Led Zeppelin “Celebration Day”

Well, if you’re a Zep fan (and even if you’re not really into the band), one of the most surprising CDs/DVDs to come along is Celebration Day — a “one night only” concert that the might Zep performed in 2007 to celebrate Ahmet Ertegün — who founded Atlantic Records and signed Zeppelin. Ertegün died in 2006, and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin headlined at an all-star show at the O2 arena in London. The concert was recorded and finally released on CD and DVD. I got a copy for Christmas from my Uncle, Aunt, and cousin and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I know that the concert was quite an event. Zeppelin only played twice before 2007 — and both performances pretty much sucked.

The Live Aid set in the ’80s was crap — mostly due to the fact that Page’s guitar was out of tune, Plant’s voice was a mess, and Phil Collins and Tony Thompson on drums were lost.

Then the group played Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary concert and had Jason Bonham play drums. Another diaster. Pre-show arguments, loss of keyboards, and other things just marred what could have been a great performance.

Then comes 2007, and the concert was a huge success. The band sounded tight, Plant’s vocals were really strong, and the setlist was all the classics that Zep is known for. Like I wrote at the outset, if you’re a fan (or even not that into the band), get this CD and you’ll see what all the fuss about Zep was about — and why fans were hoping for a reunion tour.

After that performance, though, a huge tour may have been a disappointment on either a Van Halen type scale, or just not finding their groove like The Police had trouble doing when they got back together to tour once more. Nevertheless, have a look at the promotional video above and tell me Led Zeppelin are not in top form.