The Epic Reunion: When Led Zeppelin Took the Stage Again
via Old Man Live Music / YouTube
Few moments are as legendary as Led Zeppelin’s historic reunion on December 10, 2007, marking their first full-length concert in almost three decades. This long-awaited performance, later immortalized in the live CD/DVD package “Celebration Day,” unfolded during the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at London’s O2 Arena.
The stakes were sky-high for this event, considering Led Zeppelin’s sporadic reunions in the past were marred by less-than-stellar outcomes.
The disastrous Live Aid set in 1985 and an awkward collaboration at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1995 were etched in fans’ memories. The 2007 gig was seen by many as the potential swan song for the iconic trio of guitarist Jimmy Page, vocalist Robert Plant, and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones.
The request for tickets was instantaneous and astounding: The approximately 20,000 available tickets were distributed via an online lottery system, leading to a staggering one million registrations that ultimately overwhelmed and crashed the event’s website.
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Joined by John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham, on drums, the surviving members embarked on a incredible show through Zeppelin’s diverse catalog.
The setlist ranged from early psychedelic-blues like “Dazed and Confused” to hard-hitting mid-period classics such as “In My Time of Dying” and “Rock and Roll,” to more obscure later-day gems like “For Your Life” and “Nobody’s Fault but Mine.” Though not without hiccups, the highlights, including “Stairway to Heaven” and “Kashmir,” were nothing short of thrilling.
Despite the undeniable chemistry and success of the O2 performance, hopes for a full-blown reunion tour were dashed by Robert Plant’s firm opposition.
Both Page and Jones expressed interest, but Plant’s commitment to other projects remained unwavering.
“So, what do you do in a situation like that? I’d been working with the other two guys for the percentage of the rehearsals at the O2. We were connecting well. The weakness was that none of us sang.”
Post-reunion, each member pursued diverse musical ventures.
Plant released acclaimed solo albums, Page delved into remastering Zeppelin’s catalog, penned an autobiography, and made notable appearances, including the 2008 Olympics. Jones, the most musically active, formed Them Crooked Vultures and engaged in various collaborations.
With each passing year, the prospect of a Zeppelin reunion dims, especially as Plant consistently dismisses the idea. Nevertheless, the memory of that final triumph in 2007 serves as a poignant reminder of the band’s enduring legacy and the magic they could still conjure even after a 30-year hiatus.