Good Times Bad Times, Ramble On, Black Dog, In My Time of Dying, For Your Life, Trampled Underfoot, Nobody's Fault But Mine, No Quarter, Since I've Been Loving You, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, The Song Remains the Same, Misty Mountain Hop, Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll
After nearly a decade of rumors and anticipation, the day no one thought would ever come is finally here. Twenty-seven years after the group disbanded following John Bonham's untimely death, Led Zeppelin has reformed in honor of Ahmet Ertegün for their first official concert since 7/7/1980. The crowd's excitement builds to a frenzied peak as Jason Bonham, filling in for his father, cracks his sticks together four times before the thunderous opening notes of Good Times Bad Times announce the return of Led Zeppelin.
Page is a bit buried in the mix at first and Plant suffers a few spikes of feedback during the initial verses, but these issues are remedied in time for Page to shred through an excellent guitar solo. The end of the song leads directly into the opening chords of Ramble On. Jones's fingers dance across the fretboard as the band hammers through the explosive chorus. The crowd goes wild as Plant sings the first line of a bone-crushing Black Dog. There is another loud squeal of feedback following the second verse. Page blazes through the guitar solo. The intro to In My Time of Dying is met with an excited cheer from the crowd. The song is played closer in tempo to the studio version than the frenzied performances of the past. The walls of the arena quake under the power of Bonham's thunderous pounding as Page tears through an excellent guitar solo. Plant hints at Muddy Waters favorite Honey Bee during the "oh my Jesus!" section. He exclaims "it still feels pretty good up here!" during the outro.
As the song ends, Plant thanks the crowd "for thousands and thousands of emotions that we've been going through for the last six weeks together." He tells the crowd "this is a first adventure with this song in public" before the first live performance of For Your Life. The band is incredibly tight, perfectly recreating the studio version. Plant is in top form as he belts out each line with power and bravado. His mature voice is particularly well-suited for the Presence classic. Trampled Underfoot is introduced as "a kind of Led Zeppelin Terraplane Blues." Page shreds wildly through a spaced-out guitar solo toward the end of the song. The band hammers through a devastatingly heavy Nobody's Fault But Mine. Page seems to lose his place momentarily as Plant begins his harmonica solo, but still manages to deliver an excellent guitar solo shortly thereafter. The crowd erupts as Jones begins the ominous intro to No Quarter. The song is played in a scaled down arrangement with both Page and Jones delivering short dynamic solos.
Since I've Been Loving You is a mournful epic. Page is absolutely on fire as he blazes through a beautifully emotional guitar solo. Plant attempts some dramatic high notes throughout the song, with varying results. An outstanding performance. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd about the creation of the setlist, saying "there are certain songs that have to be there... and this is one of them" before the first performance of Dazed and Confused since 5/25/1975. The initial verses are incredibly heavy. The crowd erupts as Page begins the bow solo. The band is on fire as they hammer through a frantic guitar solo/workout section. Unfortunately, Page and Bonham lose track of each other during the return to the main riff, causing some confused hesitation at the beginning of the final verse. The familiar opening notes of Stairway to Heaven are met with a thunderous roar from the crowd. Page blazes through a fantastic guitar solo, possibly the closest to the studio version he's ever played. As the song ends, Plant shouts "hey Ahmet!... we did it."
Bonham hammers at his drums with incredible intensity as the band races through a brutal The Song Remains the Same. Plant tells the crowd about the Bonham family's singing talents before giving Jason a crack at the opening line of I Can't Quit You Baby prior to Misty Mountain Hop, which features Bonham on backing vocals. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "out here, there are people from fifty countries" before introducing Kashmir as "the fifty-first country." The band pummels the crowd mercilessly as they hammer through the intimidating march. Plant's aggressive howls echo through the arena and into infinity as Bonham shakes the earth with his thunderous fills toward the end of the song. An utterly devastating performance, one of the best ever. The crowd erupts as the band returns to the stage for Whole Lotta Love. Plant briefly hints at Rosco Gordon's Just a Little Bit during the theremin freakout, as well as paying homage to his famous boogie rap following the final verse. As the song ends, he thanks everyone for coming along "for the memory of Ahmet Ertegün... in the days when Atlantic Records was the most magnificent record company on the planet."
Page announces "it's really been an amazing night for all of us, thank you very much" as the band returns to the stage to close the show with an explosive Rock and Roll. He shreds wildly through a blistering guitar solo. Plant leads the crowd through an endless string of "lonely"s before Bonham erupts into the song's thunderous finale. As the last notes fade into the deafening roar of the crowd, Led Zeppelin's legacy is solidified forever. The ultimate final statement. Must hear.
The tape is a phenomenal audience recording, fit for official release.
Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.
I really think that it was a excellent job.
I really enjoyed your blog. I always eagerly anicipated the updates. Awesome job!!
I am in total awe. Wish I could pull something out of our archive that you haven't heard yet, but our stuff is out there.
I've been catching up with your blog...all in the last 3 weeks and it seriously impacted my study time. I love it. I admire your commitment and commentary. For some reason I feel really sad now though...like history has ended.
Congratulations for finishing this big project, I always enjoyed reading your descriptions.
Wendy source is one of the best ;)
i don't think this anywhere close to a "must hear", but it was a solid concert given the circumstances
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