Led Zeppelin's legendary manager, Peter Grant, waged open warfare against bootleggers and struck fear into many a heart. He's been dead for over a decade now, but I still check the doors whenever I play this double CD bootleg.
This recording of the entire Led Zep concert performance, from Block 421 at the O2 Arena, puts you right there in the audience, complete with a couple of prats chatting away annoyingly during a few songs, including the quiet opening bits of Stairway to Heaven. Like, oh yeah, it's just Led Zeppelin....we can hear them play again in another 30 years!
The first two songs, "Good Times, Bad Times and "Ramble On" sound perhaps a bit shaky, with Robert Plant testing his voice to see if he can still operate in Rock God mode. He can, but the really high notes are as gone as the colour in Jimmy Page's hair. That's life.......and they still sound bloody great!
What follows is a tight-as concert performance by three and a half of rock's biggest swinging dicks....young Jason Bonham, not yet fully qualifying, is totally on top of his role, hammering the kit just as crisply as Bonzo used to. Big underpants to fill but he's well on the way to being the full lunchbox.
The tempo of most songs is a little slower than we're used to but that's not to their detriment. In fact, it seems to emphasise their inherent power and beauty. The pitch is tuned down a little too, no doubt to fit Plant's present day vocal range.
This recording is the next best thing to being there. Peter Grant would hate it