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Rock Historian

The Good and not so Good of Celebration Day

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First the negatives. Is there anybody else out there willing to admit that this was not the greatest night for Jimmy page?

Whoah respect! Mr Ed, a man who dares speak his mind! I was worried i was the only one thinking the same thing regarding the guitar solos and tone! I have to agree with every point he made. I was delighted with the overall band performance having expected a car crash of Live Aid proportions but Page's solos were bland souless versions compared to days long gone. It was as if they had got a session guy in his place! The solo in Stairway was a low point for me.

I read somewhere Page admit this was the first gig he had played with Zep sober. Well half of me wishes he had downed a bottle of Jack Daniels and done half a gram of blow before the gig just to loosen up!

His tone was horrible too, over-processed and mushy. Where was the crisp crunch and ringing tone which is his trademark? Then there was the feedback - why? Sorry no excuses, not a mixing desk issue - the guitar is the input source - too much gain equals an overloaded signal - simple physics! I was shocked he seemed to have little or no control over his guitar rig.

I'm not detracting from my enjoyment of the gig overall just disappointed his performance did'nt raise the hairs on the back of my neck like he used to.

Edited by LedZebedee

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Not to make excuses but let me make an excuse. Unlike Plant, Jones, and Jason, Page hadn't played a complete gig since the summer of 2000; over seven years! That's by far the longest layoff he's ever had in his entire career, longer even than the time between John Bonham's death and the ARMS concerts! I feel he took the biggest risk of anyone in doing this as a one night only, no warmup gig event.

Having said that, I thought he did great, especially under those circumstances and with a broken pinky on his fretting hand. I also have no doubt that if they did even a handful of shows after December 10th he would have really gotten into a groove. I saw his second and third shows with the Black Crowes in New York and he seems to feel his way early in a tour. When I saw them again in the summer of 2000 he played like a man possessed.

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Page got the tone he wanted so I will defer to him as to what sounds good.

Insofar as overprocessed, to what processing do you refer?

Regarding feedback, you are in correct.

Whoah respect! Mr Ed, a man who dares speak his mind! I was worried i was the only one thinking the same thing regarding the guitar solos and tone! I have to agree with every point he made. I was delighted with the overall band performance having expected a car crash of Live Aid proportions but Page's solos were bland souless versions compared to days long gone. It was as if they had got a session guy in his place! The solo in Stairway was a low point for me.

I read somewhere Page admit this was the first gig he had played with Zep sober. Well half of me wishes he had downed a bottle of Jack Daniels and done half a gram of blow before the gig just to loosen up!

His tone was horrible too, over-processed and mushy. Where was the crisp crunch and ringing tone which is his trademark? Then there was the feedback - why? Sorry no excuses, not a mixing desk issue - the guitar is the input source - too much gain equals an overloaded signal - simple physics! I was shocked he seemed to have little or no control over his guitar rig.

I'm not detracting from my enjoyment of the gig overall just disappointed his performance did'nt raise the hairs on the back of my neck like he used to.

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Page got the tone he wanted so I will defer to him as to what sounds good.

Insofar as overprocessed, to what processing do you refer?

Regarding feedback, you are in correct.

He might have got the tone he wanted but it's not the trademark Jimmy Page tone i know and love. For me Page has a guitar technique and sound as identifiable as a fingerprint. You only have to hear a couple of notes and you know it's him - now that's rare! At the 02 gig his tone sounded very wooly and muffled as if he was playing underwater - the intro to Ramble On for example. I don't know what effects unit he uses these days (maybe some one could enlighten me?) but it's sucking the soul out of his playing to my ears. He just did'nt sound like him.

Just my opinion folks!

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Page got the tone he wanted so I will defer to him as to what sounds good.

Insofar as overprocessed, to what processing do you refer?

Regarding feedback, you are in correct.

