Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day (2012)

Zeppelin is thankfully not a band that has spent many years announcing their retirement only to return a few years later for a revival tour. When they perform it’s a special occasion, because they rarely ever get together to jam. When they’re together, they make magic, and you know it may never happen again. Since the death of John Bonham, the surviving members of Zeppelin have spent years hesitant to try to re-capture the magic that was Led Zeppelin, so they don’t make it a habit of re-uniting and continuing on. In 2007, the band came together to perform at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert for a rare line up of some of their greatest and most rocking tunes ever recorded, and took it upon themselves to make it available to fans.

While many critics bash “The Song Remains the Same” for being pretentious and utterly surreal, I tend to consider it an entertaining concert of the band at their top form. With “Celebration Day” it’s the band still showing that they have it, and they avoid any and all segments about knights and mobsters. It’s simply the threesome and Jason Bonham rocking hard for an audience of die hard fans. The concert opens with a news broadcast chronicling the band’s rise to stardom and their all too familiar sound of sold out crowds in attendance at past concerts. This is to confirm “Zeppelin performing is a big fucking deal, folks.” It definitely gave me chills, and I was more than ready to rock with my favorite band. Jason Bonham keeps up with the Zeppelin trio wonderfully, and really does keep the flavor of their oldies fresh and fantastic. Plant is at his all time best, never quite confining himself to the lyrics of the band’s playlist and going off on the rails vocally, which always adds an element of surprise to their performances.

The band is very generous to supply their fans with their more catchy tunes that encompass their blues material and their rock material. While there are wonderful versions of “Since I’ve Been Loving You,” and “Black Dog,” there’s also their rocking ditties like “Rock and Roll,” and “The Song Remains The Same.” They even grace the audience with “Stairway to Heaven,” a song Plant and co. have professed to hating on numerous occasions. There’s never a guarantee we’ll ever see a Zeppelin performance with the whole surviving band mates ever again, so for a two hour reunion and taste of what they used to be, “Celebration Day” is a fantastic last hurrah for the greatest rock band in music history. This is the final go around for the greatest rock band in history, and it’s nice to see them at their top when they can still rock better than most modern bands. With a great play list, and a wonderful nod to fans, “Celebration Day” is suited for any and all rock fans.