The event, on a freezing evening at London’s O2 Arena, surpassed our expectations, and we’d bet pretty much everyone else’s who was there too!
After short warm up sets by Keith Emerson, Foreigner and Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings (featuring a revolving line up of singers, including Paul Rodgers and Paulo Nutini), Zeppelin opened up with ‘Good Times Bad Times’ from the first album and, once a few feedback issues had been resolved by the soundman, proceeded to demolish their ecstatic audience with a set list that spanned their much celebrated career.
‘Ramble On’ was followed by ‘Black Dog’, with tunes like ‘The Song Remains The Same’ and ‘No Quarter’ given an airing soon afterwards. For ‘Stairway To Heaven’, guitarist Jimmy Page pulled out his famous twin-necked Gibson, and later the crowd were treated to the sight of Page playing the ‘Dazed And Confused’ solo with a violin bow while framed by a pyramid of green laser beams.
Page was in awesome form all night, obviously feeling no pain from his recent fractured finger. He and Plant were clearly enjoying themselves too, never wasting an opportunity to exchange huge grins.
The highlight of the night was ‘Kashmir’, the O2 shaking to its foundations as Page piled through that classic riff. Whether or not they’d ever played that song so well before, it truly was a treat for the fortunate 18,000 people there to be able to hear it live.
The show ended with a run through of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ and, as the name of the band flashed up in huge letters on the big screen behind the stage, no one in the arena was left in any doubt that they’d seen something truly special.