Im incorrect about the feedback? Where are you getting this from? I dont wanna get too deep into 'Im a guitar player so I know what Im talking about', but its the truth.... Ive been playing for a zillion years with Les Pauls and Marshalls in stage situations and just like Jimmy does, I rely on my volume controls on the guitar to go from clean to mean... If you think that the distorted mud tone of the intros and stairway from the O2 sound good, well then your entitled... But Jimmy NEVER played those songs that way in the past. If he rolled down his guitar vols just a bit more he would of cleaned it up. I cant imagine that he wanted it to sound like mud, what I CAN imagine is that his focus isnt what it used to be... Ive already explained where the feedback is coming from in certain songs and I cant help you if you dont understand how that works...

Bottom line, yes I am fully aware that had they toured it is likely that Jimmy would have gotten more in a groove and had better nights... But these guys rehearsed this stuff A LOT beginning in the summer.... I think the ENERGY of the band and Jimmys playing was awesome!... And I am very thankful they did this... But I am not feeling the chills from head to toe from his soloing... A couple notes here and there (like that held note in Since), but for me too few and far inbetween...

I dont want to speak for LedZebedee, but by overprocessed, I believe he is referring to Jimmys use of drive/gain pedals in some situations that he didnt do in Zep especially from '72-'80... Best example, Dazed. The guitar is very heavy on the riff. I actually totally dig that, I have gotten it from the horses mouth that there was a conscious attempt in some cases to capture the feel of studio recordings, something they didnt care that much about in their prime... So I for one LIKE that Jimmy was trying to simulate the monstrous tone of the tele through the tonebender pedal on the first album.... BUT, if you are going to do that then you have to realize that when you click on the wah all hell is gonna break loose and not necessarily the best way... Again, it comes down to focus and control and something was off there...

Finally, I want to say that because I bring up negatives (thats what the poster was asking for) that does NOT mean that there werent positives... One can exist WITH the other!.... I was at the O2 show and it still stands as one of the best shows Ive seen...

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Im incorrect about the feedback? Where are you getting this from?

the guy playing the guitar said so, the guy running FOH monitors said so.

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the guy playing the guitar said so, the guy running FOH monitors said so.

I should just give up, but alas I cant.... At about the 10:00 mark of Dazed (below), Jimmy clicks on the wah...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-iciKQ_A4A

Even BEFORE he clicks on the wah you can hear he's got quite a bit of gain going on... so then he clicks it on. That feedback that he struggles with for the remainder of the song has NOTHING to do with monitors or FOH!.. If you have ever cranked a Les Paul through a Marshall, or an Orange, or whatever amp he had going, with that kind of gain and kicked on a wah, that is the potential problem you can have... And I dont know if you love that ending solo but I personally do not find it close to the level of brilliance that he used to pull off... When you get into trouble like that on stage, you correct it.... turn the damn wah off!... or turn the gain pedal off... you do something!.... Again, Jimmy Page is my all time favorite, always will be, but to suggest he was brilliant from beginning to end at the O2 show seems like fan worship... He was great at times, and definitely not so great at times....

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I love it.. some mistakes especially some of Jimmy's solos in spots, but that's live.

I love his tone on some of it. The Ramble On solo is kind of odd... but I LOVE it.

My main issue is that I think John Paul Jones' Bass should be mixed higher.

& I don't really like Jason's background vocals on GTBT.

That's about it.

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the guy playing the guitar said so, the guy running FOH monitors said so.

Looks like the sound guy took a bullet for the team! Jimmy Page has never admitted to being at fault for anything - ever! He blamed Phil Collins for the Live Aid debacle when he himself was beyond the point of being shit-faced for chrissakes!

They had 6 months of rehearsals on and off and a full dress rehearsal a few days before the gig to get the sound right! Ok the 02 is not acoustically the best venue for gigs but don't tell me it was worse than Earls Court which is effectively an aircraft hanger! The sound guys in the 70s really knew their stuff and with a fraction of the technology available today.

I back Mr Ed 100% in his argument and not just because he is a fellow muso! There are too many blinkered folks on here who won't hear a word said against their heroes who are fallable after all!

Edited by LedZebedee

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Whoah respect! Mr Ed, a man who dares speak his mind! I was worried i was the only one thinking the same thing regarding the guitar solos and tone! I have to agree with every point he made. I was delighted with the overall band performance having expected a car crash of Live Aid proportions but Page's solos were bland souless versions compared to days long gone. It was as if they had got a session guy in his place! The solo in Stairway was a low point for me.

