Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Gods Have Returned

By Cernig

There were a lot of fans who were nervous that Led Zeppelin's much-hyped reunion gig would fall as flat as their awful Live Aid set, which was so bad the band refused to allow it on the concert's compilation DVD.

But not to worry says Martin Dunk, the music critic for the UK's Daily Express, The Gods of Rock Are Back.
Led Zeppelin once dubbed the loudest band on the planet, demonstrated to the five generations of fans that filled the 20,000 capacity 02 Stadium tonight just how exciting, raw and jaw-droppingly heavy rock music can be.

From opener Good Times, Bad Times and through early sluggers like Ramble On and Black Dog, Jimmy Page’s Gibson guitar roared and wailed driven by John Paul Jones’ thunderous bass lines and Jason Bonham’s near-perfect facsimile of his father John’s drumming.

For a man in his early sixties, singer Robert Plant couldn’t quite hit the ear-shredding notes of yore, and his timing was a little out during the terrifying sonic rampage of Thirties blues update of In My Time of Dying, but with the Messerschmitt-like noise coming from rock’s finest rhythm section that just didn’t matter.

It was a deep ominous noise that filled the hangar-like O2, a noise that nobody else has never quite managed to reproduce.
I think he liked it.

So too did Hamish MacBain of the NME, Britain's most respected music mag.
You might think it couldn't possibly live up to expectations, but, it transpires, the opposite is in fact true of Led Zeppelin's first public appearance in 17 years.

They seem buoyed by the deafening roars that greet their every twitch tonight - everyone present in the O2 Arena is willing their performance to the realms of greatness. It's almost impossible to be subjective, to not be sucked in.

It takes Robert Plant three songs before he offers a cursory "good evening". By that time they've alreay blasted through an incendiary 'Good Times Bad Times', a dramatic 'Ramble On' and the stop/start rhythms of 'Black Dog'. He needn't say anything.

Next they launch into 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' and Zep are smiling at each other, only occupying about six square feet of the enormous stage. You wouldn't believe this is a band who haven't played together for so long.

They do 'No Quarter and they're locked in as tight as if it were the 1970s. Only the close ups on the screen at the back give away their advanced years.

Next they launch into a version of 'Dazed And Confused' that seems to last forever - but every last second is enthralling.
Here's one sample, via YouTube - Stairway To Heaven.

There's plenty more. The greatest rock band in history have proven they still have it. Now, what about a tour, guys?

Update Rolling Stone's David Fricke loved it too.

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