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Led Zeppelin 2007 "Celebration Day"Concert In Theaters

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Initial post: Oct 9, 2012 2:46:22 PM PDT
Suze says:
In case anyone is a Led Zeppelin fan:

The three surviving members of Led Zeppelin made it clear on a visit to New York City on Tuesday to promote their concert film "Celebration Day" that they have no plans to reunite for another concert, much less for a tour or for a new album.

"Sorry," said John Paul Jones, the bassist, when he was asked what he would say to fans who wanted to see the group play again "in the flesh." Jimmy Page, the band's guitarist and founder, said a reunion "seems unlikely," given the band's members have not worked together since the 2007 concert at London's 02 Arena that is the subject of the new film.

And Robert Plant, the vocalist, batted away another reporter's question about a possible reunion with a joke: "We've been thinking about all sorts of things," he said. He paused for a beat. "Then we can't remember what we've been thinking about."

"Expectations are horrific things," Mr. Plant added later. "To actually do anything at all together is such a kind of incredible weight."

The film will have its premiere tonight in New York at the Ziegfeld Theater. It is a no-frills record of the band's two-hour performance on Dec. 10, 2007, in honor of Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records founder. That camera captures the concert from start to finish, bringing the viewer close to the musicians, with very few shots of the audience and no backstage scenes.

The director, Dick Carruthers, who used more than a dozen cameras to film the concert, chose to stress closeups of the band members in action, giving fans an intimate look at their playing techniques, their nods and nonverbal cues to each other, and their boyish grins when the music came together. The film includes no interviews, nor backstory segments, nor archival footage of the group in the 1970s.

That concert was the first time Mr. Jones, Mr. Page and Mr. Plant had played together since the mid-1980s, and they were joined on drums by Jason Bonham, the son of the drummer John Bonham, whose death in 1980 from alcohol poisoning caused the group to split up. By most accounts, the aging rockers played extremely well, thrilling the crowd with 16 songs from their catalog, among them hits like "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love."

Mr. Jones said he thought the 1976 documentary about the band, "The Song Remains the Same," never captured the subtle communication between band members onstage, nor did it show the skill of their musicianship, as the new film does.

"I'm really happy people can see what went on onstage, because it kind of puts you almost in the middle," Mr. Jones said in a short interview after the press conference. "'Song Remains the Same' was good, but everything was from the distance. It's a great opportunity for people to find out what went on on stage and how we've done this."

Mr. Page said the band members did not go into the concert thinking it would eventually become a movie. "Our main focus was to do the show and do it well," he said. It took years for the members to reach a consensus on producing the film. But in the end, he said, the performance turned out to be better than one in 1988 to mark the 40th anniversary of Atlantic Records, and seemed a fitting "testament" to their careers.

"We just really wanted to get it right and go out and play to people who maybe had never heard us, who had heard about this reputation, what we were about," Mr. Page said. "Basically to go up and stand up and be counted."

The film will be released to movie theaters on Oct. 17, and in December Led Zeppelin is schedued to be honored at the Kennedy Center for their contribution to popular culture.

As things stand now, however, "Celebration Day" may well mark the band's last joint project. All three original members have solo projects in the works and no plans to work together again. Both Mr. Page, 68, and Mr. Jones, 66, expressed misgivings about taking on the rigors of a full-blown Led Zeppelin tour.

"Just sustaining it over a long period of time and meeting expecations would be a tall order I think," Mr. Jones said. "It was such a high standard that particular night."

Mr. Page said he thought the band members could play with the same intensity as they had in the early days, but he acknowledged age was a factor. "Who wants to be on a two-year tour?" he said. Then he added: "That would tire you out just thinking of that."

youtube video embedded. Looks interesting.

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 3:12:25 PM PDT
I think I am going to get that BluRay.

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 9:35:44 AM PDT
vivazappa says:
I think the mighty Zep will pick up a lot of $$$$$$!!!!!!

Posted on Oct 10, 2012 9:45:51 AM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
You know what would be really great? If this ended up being the biggest egg Led Zeppelin ever laid. If the fans just said, "Nope. We want you live in concert but not on a bleeding optical disc." and didn't buy it? If it stuck to the shelf like Chinese Democrasuck when it came out.

I've no dog in this race, black or otherwise. The one song of theirs I like is "Misty Mountain Hop" but the clamor for a reunion tour is so deafening that they're just coming off . . . jerks. Nothing they do separately, no matter how much critical acclaim it generates (Yes, Percy, I'm talking to you, you Catweazle lookalike) is going to come near what they did as a unit.

Yes, Bonzo's dead, but his son is very much alive and beyond competent to play dad's parts, perhaps better even. Do the shows "instant live" so the fans have a CD to remind themselves "Hey, maybe they're right. This reunion was a bad idea." and bow out, full stop. No firing of John and Jimmy via e-mail a la Mike Love, PLEASE.

Posted on Oct 12, 2012 12:04:16 PM PDT
I'm looking forward to seeing the this show at the movie theater next week. Already got tickets for me and the wife.

And, as far the dvd sitting on the shelf as a form of protest by "the fans"...ain't gonna happen. This show will fly off the shelves and be watched by millions of adoring fans that had previously thought The Song Remains the Same movie would be the last great film of a Zeppelin show. Also, even if these guys did decide to tour, it would never be a long full tour to all the corners of the universe, but more likely a very limited 12 to 16 date mini-tour only hitting the largest venues in the biggest towns with plenty of time in between for them to rest :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 12, 2012 7:27:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 12, 2012 7:28:16 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
Oh I know that, Richard, both the actual you mentioned that WILL happen as well as the hypothetical scenario that will NOT happen. Zeppelin fans are one rung below Springsteen's on the devotion scale. I'm sure the band could give two monkeys either way.

