Available in a variety of varyingly priced packages, Celebration Day is an opportunity to witness the power and the glory of Led Zeppelin, quite possibly for the last time, and they certainly don’t disappoint. “There are certain songs that have to be played,” Robert Plant admits here, before a shrieking ride through one of the best back catalogues in rock.
There’s a scorched-earth take on “Dazed and Confused,” then the band harnesses its considerable energy on “Ramble On,” “Black Dog” and “Rock and Roll.” By the time they get to “Whole Lotta Love” you could swim home on the testosterone.
But there was always more to Led Zeppelin than amps that went up to 11. You think you’d groan, but “Stairway to Heaven” is curiously affecting (“Hey Ahmet,” grins Plant afterwards, “we did it”), while “Kashmir” has the relentless drive and authority of an invading army.
Following their split, Led Zeppelin have always been protective of their legacy. Celebration Day is a fitting addition to their history. Experienced in conjunction with Barney Hoskyns’ eye-opening new biography, Trampled Under Foot, this is a powerful reminder of just what made Zeppelin fly. — BBC