hammer of the gods!

so the reviews are in, the setlist has been analyzed (by me below), and the verdict is in – led zeppelin have proved once again why KISS sucks.

but seriously, everyone’s clamoring for a full tour, and i’ve got very mixed feelings about it. i’m old enough to have been awaiting the 1980 tour that never happened, but too young to have seen them play on previous tours. so i’m not gonna pass up the chance to see them, even without bonzo.

but at the same time, i have an admiration for the fact that they’ve managed to resist so far. for the preening rooster he was in their heyday, robert plant turned out to have a lot of class, refusing to play zeppelin numbers on his solo tours for years. and he definitely seems to be the one most resistant to a full-scale tour, though he’s hinted he doesn’t intend this to be their Last Show Ever.

the only good thing about being so torn about a tour, i guess, is that i’ll be good with whatever they decide. especially if/when a dvd of last night’s gig comes out.

anyway, here’s the setlist, first in a plain list, second with comments, just in case you don’t really give a shit. which is okay. really.

‘Good Times Bad Times’
‘Ramble On’
‘Black Dog’
‘In My Time Of Dying’
‘For Your Life’
‘Trampled Under Foot’
‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’
‘No Quarter’
‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’
‘Dazed And Confused’
‘Stairway To Heaven’
‘The Song Remains The Same’
‘Misty Mountain Hop’
‘Kashmir’
‘Whole Lotta Love’
‘Rock And Roll’

overall, a pretty decent setlist. with so many classics, there’s no way a hardcore fan could ever be totally satisfied with a show less than three hours. but besides being denied the acoustic set that had been rumored, my chief complaint is the smackdown on ‘in through the out door’ – i’m not shocked, page isn’t a big fan of it (that’s what he gets for being too smacked up to stop john paul jones from dominating the record), but it’s a disappointment that it gets so dissed so often.

‘Good Times Bad Times’

a bold, two-pronged statement for an opening number. first, it represents the very beginning of their career. second, it set up an opportunity for jason bonham to both evoke his father’s best work (bonzo’s lightning-fast right foot on a single bass drum kit) and prove he was up to the task. obviously haven’t heard it yet myself, but all accounts state he was.

‘Ramble On’

essential tracks are obviously arguable, but while i might not put this on my personal favorites list, it represents much of what zep is about – the dynamics, the ‘lord of the rings’ references.

‘Black Dog’

unavoidable. as a superfanboy, i’d certainly have rather heard ‘in the light’ or ‘four sticks,’ but there’s no denying that this one is huge for the average fan.

‘In My Time Of Dying’

great choice, not just for its place in their canon of work, but because of the legend surrounding the track. according to myth, after being in a car accident which forced the cancellation of the ‘physical graffiti’ tour and created the ‘presence’ sessions, plant disavowed the track, saying it had created some bad mojo.

if this is true, its resurrection means much. at the same time, one could argue its inclusion proves the legend was bs.

‘For Your Life’

this was the track page had teased about a couple of weeks ago when he said they were going to play a track which had never been played live before. makes sense, given that the two previously played the ‘presence’-era ‘coda’ track ‘wearing and tearing.’

‘Trampled Under Foot’

again, when i first saw they played this, i was a little “eh.” the more i thought about it, though, the more convinced i became. i bet it rocked.

‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’

good solid choice. can’t wait to hear it.
‘No Quarter’

one of my very favorite tracks of theirs, in live and studio versions. i’m curious how jones played it, given the evolution of keyboard sounds and technology over the years.

‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’

essential. not unavoidable, but of the fm radio staples, this one’s as good as any.

‘Dazed And Confused’

the bow! nobody knew how far back zep would go in terms of their ’70s excesses, and i’m glad they chose to indulge and acknowledge what they were about at their peak rather than some contemporary (old) rethinking.

‘Stairway To Heaven’

unavoidable. nuff said.
‘The Song Remains The Same’

maybe the boldest choice on the list. then again, page HAD to trot out the doubleneck for ‘stairway,’ might as well use it again.

‘Misty Mountain Hop’

they must love this, because it’s been played in every post-bonham config (reunions, page-plant). good enough, but once again, i’d trade up for ‘down by the seaside’ in a heartbeat.

‘Kashmir’

of the unavoidables, the one i’d most likely agree can’t NOT be played. and i’ve no doubt that if i was watching it live, i’d forget about the 300,000 times i’ve heard it.

‘Whole Lotta Love’

the only good thing i have to say about this unavoidable is their propensity to reinvent it makes me curious to hear what they did with it, particularly as some have commented on jason’s funkiness!

‘Rock And Roll’

okay, not much good to say about this old warhorse. maybe i wouldn’t run out of the exit, but i might position myself to avoid the herd.

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