Album review: Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day

Does this recording of the legendary gig from the legendary ‘70s rock gods achieve similar status?

Some five years, almost to the day, since this legendary gig was recorded at the cavernous O2 in front of 18,000 fans, mere mortals finally get the chance to hear – and see – Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham Jr in full-blooded, full-resolution glory.

Considering this is the band’s first headline show in 27 years, it’s little short of remarkable.

Plant’s lion roar is a notch or two less savage than in Zep’s heyday, but is still searingly expressive and impressive, while Bonham’s drums thump a reassuring metronome and Page’s nifty, stinging guitar workouts remain super-sharp.

The music’s pomp and power still bristles in this stirring revival. In My Time Of Dying is incendiary, while gleefully urgent drums clamp shut the swirling breakdown in Whole Lotta Love, one of the concert’s highlights alongside Kashmir, Black Dog and a stomping For Your Life.

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Celebration Day is a gutsy, grinding, groovy greatest hits set, the DVD footage is choppily cut and in-their-faces enough for any fans’ scrutiny. Top class.

5 stars

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