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Dallas Knebs

Celebration Day Audio CD Reviews

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I only had time to play one song on the way back to work from lunch...so naturally I put on No Quarter. :lol:

While the rehearsal performance is actually better (except for JPJ's beautiful piano going into the middle section, that blows away the rehearsal), the sound on this show is fantastic! Talk about hammer of the gods...this release will no doubt have the fans clamoring for more. Will discuss more once I've heard the whole thing.

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a few things I really like about the audio

1. they didn't trick it up, sounds true to the event

2. song by song the balance is superb at both low level listening and at full blast it's even

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dunno man, after numerous listens and watches, its amazing..but...does anyone feel like Page took more of a back seat than usual?

half the time i cant make out what the hell he is playing, TSRTS is a good example of this. ever since i went to the premier, i cant help but notice how muddy the guitar sound was, and when it came to the bow section.forget about it, there is more feedback than notes

just seemed like the Page we knew just wasn't there but JPJ, faultless so age cant have anything to do with it

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dunno man, after numerous listens and watches, its amazing..but...does anyone feel like Page took more of a back seat than usual?

half the time i cant make out what the hell he is playing, TSRTS is a good example of this. ever since i went to the premier, i cant help but notice how muddy the guitar sound was, and when it came to the bow section.forget about it, there is more feedback than notes

just seemed like the Page we knew just wasn't there but JPJ, faultless so age cant have anything to do with it

He is certainly there in Rock and Roll. Awesome version. And done very close to the original

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Not much more to add than what I already said in my review of the movie/dvd, but I did spot a few differences.

The movie is 124 minutes and the CD is 115...that's nearly 10 minutes unnecessarily cut out. I have the Tangerine Records boot cd of the show that uses the spectacular Schoeps audience tape, which is even better than the 'Jules' tape.

The track listings on the official and bootleg cds are the same: Disc 1 Good Times Ba Times to No Quarter; Disc 2 SIBLY to Rock n Roll.

Yet there is practically 5 minutes less time on each official disc than the boots...that's a lot of banter and music missing, in my opinion.

Either Jimmy has the wrong idea about us fans, or someone in the production circle is feeding him a lot of bullshit about needing to cut Plant's banter from the mix. Granted, NOT ALL of the banter is cut...some is just trimmed, like Plant's "eeeee" right before "For Your Life". Strange, it's in the DVD movie release...why cut it from the CD?

The biggest losses, in my opinion, are Jason's "I can't quit you, babe" tease and Plant's "Kashmir" introduction.

But wait, there are other shenanigans going on with the CD. Listen to "The Song Remains the Same". At the end of the song, on both the DVD and bootlegs, you can see and hear Plant sing or moan a few times before the final closing wail. But on the official CD, those moans have been erased. But weirdly, you can still hear the reverb echo from those moans in the mix...so it's like you're hearing ghost vocals.

So what was the point of that? Why erase the vocals but leave the echo? I also suspect trimming in "Trampled Underfoot"...Jones' keyboard solo seems slightly shorter on the CD than in the film. I haven't had time to do a second-by-second comparison of the DVD to CD timings.

The good news is that what is on the CD sounds great. Good dynamic range...great bottom end and midrange...Jones is clearly audible and Page's guitars fill a wide spectrum of sound.

I just wish Page could stop dithering about these live releases and tinkering when it's not needed.

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The performance as a whole, both on the CD & DVD was fantastic, though I do have one very small complaint / observation. Out of 16 song, 15 were performed with passion and precision, emotion and power, that leaves one song...TSRTS. I have no idea why they performed this song as to my ears they were no into it at all, or I should say Page & Plant. Jones & Bonham did great but Plant sounded like he was just trying to get through the song and Page's mix was muddy and passionless to my ears. Does anyone else feel the same? Am I just being a picky asshole? This song is all about drive and momentum and I believe half the band phoned in their performance on this one.

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Thank you for the review... about time. :coffee:

Page operates on some metrics for production value I don't get. The ghost vocals are there for sure- the monitors were so hot that everything bled over into the drum mics.

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The performance as a whole, both on the CD & DVD was fantastic, though I do have one very small complaint / observation. Out of 16 song, 15 were performed with passion and precision, emotion and power, that leaves one song...TSRTS. I have no idea why they performed this song as to my ears they were no into it at all, or I should say Page & Plant. Jones & Bonham did great but Plant sounded like he was just trying to get through the song and Page's mix was muddy and passionless to my ears. Does anyone else feel the same? Am I just being a picky asshole? This song is all about drive and momentum and I believe half the band phoned in their performance on this one.

