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Led Zep For the Last Time? A Lot to Like
on March 7, 2013
There is a lot to like in the CELEBRATION DAY: DELUXE EDITION package, including a Blu-ray
version of the December 2007 concert that is rich in colour and detail, yet easy on the eye.
The pair of cd's that duplicate the musical content on the Blu-ray in fine style are accompanied
by a very interesting dvd of a rehearsal of the show, recorded four days before the big concert
Taken together, the elements in CELEBRATION DAY: DELUXE EDITION provide a fine and fitting musical
document that will please longtime fans and be a much-enjoyed momento of what will likely be the
last appearance for Led Zeppelin as the tour-de-force unit that shook the musical world with its signature live performances.
The set-list for the concert is first-rate, kicking off with Good Times, Bad Times, and
wrapping up with Rock'n'Roll. The numbers are performed with lots of verve--although
discerning listeners might miss the sonic abandon of earlier years. It would have been nice
to hear more of Zeppelin's fine keyboard-based material, such as In the Evening,
but it's a pleasure to see and hear the reunion concert in its entirety and to be
taken on an uplifting tour of most of Zep's best songs.
Jason Bonham does an excellent job sitting in on drums, but, in watching the video content, it
seemed to me that Page, Plant,and Jones weren't consistently having a whole lotta fun being with each other.
Smiles, moments of laughter, and mutual encouragement aren't much in evidence. I would guess
that the tension stemming from Page and Jones desiring to fulfill hopes for a reunion tour,
but being kept from achieving that goal by Plant's reluctance to participate could account for
the low-key interaction.
The band members' quotations featured as part of he little booklet that provides a detailed
run-down of the songs on the discs in CELEBRATION DAY provides some telling evidence about
the reasons for the one-off nature of the reunion. Bonham's comments are lengthy, emotionally-grounded
and sincere. Jones' remarks are brief, Page's somewhat scattered, and Plant's both cryptic and revealing.