I read somewhere Page admit this was the first gig he had played with Zep sober. Well half of me wishes he had downed a bottle of Jack Daniels and done half a gram of blow before the gig just to loosen up!

His tone was horrible too, over-processed and mushy. Where was the crisp crunch and ringing tone which is his trademark? Then there was the feedback - why? Sorry no excuses, not a mixing desk issue - the guitar is the input source - too much gain equals an overloaded signal - simple physics! I was shocked he seemed to have little or no control over his guitar rig.

I'm not detracting from my enjoyment of the gig overall just disappointed his performance did'nt raise the hairs on the back of my neck like he used to.

I couldn't agree more. Page's solos were... subpar.

Edited by Geezer

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I couldn't agree more. Page's solos were... subpar.

Thanks for backing me up on this one Geezer! It's not my intention to stir up a hornets nest on here, just telling it as i see it IMHO.

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I will FOREVER be grateful to the band for releasing this recording. So professionally done, numerous formats to choose from and at a price that can't be beat!

Absolutely! Edited by JohnnyGuitar

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I think everyone here over-analyzes things too much, it was a fucking reunion concert, if it was a tour 6 dates in Page would have been more fluid, in my opinion, nothing wrong with Page, just a bunch of fuckin nit pickers

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I have played guitar since I was 14 years old. I have played in bands and I have played live. That being said I have never played a guitar at the age of 63 in front of 20,000 people with a broken pinky. I will be honest, if I broke or even sprained ANY finger on ANY hand I would not play live (or at all) until fully healed. Also, it was said before and after the show that Jimmy was going to play short solos and keep it as close to the studio versions as possible in an effort to play the number of songs they played. Jimmy is also on record as having insane anxiety pre-show, that was one of the reasons he turned to alcohol in 75' and heroin after Roberts car crash in Rhodes. I love Jimmy but he suffers from low self esteem IMO, he is very sensitive by nature and as a result the substances helped him cope with the insecurities. Well, he is sober now and has to face the music as an open nerve, no walls, no barriers. The fact that he played so damn good right out of the gate impressed the hell out of me, especially with so much against him (broken finger).

After having gone thru all that let me break it down for all the "bitches" out there: Do you think you will fuck as good at 63 as you did at 23??? No? Well no shit. Playing a guitar is not that different in an abstract sort of way. After all, if 63 yr olds could fuck like a 23 year old, there would be hordes of 19 year old college girls invading Century Village in Ft Lauderdale. Last I heard from my sister in law, that was not happening.

Thank you Jimmy, your O2 performance was incredible. Let's see how good Mr Ed (Guitar god) can play at 63...I bet he will be lucky if he can pick the damn thing up in his golden years much less perform at the level Mr. Page did...WITH A FUCKING BROKEN FINGER!!!

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Page played to his standards, got the sound he wanted for himself and for LZ.... and he had a blast... and he has the joy of being able to share this with others. Quite a gift.

LOL @ SagRising

just conjecture on my part- a few college girls have been known to miss curfew by "volunteering" at Century Village... visiting "uncle" Charlie on Saturdays for lunch watching "Hee-Haw" and "Lawrence Welk" before Bingomadness begins pay$ and comes in quite ...ahem.. handy, but that's just a guess. They could usually make it back to their other jobs for shiftchange at 11pm. So I've heard... well maybe ... nah, I can't remember. Please disregard.

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Well I must say this conversation is entertaining! ..IMO, the DVD was quite enjoyable, even transporting...yes, there were some parts that seemed off, but a live performance is always unpredictable; that's part of what makes it exciting. Mistakes happen in many kinds of live performances--Olympic ice skaters fall, dancers screw up steps and sometimes musicians slip up too...I thought it was thrilling to see the guys perform together after hardly performing as a group in more than 25 years...I didn't expect them to be perfect. In fact it was much better than I thought it would be. I think the best part, for me anyway, was seeing people who mean so much to me get back into it and ENJOY themselves!

