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Doubt takes the space of a moment. The hesitation disappears in the blink of an eye. The judgment is suspended just in time to an agreement on electric guitar. The first few bars of "Good times bad times" (the first track on the first album: an unexpected choice but symbolic, non-random) immediately dissolve the reserve: 10 December 2007, at the O2 Arena in London, Led Zeppelin have seriously (and then disappear again.) The first reaction listening to "Celebration Day" and the vision of the film documenting the historic and perhaps unrepeatable evening, is a smug smile, reassured and satisfied. The same as images on the faces of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham's son, Jason, have rekindled when amplifiers and microphones in the rehearsal room of Shepperton Studios and realized that this time the Airship would fly high over London, without the risk of curl in on itself as had happened in the airspace of Philadelphia and New York, the fortieth anniversary of Live Aid and Atlantic.
Was a question mark for all, not so much a calculated risk. And it went well, very well, beyond all expectation. The secret formula of the Zeppelin, the most envied and imitated than the Coca-Cola, played by magic when no one - perhaps not even them - believe it anymore. They wanted to remember because it had earned a reputation as the best live band of all time, as in the heroic times had conquered the West: they succeeded turning the fuse of a bomb sound that contradicts logic and arithmetic, three instruments and a voice, giving a firepower almost inconceivable, reconstructing the "cathedrals of lights and shadows" that are the hallmark of the musical writing of Page, architect and magician of sound dynamics.
He was the biggest unknown for this reunion. The mysterious object silent for years, apparently dehydrated inspiration. He no longer has the same fluidity of touch, perhaps, but feel like holding a straight bar reciting the monumental riff of "Black Dog" and "For Your Life" (a first on stage for the song taken from "Presence" ). Or as they are still able to squeeze tears, mellow sweetness and sensual moans from his Gibson in "Since I've been loving you". A soloist still formidable, a rhythm guitarist evil. Plant, in the midst of a second (or third) and rejuvenate with voice output who knows still be powerful, has the foresight to lower the pitch; aware of not being able to recapture the sharp and vibrant squassanti of his youth, when compensates served with phrasing, nuance, the craft, the right timing. And if the front men are doing their part, the real heroes of the evening, perhaps, are the men of the second row Bonham Jr., been run for years on stages around the world, has committed to memory patterns dad Bonzo, amplifying with agility and virtuosity children these days devoted to the technique. And Jones, who knows how to be with the low anchor at the same time rhythmic and melodic shore ("Ramble On", a classic almost never proposed live) rightly takes the limelight in the steamroller funk of "Trampled underfoot," Stevie Wonder James Brown and Robert Johnson at the crossroads that intersect (this is the version of Led Zeppelin's "Terraplane Blues," says Plant introducing it) and spectral livid atmosphere of "No Quarter." Absolutely perfect, the latter, and one of the peaks of a show repeated with very few adjustments in post-production (some imperfection is obvious) along with blues and expanded supersonic "In my time of dying" and "Nobody's fault but mine," Blind Willie Johnson launched into orbit between screeching wailing slide, harmonica puffing hammer blows on the snare drum.
The granite set (no acoustic guitars and mandolins, this time. Nothing English folk or sweet dreams of California) in the second part doth almost all crowd pleaser, the pieces most loved by the public. A "Kashmir" impressive, greeted by a roar, and a liberating / celebratory "Rock and roll", while Page spewed out by the bow ("Dazed and confused", eleven minutes and forty seconds of psycho-rock d 'other times), the theremin ("Whole Lotta Love", riff riff) and the double neck guitar and Plant wearing the old clothes of the "back door man" lowering without worries - despite its repeated embarrassment - in the role medieval bard's "Stairway to Heaven", inevitable and as always unattainable. "Ahmet, we did it!" Exclaims vocalist on completion of addressing the spirit of Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary founder of Atlantic Records. They did it for real. Mission accomplished, and perhaps this is really the best possible happy ending of the story. What would be the answer?
"Good times bad times"
"In my time of dying"
"For your life"
"Nobody's fault but mine"
"Since I've been loving you"
"Dazed and cofused"
"Stairway to heaven"
"The song remains the same"
"Misty Mountain Hop"
"Whole Lotta Love"
"Rock and roll"
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