After experiencing the first 15 minutes of the epic Led Zeppelin concert film, ‘Celebration Day,’ the question fans can’t help but ask is why won’t the band reunite for a tour?
The three surviving members of the legendary act, vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones and late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason Bonham, were that extraordinary when a band played under the Led Zeppelin moniker for the first time in 27 years for a one-off show in London’s O2 Arena in December of 2007.
The reviews were primarily raves and after checking out the film, it’s evident why critics are over the moon for ‘Celebration Day.’
It took six weeks of rehearsals to prepare for the benefit concert, which celebrated the life of iconic Atlantic Records CEO Ahmet Ertegun, who passed away in 2006.
Director Dick Carruthers took a page out of Jonathan Demme’s book when he captured the Talking Heads for ‘Stop Making Sense.’ Ignore the audience, avoid interviews and other distractions. Point the camera at the band and let the magic happen.
Page remains an axe wizard as he brought much of the thunder during the 16-song set. Plant picks and chooses when to reach back for that familiar clarion call, which he does so effectively during ‘Kashmir.’ The underheralded Jones adds jazzy touches and drives ‘Trampled Under Foot’ with his soulful keyboard play. And then there is Jason Bonham, who proves that nepotism isn’t the reason he was selected. Bonzo Jr. provides the hammer, just like his dear old dad.
Unlike many reunions, it was evident that Page, Plant and Jones were having a blast. Their easy smiles, laughter and warm glances while they reconnected were a welcome alternative to the palpable chill between members of the Police during their reunion show and the near contemptuous stares between Simon and Garfunkel during their reunion shows last decade.
‘Celebration Day’ certainly beats the 1976 concert film ‘The Song Remains The Same,’ which drifts aimlessly at times.
There is only one chance to catch ‘Celebration Day’ on screen before it hits the DVD racks November 19. The film will reach theaters Wednesday (today) and that’s it. Talk about a limited run. It may very well be the last time the group shares a stage. The members of the band gave that impression during a press conference in New York last week.
It’s shocking anyone not named Dave Chappelle would leave so much money on the table in this avaricious age. Do you think there would be demand for Led Zeppelin tickets? 20 million fans applied for ducats for the London show. Only 18,000 landed tickets.
Fans who wonder if the band will ever perform again should play the classic Zeppelin track, ‘What Is And What Should Never Be.’