I understand where you're coming from, SR, because that was pretty much the same reaction I had at first to TSRTS when watching the first YouTube clips that popped up in the days after the O2 show. The song sounded sluggish, not helped by Page's muddy 12-string tone and the downtuning, which I didn't understand at all. To my ears, it didn't need to be downtuned at all.

But, to me, one of the biggest delights and surprises of the official "Celebration Day" release is how much better "The Song Remains the Same" sounds and how much more I enjoy the performance now. Yes, Page's guitar sounds muddy in the beginning, but it sounded muddy in "Stairway to Heaven", too.

I have been saying for years that something happened to Jimmy's 12-string between 1975 and 1977. Somebody tinkered with the insides or did something, because every time he used that double-neck after 1975, it didn't have that chiming bell tone it had from 1972-75. It lost that shimmer it used to give TSRTS.

The 6-string part of the guitar still sounded okay, but the 12-string got harsh and muddy. Listen to any post-75 TSRTS and you can hear the difference.

Come the O2 show and it still has that muddy sound. Whether someone fucked with his guitar or changed the amp or pedal settings, something happened to his 12-string tone.

Plant sings TSRTS pretty well, if you ask me, but the clear MVPs of the O2 performance of the song are Jones and Jason. Jason especially is spectacular in this song, which you weren't always able to see and hear in the bootlegs. He keeps the song driving with somw good fills.

Then, something happens in the second part of the song that really lifts the song and gives it added ooomph! During the third instrumental jam between the second and last verse, Jimmy stomps on an effect(or somebody at the soundboard remembers to flick a switch) and Jimmy's guitar suddenly shifts to this bright, snarling tone. It's still not as clear and bell-like as it was in '72-'75, but it definitely is an improvement over the first half of the song and supercharges the song.

I also understand why they would want to play TSRTS, given that it follows "Stairway to Heaven", a slower, more stately song. Coming after "Stairway", it amps up the pace leading into the finale of the set.

The YouTube clips were awful and did nothing to suggest the energy of TSRTS. The Tangerine Records boot was a little better, thanks to its improved sound quality. But now that the official release is out, "The Song Remains the Same" is one of the revelations of the night for me and a part of the show I look forward to each time I watch.

Jason does his father proud and with honour on this song.

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^^ I know I am probably slow on the go compared to most but with the holidays and all I did not have time to sit down and watch the second half of the DVD, so I was basing my opinion on the CD only. When I sat down and watched the second half and I came to TSRTS, I fully thought it would sound like the CD, but it did not! Yes, the beginning was muddy but after the intro the song sounded much better and yes, by part three of the song it was on fire. Plants vocals also sounded better on the DVD compared to the CD, he really sang his ass off. I wonder why the mix sounded so different on that song on the CD whereas all the others were pretty spot on. Anyway, just amazing!!! And Kashmir...holy shit, that IS THE definitive version IMO. Once Robert's voice warmed up, by the fourth song, he was incredible, just incredible and you are right, they did not need to tune it down a step at all.

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Either Jimmy has the wrong idea about us fans, or someone in the production circle is feeding him a lot of bullshit about needing to cut Plant's banter from the mix.

I just wish Page could stop dithering about these live releases and tinkering when it's not needed.

Yes, it would be interesting to know the impetus behind the tinkering (good description).

The YouTube clips were awful and did nothing to suggest the energy of TSRTS.

They are not good. I stopped listening to/watching Youtubes of the O2 as soon as I heard the show was formally being released.

Sorry, I have not completely mastered the art of multiquotes in this forum yet.

[henrybonzo said:

dunno man, after numerous listens and watches, its amazing..but...does anyone feel like Page took more of a back seat than usual?

just seemed like the Page we knew just wasn't there but JPJ, faultless so age cant have anything to do with it]

To me, it just sounds different. Perhaps Jimmy really did have a finger injury a few weeks prior to the show.

I know this is the CD thread, but I do not have a problem hearing the bass on the DVD. I am not a musician, maybe it's just my untrained ear.

