around the drum set for the first four songs, never more than five or six feet away from one another.

They're dressed entirely in black, except for Page, who is wearing a white tux shirt that quickly becomes soaked in sweat and plastered to his gyrating torso. Page is the maestro, alternating thick, crunching riffs with piercing, scalpel-sharp solos. Plant, looking lionlike with his thick mane of curly hair and gray whiskers, bellows with soulful yearning (albeit sometimes an octave lower than he did in the '70s) and regains more of his trademark swagger with each passing song. The progenitor of every sexually charged rock frontman cliche is not the poster boy he once was, but he still exudes a confident sensuality that has the women in the crowd swooning.

Jones, looking a decade younger than the other two original members, is sure and steady on the bass and keyboards, providing a solid rhythmic foundation for the others' extravagances. In any other band, he would be the most talented musician onstage. Jason Bonham perhaps has the most to prove, and he is up to the task -- he pounds the skins with fury and urgency, each crushing snare-hit a tribute to his father. He is clearly a devout student not only of his father's complex and (until now) inimitable drumming technique, but of the entire Led Zeppelin catalogue and ethos.

With every note, as the night goes on, the weight of the years melts away and we are transported closer to our adolescent rock-and-roll selves. Every member of the band, especially Page, is smiling.

The crowd is jubilant, too, but also reverent. It is a graying, overwhelmingly white demographic, though the fans on the floor are about 10 years younger on average than the ones in the stands (in the online application, contestants could specify seating or standing). The randomness of the lottery system guaranteed that nearly all the tickets went to true fans, not a bunch of corporate stiffs, and the crowd has a democratic feel uncharacteristic of most large stadium shows.

There is a palpable sense of community: Two Italian students to my left have improbably smuggled in bottles of wine, which they are sharing with everyone around them. It appears that all the tickets to this concert went to couples who cared about each other deeply: Fathers and sons. Mothers and daughters. Lifelong friends who bonded all those years ago to the music of the men onstage.

With Plant's introduction of "this is one of the songs we have to play," the band cranks out the sacred chords of "Dazed and Confused." It is not long before the violin bow comes out, which Page proceeds to use for his trademark assault on his Les Paul. All notions of rock idolatry aside, it has now become obvious that Page is simply not human. He is some kind of formless shape-shifter, channeling darker forces as he languidly glides across the stage, his visage made all the more eerie by the shock of white hair that flows to his shoulders.

They follow "Dazed" with "Stairway to Heaven." Sure, by now the song verges on a Spinal Tap-like cliche, but by the end of this earnest version, even the most jaded among us begin chanting the lyrics like we're back in junior high. As the song ends, Plant looks to the heavens and exclaims, "Ahmet, we did it!"

The hits keep coming -- "The Song Remains the Same," "Misty Mountain Hop," and a shimmering "Kashmir" to close the set. The band bows and exits, then comes back after a few minutes to greet the screaming crowd with the bone-crunching riff of "Whole Lotta Love." The second encore is a loose, galloping version of "Rock and Roll." "It's been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time . . . ."

Yes, it has. As the house lights rise and silence descends, we file into the chill of the London night, younger and wiser -- buoyed by our reclaimed adolescent faith in the redemptive power of rock-and-roll. A few bars of the cage have melted. Led Zeppelin had pulled it off. And so had we.

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