Led Zeppelin Roars Back

by Sean Hackbarth

The music gods have blessed the little hunk of rock by allowing Led Zeppelin to not only reunite on stage but play up a storm:

You might think it couldn’t possibly live up to expectations, but, it transpires, the opposite is in fact true of Led Zeppelin’s first public appearance in 17 years.

They seem buoyed by the deafening roars that greet their every twitch tonight – everyone present in the O2 Arena is willing their performance to the realms of greatness. It’s almost impossible to be subjective, to not be sucked in.

It takes Robert Plant three songs before he offers a cursory “good evening”. By that time they’ve alreay blasted through an incendiary ‘Good Times Bad Times’, a dramatic ‘Ramble On’ and the stop/start rhythms of ‘Black Dog’. He needn’t say anything.

Next they launch into ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ and Zep are smiling at each other, only occupying about six square feet of the enormous stage. You wouldn’t believe this is a band who haven’t played together for so long.

They do ‘No Quarter and they’re locked in as tight as if it were the 1970s. Only the close ups on the screen at the back give away their advanced years.

Next they launch into a version of ‘Dazed And Confused’ that seems to last forever – but every last second is enthralling.

Here’s the set list:

Good Times Bad Times / Ramble On / Black Dog / In My Time Of Dying / Your Life / Trampled Under Foot / 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

“Your Life” isn’t on my iPod, and I can’t recall it off-hand. To Zeppelin fanboys and girls, I’m sorry.

Here’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Overplayed? Maybe, but it’s the reason I became a Zeppelin fan. Without “Stairway” I would have never appreciated “Kashmir.”

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