So as I was one of the hundred billion die hard zep fans who didn't get a ticket for the show in 2007 I was really rather excited when I heard that the concert was being released especially as it was on my birthday. I even broke with tradition and bought an actual cd rather than downloading it.
How crushingly disappointed can one man be - its bloody awful. Page may as well be playing a completely different set. I've never really rated him as a live guitarist - amazing in the studio, but defiantly patchy live.
The first few tracks sound terrible and you can barely hear John Paul Jones - an essential part of the led zep live sound was his interaction with Bonham. It's all tuned down I guess as Percy can't hit the notes anymore and that just makes it sound even more muddled. Jason Bonham does an admirable job but his dads shoes are a big pair to fill and he's left wanting unfortunately (again the mix does him no favours) and all the interviews I read with him where he was rehearsing how his dad did this and did that so he could match it - bollocks - not a triplet in sight - the backbone of John Bonhams style .
Kashmir is the only track where I went "yeah that's them" the rest sounds like a bad tribute act. The low point if which is page - simply awful. And he must use a Vox time machine delay like mine as there is the same high pitch whine running through the whole set like I get.
You want led zep live, go buy The Song Remains The Same - it's how they should sound
I love Zep. I even won a code for this gig in the ballot.
But then I thought back to the Page & Plant Unledded tour (I saw them in Glasgow) and remembered how patchy Percy was sounding back then and could only assume he'd be rougher nowadays.
I thought Jimmy was good at the earlier gig but newer footage was a disappointment. And he looks like Mr Miyage now!
So I didn't go. Clips from this dvd that I've seen have underwhelmed. It was probably fantastic atmosphere on the night but that doesn't mean it works at home.
We have become accustomed to hearing live albums sound better than they were played, stuff live Live & Dangerous, Kiss Live etc because a lot of stuff gets replayed in the studio. But too many people video'ed that Zep gig for them to get away with it
It does indeed take then about 4 or 5 songs to get into it, but they really click on "Trampled Under Foot".
"No Quarter" is another highlight...so the JPJ lead tracks really.
I've been watching the DVD at home and listening to the CDs in my car each day since Sunday and I'm really getting it now. Yes Page seems well past his prime (of course), there's a howler of a bumb note at the start of "Since I've Been Loving You" and his "Stairway" solo is pub cover standard...but still in a warts'n'all way I'm glad they finally released it.
Plants voice has a richness to it he didn't have in his 20s/30s, of course he can't sing like he did then, but on Stairway in particular his vocals sound great.
It was never going to sound like they did in the 70s, they're old men now, and despite some flaws in the performance it's a worthy document of what was a very special one off event.