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The performance as a whole, both on the CD & DVD was fantastic, though I do have one very small complaint / observation. Out of 16 song, 15 were performed with passion and precision, emotion and power, that leaves one song...TSRTS. I have no idea why they performed this song as to my ears they were no into it at all, or I should say Page & Plant. Jones & Bonham did great but Plant sounded like he was just trying to get through the song and Page's mix was muddy and passionless to my ears. Does anyone else feel the same? Am I just being a picky asshole? This song is all about drive and momentum and I believe half the band phoned in their performance on this one.

I think you're being an A-hole honestly. :D The Shepperton rehearsal version of this song is simply stunning IMO. Robert is definitely into it and Jason just kills the drums on both versions; middle section where it builds is musical bliss!!

The rehearsal footage is spot on mint, I know this thread is about CD's, but it simply HAS to be seen by all that love this band.

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I have yet to see the DVD but I have listened to the CDs several times and I am blown away. If it wasn't for Robert Plant's vocals, it could be 1975! Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticising Plant but biology was against him. I think he did a great more mature version of Zeppelin. However, having heard the album I totally understand his reticense to tour the show.

I have been saying for years that something happened to Jimmy's 12-string between 1975 and 1977. Somebody tinkered with the insides or did something, because every time he used that double-neck after 1975, it didn't have that chiming bell tone it had from 1972-75. It lost that shimmer it used to give TSRTS.

Yeah, the 12 string guitar used to sound much better up til about 1975.

Whether someone fucked with his guitar or changed the amp or pedal settings, something happened to his 12-string tone.

That someone would be Jimmy Page.

Then, something happens in the second part of the song that really lifts the song and gives it added ooomph! During the third instrumental jam between the second and last verse, Jimmy stomps on an effect(or somebody at the soundboard remembers to flick a switch) and Jimmy's guitar suddenly shifts to this bright, snarling tone. It's still not as clear and bell-like as it was in '72-'75, but it definitely is an improvement over the first half of the song and supercharges the song.

I agree the guitar tone gets better later in the song. It sounds like Jimmy turned up his volume or tone control or maybe used a boost pedal. However I think he intended the song to get the lift you describe.

The multi track recording and the live mix are seperate entities. The mix you hear on the CD has virtually nothing to do with the live mix as heard at the O2 arena. There is no question of someone at the soundboard remembering to flick a switch, this is how Jimmy Page intends the song to sound.

Jimmy Page sets his tone as he likes it on stage. He was also heavily involved in the mixing of the album and if the guitar tone was not to his satisfaction he would have changed it.

I totally agree with you regarding the muddy 12 string tone. Perhaps the 12 string tone is more effected by the whole step down tuning?

Once Robert's voice warmed up, by the fourth song, he was incredible, just incredible and you are right, they did not need to tune it down a step at all.

Plant sounds great for most of the gig. He sounds amazing in parts. However, I don't understand how you can come to that conclusion about the key changes. It would be a tall order for a guy in his late 50s to replicate what he did in his 20s vocally in the same key. While it is *possible* he could have hit the highest notes in the original key, could he have done this consistently and with confidence for the whole 2 hours? Besides lowering the key doesn't just affect the highest notes, it affects every note sung. The lower key suited his current range better and he could get more power and expression that way. Robert Plant obviously felt that he could sing the songs better with the guitar and bass tuned to D.

Unless you are cursed with perfect pitch it doesn't really matter that the songs were down a step anyway. The guitar has a slightly heavier sound but once I am into the concert I find I hardly notice the key change.

I love this live album and am really looking forward to watching the video.

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I have been saying for years that something happened to Jimmy's 12-string between 1975 and 1977

Page changed the signal path on stage. Originally ('71-'75) he had it so compressed and limited that the tone was almost indistinguishable from low E(e) to high e(e). The squash had the signature chime to it. He did this for many reasons the most important of which was neutralizing the influence of the soundman on his tone.

At the ARMS concerts Page used his basic rig and it was nice- no MXR, no wah. Heard that he brought them just never saw him bring them out. He went direct out without placing his favorite kit processors between he and the sound deck. He split two stacks into an A and B, out to a delay and reverb and that was it. The gain setting on A was at 9 oclock (super clean) volume at 7:30 and gain on B was at 2:30 with volume at 5:30. Everything else was straight up him and the guitar. His tele sound was unreal- sweet and butter and you could hear every nuance. When he played STH he rolled back the volume on the guitar and picked it harder except during the solo.

