Jump to content

Led Zeppelin: the mothership of all reunions

Recommended Posts

This has a small clip with fans giving their reviews of the show.


Pete Paphides at the O2 arena, London

Back in 1976, when Led Zeppelin were part of the musical furniture, Jimmy Page claimed that the minutes before a show were the worst. “I always get very edgy, not knowing what to do with myself.” Lord knows, then, what he must have been feeling as the lights went down to herald a comeback far more hotly anticipated than any show Led Zeppelin played during their 12 years together. If he was nervous though, you couldn’t tell. Silhouetted by lights at the back of the stage, he gazed out behind his shades and casually dropped his hand onto six strings, playing the first chord to bear the Led Zeppelin imprint.

With Good Times, Bad Times came a noise that suggested the rockers were, for a laugh, setting themselves the task of inventing heavy metal all over again. It seemed to catch everyone by surprise, including Robert Plant, who momentarily struggled to assert his vocals.

At a rehearsal a few weeks ago, Plant was heard to complain about the challenges of divining a voice of a 20-year-old from the body of a 60-year-old man. He needn’t have worried. Older equipment may take a while to get going, but once the requisite valves heat up, the quality is unmistakeable. And so it turned out 15 minutes in, when a bracing round of call-and-response oh-yeahs triggered an incendiary Black Dog. Plant’s quick kick to the base of his mike stand sent it flying up into the path of his hand. Page dispensed powerchords like an aged Thor lobbing down thunderbolts for kicks. It had been good before, but something of the devil seemed to get hold of them at this point. Now sans shades, Page launched into a filthy seam of swamp guitar, from which a magnificent In My Time of Dying swelled to epic proportions.

Events that have so much resting on them rarely unfold with such an air of assurance. The three original members of the band and Jason Bonham, the drumming son of John Bonham, seemed relieved to be relinquishing the burden of anticipation. Their heaviosity has always been the cornerstone of their reputation but it was astonishing to see how funky they could be for a rock band. Moving to electric harpsichord, John Paul Jones offered some redress on a pile-drivingly danceable Trampled Underfoot.

Bonham’s volcanic fills on Nobody’s Fault But Mine confirmed that there are some things that can be transmitted only through DNA.

In a set of trusted crowd-pleasers the inclusion of Stairway to Heaven was inevitable, but the song’s ubiquity made it difficult to summon much enthusiasm for it. Perhaps it just comes down to the fact that some tunes have dated better than others — because the moment Page and Bonham locked into Kashmir something transcendent took hold. Over a rhythm that have a way of advancing like Martian tripods, John Paul Jones billowed out chords of portent while Plant’s used his wildcat roar to the best effect of the evening.

An on-stage embrace and sundry bows seemed to hint at the band’s relief. They returned for a cathartic Whole Lotta Love and a sublime Rock’N’Roll. “It’s been a long, lonely time since I last rock’n’rolled” screeched Plant. Well, at least since he has showed this sort of fire-eyed intensity. And so, was it all for a one-off show in memory of their label boss Ahmet Ertegun? Come on. With a synergy like this going on, it would be an act of cosmic perversity to stop now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...