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Page is a gunslinger with...Presence. I would choose to travel 3000 miles just to watch him tune a fucking guitar over going across town to see Clapton host another 3 day guitar fest.

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And I dont care if your a guitar player, your not jimmy Page STFU

:)

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Looks like the sound guy took a bullet for the team! Jimmy Page has never admitted to being at fault for anything - ever! He blamed Phil Collins for the Live Aid debacle when he himself was beyond the point of being shit-faced for chrissakes!

They had 6 months of rehearsals on and off and a full dress rehearsal a few days before the gig to get the sound right! Ok the 02 is not acoustically the best venue for gigs but don't tell me it was worse than Earls Court which is effectively an aircraft hanger! The sound guys in the 70s really knew their stuff and with a fraction of the technology available today.

I back Mr Ed 100% in his argument and not just because he is a fellow muso! There are too many blinkered folks on here who won't hear a word said against their heroes who are fallable after all!

As a working DJ who sets up all his own sound equipment in every kind of hall, bar, outside venue, etc. I would have to agree with the

posters here who lay the feedback issues on Jimmy. Jimmy should have been able to control his volume, gain, and wah in order to help

eliminate any feedback and help the FOH guys monitor and adjust for Jimmy's adjustments if he had backed off the volume and gain.

But alas Jimmy went forward with his settings and the result was ear-splitting feedback and a weird distortion that was way out of place.

When my rig gets crazy, feedback is always an issue in certain venues and volume levels and mic placements, I have to pull it back

and get it under control - it happens at my mixer and the amps respond accordingly to their input, and that's where I have to know

what to adjust. And Jimmy should have also. Plain and simple.

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Page is a gunslinger with...Presence. I would choose to travel 3000 miles just to watch him tune a fucking guitar over going across town to see Clapton host another 3 day guitar fest.

Ahh, well said, - how true. Jimmy was never ever a perfectionist on guitar. He plays as is - wreckless and non-technical - always on the verge

of another train wreck. But when he pulls it off his genius is see "perfectly" clear to see. Shining and glowing. However his "mistakes" are always

just as clear, and depending on your viewpoint and your preferences you can forgive and go on living with Jimmy as he is.

Clapton, Beck, and the other "purists" have their place but I'd much, much prefer to be in Jimmy's train wreck anytime.

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...Finally, I want to say that because I bring up negatives (thats what the poster was asking for) that does NOT mean that there werent positives... One can exist WITH the other!.... I was at the O2 show and it still stands as one of the best shows Ive seen...

I've a question for you, Ed A. Did you notice the things that bothered you about Page's guitar playing the night of the O2 show or did they only become apparent when you watched the Celebration Day DVD?

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Thanks for backing me up on this one Geezer! It's not my intention to stir up a hornets nest on here, just telling it as i see it IMHO.

Everyone has the right to their own opinion and that's the intent of the OP. Let's give Jimmy the benefit of the doubt. He's not what he once was, BUT, this is our (pun intended) our Swan Song of the band playing maybe their last live show. I'll take what I'm given. Maybe if the mixing was better this concert would have sounded much better. When I saw them in Tampa in 73 I heard EVERYTHING, all the instruments, all the singing. If you listen to the band from 73 their tone was unbelivable. Jimmy captured this in several songs. Misty Mountain Hop and Kashmir come to mind.

Jeff

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I didnt like the way it was shot, and the only way I can describe is "stock".

A concert of this magnitude, I see a genuine lack of camera flow. It just didnt match what my eyes wanted to see or follow, bad timing with a few edits, etc. All the little things that could have been done for bonus footage wasn't done - I would have had at least six Go Pro's on Jason himself, catchng his facial expressions, his hands working (rolls), his footwork, hitting cymblas etc.So many little things that bothered me, hardy any medium crowd shots, a shot ot two of roberts feet (boogie'ing). Just a bunch of little stuff that added up for me.

Im really glad it happened and love it, please dont get me wrong. The entire production could have been better.

Favourte Shot; Jimmy, Robert and John Paul in front of the drum riser waiting/smiling at Jason - as a film maker, thats described as a "giflt".

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