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Customer Review

195 of 211 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star Performance, 2 Star Editing, November 19, 2012
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This review is from: Celebration Day (Audio CD)
I have been a huge fan of Led Zeppelin for as long as I have been a fan of music, and I have been looking forward to the O2 show being released commercially since I watched low quality cell phone videos after the show. It was obvious that the performance was fantastic and the band sounded sensational. When they announced Celebration Day, I pre-ordered on Amazon same day and set aside most of my Monday night to watch the blu ray.

I cranked up my surround sound earlier tonight and popped in the Blu Ray. While Good Times Bad Times sounded great, there was something that wasn't quite right. I soon realized that it was the editing of the video. I knew from reading advance info that they filmed the show with 16 cameras. This should have been a positive, but just because you HAVE 16 cameras doesn't mean you have to continuously use them. The video very rarely stays on the same camera shot for more than 3 seconds. Once I realized that was what was messing up the flow of the show, I actually started counting. I hoped that it was a tempo thing tied to the first song, but it continued for the whole show and was very distracting. It also made it hard to observe the interactions between the band members, which is too bad because everything I read about the show was that they really seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Putting the video portion aside, they sounded incredible. Plant's vocals are at least as good as they were live near the end of Zeppelin (ie - Knebworth show), and far better than at the other one-off reunions in the 80's. On some songs, Plant's somewhat weathered voice actually worked better than his younger vocals. Page sounded great, and it doesn't sound like they did much as far as overdubs in the studio - it is Jimmy's performance, with all the highlights and the occasional warts. JPJ and Jason Bonham were powerful and as tight as if they'd played together for years.

As a fan, it was worth getting the deluxe edition for the video of the rehearsal. The video (shot from a single stationary camera pretty far back) and audio quality is obviously not up to the standard of the O2 show, but some of the performances sounded like they were even better than the O2 versions.

Despite my disappointment in how this performance was presented on video, I would still recommend it to any Zeppelin fan, provided they already owned Led Zeppelin. Zeppelin's performance and the audio CDs are 5 star, but it is mystifying to me that what may be the last performance by this epic band was edited together so poorly, especially since my understanding was that Jimmy and JPJ were heavily involved.
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Showing 1-10 of 54 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 19, 2012 9:25:29 PM PST
ckeaton says:
Your review nails it - and I agree with you on all counts. The editor(s) must have assumed that our attention spans do not extend past two seconds. What a shame. That said, the performances and the sound are very, very good.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 9:30:08 PM PST
soulsurvivor says:
Amen... great live sound. Tasteless editing.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 5:54:39 AM PST
Right on the money, awesome show, crappy editing, the camera is moving so fast at times you can't watch the show and thats the way it is with alot of concerts dvds today thank you

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 7:32:31 AM PST
S. Winston says:
Agree totally with this review but getting two cds and DVD sound quality well worth it for Zeppelin fan. Given that bootlegs and Song Remains the Same are main sources of Zep Live, this is Zeppelin at its best. Plant's voice may not be 100% as 30 years ago but 90% of Plant is still better than most of the crap available today.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 12:09:49 PM PST
earguy says:
I haven't received this yet (see my wishlist, folks!), but I'm guessing that the quick-jump edits are designed to add more excitement (see a Hannah Montana Disney DVD), or to keep you from eying a particular shot/angle and saying, "damn, they're old, they look terrible." It's a fairly common trick.

Posted on Nov 20, 2012 9:58:53 PM PST
Barron Crist says:
For a bunch of old guys (with the exception of Jason Bonham) they sounded pretty darn good but I felt at times it was hard to hear Page's solos on some songs. Also, the distortion when playing his Gibson Les Paul was a bit too much for my taste. Watching the classic live material on "How The West Was Won" I noticed Page's solos sounded much cleaner and with less distortion or so it appeared that way to me.

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 3:43:39 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012 3:44:12 AM PST
dm says:
It's such a shame and a common problem. Frantic editing is a frightful sign of the times. The trailer for the film is off the charts bad. If it was any other band and show, I would skip it. It's practically criminal.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 9:50:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2012 9:52:13 AM PST
bass boy says:
Wow, I'm bummed to hear this about the visual editing of the concert. I, too, hate the "MTV-style" editing of concert videos. Let the camera stay on Jimmy Page for 12 seconds, and then on John Paul Jones' hands running up and down the bass for 12 seconds, etc. Whatever happened to letting the camera stay on the band members for a nice period of time? Prince's "Purple Rain" video, taken from the film of the same name, is almost entirely one camera shot/take, yet it worked. The same care should have been given to the mighty Zep here.

Maybe I'll just get the 2-CD (only) version and be happy with the sound there. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 4:09:34 PM PST
mark welsh says:
I cannot wait!!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 6:59:55 PM PST
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