Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sixth report from fans in London

Mark from the U.K. provides the following insight:

It must be said that Jason Bonham is easily as good a drummer as his father. I've had the pleasure of seeing Zeppelin in their pomp and in their prime in the '70s, and Bonham Senior was perfection for a rock drummer. Power, passion and precision. Bonham Junior has all his father's attributes, talents and strength. He was 10 out of 10 all night... except for the difficult drum intro to the encore of "Rock 'n' Roll". Here he was only out 8 of 10... but that's me being r-e-a-l-l-y picky, I must confess.

Working for the past 30 years for one of the long-established big city radio stations in the UK, I've been very priviledged to attend some awesome gigs over the decades; last night at London's O2 Arena topped the lot. I was sat (in the VIP section, naturally!) directly behind Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour, who stayed to the very end and was discreetly singly along, as was Lulu, Bob Geldof (and daughters), Genesis' Tony Banks, Formula 1 Team Boss Eddie Jordan, top model (and surprisingly tall bird!) Naomi Campbell, amongst many others.

After the first two songs, the (unintended) feedback virtually all but disappeared; the sound cleared and the band soared. A very loud and a very clean sound (eventually); what more could one ask for at a Zeppelin gig?

The After Show party was attended by all the above -and more- notables and the musical entertainment was supplied by former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings; featuring the brilliant Albert Lee on (a lovely green, vintage) Fender Strat., keyboard legend Chris Stainton, and Roger Waters' / David Gilmour's live drummer Graham Broad amongst many others.

Set list for Led Zeppelin at London's O2 Arena, Monday 10/12/07... or for Americans (!) 12/10/07.

'Good Times, Bad Times'
Intro'd with a clip from 'The Song Remains The Same' with an old American news clip showing how they had broken The Beatles' attendance record for their gig in Tampa, Florida.

'Ramble On'
'Ramble On' was very slow and bluesy, with great electric guitar chops from Jimmy Page.

'Black Dog'
Page looking good wearing his cool rock star shades, but spoiled by a poor (not quite-yet-balanced) sound.
Everybody replied to Plant's "ah-ah" lines.

'In My Time Of Dying'
Page on bottleneck. Plant spoke for the first time before starting the song, with his
traditional 'Good evening'.

'For Your Life'
The song's live debut.

'Trampled Under Foot'
Before starting Plant told the crowd it was nicked from Robert Johnson's 'Terraplane Blues'.

'Nobody's Fault But Mine'
Fantastic use of the huge screen behind the stage.

'No Quarter'
Following the song Plant paid tribute to John Paul Jones, who played fantastic keyboards throughout the track... plus a ton of dry ice too.

'Since I've Been Loving You'
An epic version... very bluesy.

'Dazed And Confused'
A ten minute-plus version of this live classic. At the end of it of the song Plant told the audience 'On guitar Jimmy Page, just as on 'The Song Remains The Same' DVD.

'Stairway To Heaven'
The whole audience went absolutely wild from the very first note. Afterwards Plant said "Hey Ahmet, we did it!

'The Song Remains The Same'
A good and faithful-to-the-album version of the classic. The sound was poor on this track for some reason.

'Misty Mountain Hop'
Plant kicked this one off by praising drummer Jason Bonham, and mentioned that both his mother and father were both great singers. Jason tried -albeit very briefly- to emulate their vocal talents. 7 out of 10 for his efforts!

Another epic, ten minute-plus gem. Plant said on the intro: 'We've got people from 50 countries here and this is the 51st'. Following 'Kashmir', they left the stage to thunderous applause... but will we get a rare encore?
You bet! It was...

'Whole Lotta Love'
A great extended theramin-drenched rendition; They again left the stage with an emotional Plant saying: 'Thanks to everybody. Thanks Ahmet Ertegun, this one for is Ahmet Ertegun as we can remember the days when Atlantic Records was the best label on the planet!'

'Rock And Roll'
They couldn't leave out this live classic. And what a way to end an historic show!

Rumours abound within Zeppelin circles that they'll be doing "eight major cities aroud the globe next summer, with five nights in each". Watch this space!

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