Monday, December 10, 2007

Second report from fans in London

Nech, a fan from New York state known among Led Zeppelins as a core contributor to the discussion group For Badgeholders Only, was greeting longtime friends when he started to hear the unmistakable sound of Led Zeppelin beginning its soundcheck with a run-through of "Good Times Bad Times." The song opens Led Zeppelin's first album, but the band is not known to have ever performed the song in its entirety. Nech was in a line waiting to be allowed into the arena to be in the same room as Led Zeppelin performing. He writes that hearing the song from the line, "It sounds like a barnburner!!!"

That ends, and soon we begin to hear another tune...and no mistaking this
one either as that bass line snaked its way into our collective souls..."Ramble
On"!!!! And sounds Like Plant is belting it out!!!
After this, Nech says, the line began moving.

That goes quick and we are litterally running for the door. Meanwhile some
undecipherable jam had went on. Sounded like they were redoing a bit of "Ramble
On" again..or possibly a quick snatch of "The Wanton Song"???

We walk out onto the floor but are then guided by security up to the seats stage right... Jimmy's old side!!! But Jimmy, Jonesy and Plant are all kinda huddled together in the middle of the stage talking so what's gonna happen here?!?!?!

Hmmmmmmm what are they gonna do. Then my heart lurches... Jimmy's got a slide on and I recognize THAT tuning!!!! And lo and behold they launch into "In My Time of Dying".....chills, people...chills.....The sound's a bit boomy but that gets tamed and as they progress along one thing in particular sticks out. Robert's voice is incredible!!!!!!!!! Jason's driving it along with what I think looks like a double kick pedal and Jimmy, well Jimmy looks like the cat that ate the tweety bird. HE IS ALL SMILES!!!! HE IS DANCING!!! HE IS KICKING HIS HEELS AND TOES IN TIME.. In my opinion Jimmy is in heaven.

There's a break in the sound as snap crackles and pops replace Jimmy's guitar and soundmen scramble...They don't miss a beat and they continue on. I am in heaven too. At the end of the song Plant starts ad libbing "Honeybee" and they play along before bring it back for one "oh my Jesus... Jesus make up dying bed..." and I feel like at this point I can die happy. THEY ROCKED IT!!!! The gel was there!!!!

I lost my voice as I just could not contain the small audience clapped along I just had to let out a huge YEEEAAAHHHHH!!!!! And the crowd took it as their cue to, yeah, so what if it's a soundcheck...APPLAUSE...LOUD APPLAUSE.... I think the guys on stage were taken aback, but so appreciated it.

Plant was already back as the Plantationator.... joking and laughing about as he called out, "Where are the children in need, people?" A small group stood up and Plant in the same swagger of '70s barechested Golden God goes, "Well, I'll see you later during the drum solo!" Those in the know laughed ourselves silly.

Meanwhile, the guys are switching gears...Jones has taken off his bass and is meandering about his keys. He's travelling light these days. Just two sets it looks like, one definitely a large Korg and another smaller set mounted on top of that. One note...he hit one note and that was enough...."NO QUARTER"! A couple more adjustments as Jason starts hitting his large gong....gong...gonggg....gong.....Jones continues noodling teasing us with 'No Quarter' snippets as Jimmy now brandished his Les Paul. Plant meanders off stage to the floor for a cuppa tea and they start into "No Quarter."

At first, vocal-less, but then I do hear some ..where's that coming from ??? And then I realize, It's Jason bending down low and singing through a drum mike adding an eerie quality to it. When Jimmy hit that first wahhed riff again...chills. It sounds raw, devlish...dirty and in my opinion right on. Jones does just a short solo before Jimmy start in with that familiar descending riff into his solo. No pinky problems here, folks... Jason belts them all into a crescendo and with "the dogs of doom" Jimmy breathes life into his Theremin and I just had to stand and raise my hands straight up high... master master!!! And then the second Jimmy wah-wah, PHENOMENAL!!!!

As the song ends Jimmy raises the Gibson over his head in triumph. Again, I cannot contain myself and scream out to them "We're not Worthy" in my best Wayne's World way. Also Plant ended up sitting on the drum riser as the song wound down, perfectly content to let them have worked this out without him.

Then something amazing...Jones switches over to his 8 string bass and he starts plunking out the "Nobody's Fault but Mine" riff... once twice... that bass sounds mean. I guess a bass can sound mean, no?! Slightly distorted it could practically double for Jimmy's riffage. Plant has his harp and launches right into his solo just as Jimmy also picks up his Les Paul and they are working out what I believe is going to be a brain-breaking start-stop harp affair that is gonna bring the house down. Amazingly it looks like Jason's calling the shots on this... As I sit there thinking out loud, that it's odd to be working on a number this late in the game, I see what's happening.... the improv, the groove... no no no Jason's saying listen .... tappa tappa tappa, humming out his idea...they catch on to it and never play the whole tune, but like I said, if it's what I got out of it, life is never gonna be the same. At one point Plant kinda just goes off on his own doing a quick blues harp thingy whilt JPJ, Jimmy and Jason talk semantics...

Jones changes up his bass again as Jimmy seems satisfied ... As the others meander off, a tearjerker of a moment. Jason's son with daddy standing behind him is on the kit. He plays out a couple simple patterns and gets a round of applause. Looks like Dad says, go ahead son and that kids laid down some rolls that probably had Bonzo spilling tears in Heaven. I know it touched me as I had to wipe another away. Like father, like son, like son.

As contest winners are being whisked away, a crew guy summons the band and all the crew onto the Stage for a great big group shot....

This is gonna be great. So great that I am hoping that all those cameras on and off stage are not just gonna be for the gargantuan screen backing the entire stage, but something the whole world can someday see.

As with my previous post, the photos are courtesy of Simon W. from the United Kingdom. It looks like there aren't going to be many fan photos from inside the arena, if any at all, as security there is pretty tight and collecting anything resembling personal media. (Update: This proved wrong, and thank goodness!)

As Nech mentioned, however, there are cameras inside, and one report from MTV in Canada claims the entire concert, including all acts, will be captured for a future DVD release. We'll see what comes to fruition.

1 comment:

  1. You people are so lucky! I can feel the energy all the way over here. Clap and yell for ALL of us that couldn't make it over. It is going to be a history-rattling evening. Your blog is some of the best descriptive writing ever. Great job. Kim from Alabama


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