I still stand by the fact that nothing they do (and John Paul Jones has had a pretty impressive production career which I factor in) separately does equal or will ever equal what they did as a unit. Yes, Bonzo's gone, but Jason's followed dad's footsteps. "Big Log" versus "Black Dog"? It's more than a bit of a drop-off.

Personally, I'd rather see your namesake reunite with his ex-wife Linda and do an album/tour. Impressive as a guitarist as he is, those solo discs are at half power without THAT VOICE.

Posted on Oct 18, 2012 8:44:41 PM PDT
70zboy says:
I just saw Celebration Day. The performance and the song selection is excellent. 5 stars for this. Many close ups of the band members. Plant sounded great. Page, Jones and Bonham played great.

However, the editing and seldom staying focused on anyone for more than 3 seconds ruined it a bit for me.
What's wrong with focusing on someone or the band as a whole for 10-15 seconds giving the viewer more of a concert experience? Also, a few qestionable edits that if left in would've added to the enjoyment. The first is after Song Remains the Same - Plant then says "Jason's going to sing now". In the actual concert he did sing one line "I Can't Quit You Baby". The film omits this and goes right into Misty Mountain Hop and the viewer is left wondering what Plant meant. The second edit is Plant talking before Kashmir. He mentions "Hammer of the Gods" and there being "people from 50 countries. This is the 51st country". The film omits this and goes right to the music depriving the viewer of a bit of build up to one of their best songs.

Those that don't mind the 3 second switches will love this. It's just not what I like in concert videos.
Music and performance 5 stars. Film editing - 3 stars.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2012 9:40:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 18, 2012 9:43:31 PM PDT
Stalbup, yah, it would be something if the film bombed and this was a bad egg. I wonder if the band went to the studio and recreated the entire concert and overdubbed the sound over the footage of the gig just like they did with the movie The Song Remains the Same. Today seems like everyone thinks that is a great rock movie, but when it came out it was always on the worst 25 rock movies ever made list - and NOT for the dumb dream sequences, but for the dubbed music. What people heard was NOT live madison square garden concert music, but recreated overdubs because the band admitted the concert music was horrible.

Now, all the Zepp lovers will moan that I am just another Zep hater, but I am not. I am a Zep fan. Love the first 3 albums, most of which was stolen, but still their best stuff other than perhaps Physical Graffiti. So, no I am not a Zep hater. I just know the truth and I can live with it.

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 2:24:24 PM PDT
@70zboy, I really enjoyed the Celebration Day concert. Yes, they do jump around alot, but that is just how they film and edit these things. They have to go from the singer, to the drummer, to the guitarist, back to the singer, then the bass player, and on and on with a few full shots of the band on stage. If YOU are lucky, they may include some select songs where you can pick the "camera angle" and just watch one player for an entire track. Rush did that on one of their dvd's. Just three songs, but it's great if you want to watch Neil drum the whole time or watch Geddy play bass.

Celebration Day is so much better than The Song Remains the Same. For one thing, they do many of the same songs, since they have not been writing and producing albums from the mid 70's until now. And, we get modern high-definition video footage and great sound too...5.1 surround! I sure hope the dvd sounds better in my house than it did at the theater. They obviously did Not want to "crank it up" and the low-end was a little lacking. Oh well, it was still really enjoyable to see it on a really big screen :-)

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 2:36:59 PM PDT
B. Perry says:
Saw it Wed night, and agree the camera shots were way too short. Still, it was a magnificent performance given the amount of time that had passed. Seemed the first 2-3 songs were too low on the volume, but once someone in our theatre went to complain, the volume came up to a good level. I understand other theatres had the same experience.

Now would be a good time to pre-order the DVD. The price just dropped.

Celebration Day (Deluxe Edition 2CD + 2 DVD (CD sized digipak)

Posted on Oct 19, 2012 2:56:13 PM PDT
Mod Rocker says:
What a feeling! Won't review the whole thing, but just wanted to chime in on something that struck me... While watching Kashmir, I felt an awesome sense of dread as the back drop graphics started to resemble those famous stone Mayan calendars, but with drops of blood dripping down them ! ! I'm sitting there thinking, " Oh S#$T ! those damn Mayans were RIGHT - and Kashmir is the soundtrack of the APOCALYPSE ! I was engulfed... and frankly, I was wish the film had ended there, instead of 2 more plain "rockers " . . . i was exhausted, spent and satisfied... BRAVO Lads !

Posted on Oct 20, 2012 2:03:43 AM PDT
I just ordered the blu ray deluxe :)

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 12:13:12 PM PST
I can't recall the last time I was actually anticipating the release of an album. The 02 concert was remarkable. I saw this film in the theatre, and yes, the sound inside the theatre sucked. I'm planning on enjoying it at home. Kashmir is just a gift - gift of a time capsule.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 6:01:58 PM PST
onsenkuma says:
Well, I just watched the blu-ray and listened in DTS 5.1 surround. I usually loathe band reunions with a rare passion, but this was a one-off and had a decent reason for being (the band paying tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records). All I can say is that these guys were in spectacular form for this concert; played a killer set list (ok it would have been great had they included a few other gems like Achilles Last Stand, but hey); and reminded me just why, when I heard each of those first four albums as they came out, I was so absolutely blown away by this band. If you were in the audience that night then you were one lucky dog my friend! What a great show. Ahhh, that's two thumbs up then! Cheers, all...
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  14
Initial post:  Oct 9, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 21, 2012

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