9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A treat for REAL fans.,
This review is from: Celebration Day [2CD+PAL DVD+Blu-ray--CD Case] [EU-only] (Audio CD)
I was dubious about the release of celebration day. Back when the gig happened there was a steady trickle of dodgy mobile phone footage with bad audio and watching those clips the gig seemed massively over-hyped. I was also horrified by the down tuning of some songs as it sounded pretty awful on the unauthorised gig footage and audio. Robert Plant was busy being Robert Plant, rather than the singer in Led Zeppelin. I had written the whole thing off in my head as a bit of a mess, but nice that they gave it a try.
So along comes the full Celebration Day release. I had wondered if the reason it had taken so long was that Jimmy Page was up to his old tricks and busy splicing in newly recorded bits to cover up the obvious mistakes, but it seems we have the gig in more-or-less it's entirety and I have to say it is GLORIOUS to see and hear it in full high quality sound, and HD picture.
The down tuned songs take on a whole new life now. You can see the band just reveling in the situation and loving every minute. Sure there are parts, like with Dazed and Confused, where the whole song is barely saved from collapsing into a total shambles, but that was always a feature of Led Zeppelin live and particularly Jimmy Page's playing styles. He leads the band from the front, literally wringing notes out of his guitar that shouldn't even be there and playing with his trade mark quirky timing. It's this playing on a knife-edge and this pushing of the limits which made Led Zeppelin such a great live band.
People who have only listened to the studio recordings may not get it. People who have seen DVD and TSRTS may not get it. In their world every Led Zeppelin performance was a perfectly crafted masterpiece. This is not how the band sounded day-to-day. If you don't beleive me, go and find some bootlegs, particularly stuff from the later 70s and you will find the same quirky band on display in Celebration day. It's in this sense that it's like the band never left, and it's the way they play with such ferocity and wild abandon that makes the whole thing such an intense and enjoyable experience. As the viewer\listener, you are rooting for them and willing them onward. It also should be noted that it was very brave for the band to release a (more or less) warts and all recording, rather than try to polish it up too much.
Let's get a few things straight. People expecting every song to be perfect will be disappointed. It's a live gig and the chips fall where they may. People expecting John Bonham will be disappointed. He's dead. Although his son makes a brave effort to fill his shoes. People expecting Robert Plant of old will be disappointed. The boy grew up, and he is not that bothered about trying to make himself sound like a 20 year old. People expecting Jimmy Page to play like he did in the studio will be disappointed. Jimmy plays like he always did live and it is captured in it's full glory here. People expecting the John Paul Jones of old..., well he seems to have not aged a day really.
The overall feeling I get from watching this is that the reports from the gig weren't over hyped. I can only imagine what it was like to be there, but to be able to bask in the HD goodness of this film is a massive treat.