6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great Reunion Gig, But Newcomers Should Look Elsewhere,
This review is from: Celebration Day: Deluxe Edition (CD Digipak + Bonus Material) [2 CD + Blu-ray + DVD] (Audio CD)
This is a great reunion concert that far exceeded my expectations of what it could be. But I don't see how so many people could give it 5 stars, no matter how much of a Zeppelin fanatic they may be. First of all the sound mix is out to lunch, with the bass so over-blown that it lacks definition, even to the point of sounding muffled. To make things worse the cymbals are almost non-existent, and the mid-range is dull and lifeless. That doesn't seem to matter too much when watching the video. It's a concert in a big arena after all. But when you switch to the CD and are left with only the sound, it becomes a bit disorienting.
As for the performances, the band seems to take a bit of time warming up. The first two songs, Good Times Bad Times and Ramble On are a mess, with Plant barely checking in on vocals. With Black Dog the sound starts to tighten up, but it is In My Time of Dying, with Plant crooning to Page's electric slide, that the old magic starts to appear. From there on they really start to cook. I especially like the bluesier numbers here, and the stuff from Physical Graffiti and Presence (not my favourite Zeppelin albums) seem to work the best. Page is definitely the star of this show, looking like the Devil himself with his long white hair and trademark sneer. Plant obviously doesn't have the pipes he used to, but he knows his limitations and stays well within them. What he does still have (plus his stage presence on the video) is compelling enough that you don't really miss the other stuff. John Paul Jones is solid as always. Jason Bonham is not the second coming of his father, but he holds up his end extremely well. Overall this is a treat for longtime fans who have everything else, but definitely not for young people just discovering the band.