MSG Dec.9, 1983

JP-MSG.jpg

JP-EC-JB-MSG.jpg

The thin tone on Page's rig in the post '77 era was due to Page rolling the gain so low (sometimes 8 oclock)... at LiveAid or the Atlantic 40th you can catch a glimpse of Plant being a crafty, wiley bandmate and sliding behind Page and keying up the gain knob. :rolleyes: Ever the innocent looking out for Page. Thin sounds great on stage, awful elsewhere since there are no 3rd and 4th level harmonics warming the sound = pleasant and memorable.

Edited by Dallas Knebs

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One thing about The Song Remains The Same. I don't know about Jimmy, but check out Jonesy. He's not playing the run up to Plant singing the first verse the way it is on the studio version. In fact, I've never heard it played the way he plays it before. I think Jimmy's guitar may sound muddy because Jonesy is drowning him out. Jones isn't letting his bass line "breathe" at all. He's playing successive notes with no break and is basically dominating everything else that is being played. Midway between the beginning and Robert's vocals, he falls in line with Jimmy's playing and the song sounds like it should. I still find it very strange he was playing what he was playing to kick off the song.

Other than that, I think the song totally "cooks" and may be the highlight of the concert for me. I think it's one of the most underrated songs by fans in the Led Zeppelin catalog. It's epic in my book.

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I was at Best Buy today and they had most of the Celebration Day configurations, but I didin't see the Blu-ray Music Only disc though.

My most favorite tracks so far are IMTOD, Kashmir, and For Your Life.

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watched in 5.1 this evening with a former band mate- he was in awe.

racerrr you bring up some interesting points about the bass lines- Jones really worked it on several songs, in segments at least- in particular on the fretless in IMTOD.

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One thing about The Song Remains The Same. I don't know about Jimmy, but check out Jonesy. He's not playing the run up to Plant singing the first verse the way it is on the studio version. In fact, I've never heard it played the way he plays it before. I think Jimmy's guitar may sound muddy because Jonesy is drowning him out. Jones isn't letting his bass line "breathe" at all. He's playing successive notes with no break and is basically dominating everything else that is being played. Midway between the beginning and Robert's vocals, he falls in line with Jimmy's playing and the song sounds like it should. I still find it very strange he was playing what he was playing to kick off the song.

Other than that, I think the song totally "cooks" and may be the highlight of the concert for me. I think it's one of the most underrated songs by fans in the Led Zeppelin catalog. It's epic in my book.

i know what you're talking about, but in my case, I like it. What you're hearing there is more of what JPJ's style is today, a bit more aggressive and towards the forefront as opposed to back in the day when he set back. He's great on TSRTS, just ripping it up all over the place playing tons of fills and just having a blast with it. You can really see on the DVD that he really enjoyed this little number.

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aggressive and leading is correct- more please !!!

What you're hearing there is more of what JPJ's style is today, a bit more aggressive and towards the forefront as opposed to back in the day when he set back. He's great on TSRTS, just ripping it up all over the place playing tons of fills and just having a blast with it. You can really see on the DVD that he really enjoyed this little number.

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Amazing sound quality. I don't know if they ramped up so much through the intro of the show, so good to hear good times bad times. It sounds like page and plant were happy to play ramble on with jones again, the loud guitar parts and fast echo effect on vocals are so cool. Jones mentioned on one of the interviews that the technology of course helped the songs. I'm really liking the keyboard sound here, combined w the heavier guitar sound, it's a good balance. Kashmir is historic.

Misty mountain hop and the song remains the same, with these heavier versions, are also sounding great to me.

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^^ I know I am probably slow on the go compared to most but with the holidays and all I did not have time to sit down and watch the second half of the DVD, so I was basing my opinion on the CD only. When I sat down and watched the second half and I came to TSRTS, I fully thought it would sound like the CD, but it did not! Yes, the beginning was muddy but after the intro the song sounded much better and yes, by part three of the song it was on fire. Plants vocals also sounded better on the DVD compared to the CD, he really sang his ass off. I wonder why the mix sounded so different on that song on the CD whereas all the others were pretty spot on. Anyway, just amazing!!! And Kashmir...holy shit, that IS THE definitive version IMO. Once Robert's voice warmed up, by the fourth song, he was incredible, just incredible and you are right, they did not need to tune it down a step at all.

If you played your DVD in Dolby Digital the sound will be more open than the cd. The Blu Ray with it's uncompressed sound is amazing. But once I get moved in to our new house and get settled I will re calibrate my audio equipment (Audyssey)and tv (DVE Blu Ray) and do a review of the cd and Blu Ray.

Jeff

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