Get all the action from the legends at the Ahmet Ertegun concert
Led Zeppelin played a storming show at their first UK gig in 19 years at the 02 Arena in London tonight (December 10).
The long-awaited performance was the headline slot at a tribute show for Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, who died earlier this year and was instrumental in building the band’s career in the 1970s.
Frontman Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones were joined by Jason Bonham on drums – son of John, the band’s original drummer who died in 1980 signalling the end of the original band’s 12-year career.
There had been brief reformations before – including Live Aid in 1985 – but tonight was the first full set the group had played since headlining Knebworth in 1979.
An estimated nine million people applied for the 18,000 tickets, and despite the quiet sound there was mass hysteria as the band performed their classics before a crowd including Paul McCartney, Oasis‘ Noel and Liam Gallagher, Pink Floyd‘s David Gilmour, Lulu, Arctic Monkeys, Kate Moss and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.
The 16-song set kicked off at 9pm GMT prompt and included classics such as opener ‘Good Times Bad Times’, ‘Kashmir’, ‘Ramble On’, ‘Black Dog’, ‘Dazed And Confused’, ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and rousing closer ‘Rock And Roll’, during the second of two encores.
There were also a few surprises thrown in – the disco funk of ‘Trampled Under Foot’ from 1975’s ‘Physical Graffiti’ made an appearance, as did ‘For Your Life’ from 1976’s ‘Presence’ – the first time the band have ever performed the track live.
Plant spoke little during the show, but when he did it was mostly to pay tribute to Ertegun, who he said after first encore ‘Whole Lotta Love’ “ran the best label in the world” in Atlantic Records.
After playing classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’ the singer exclaimed: “Ahmet, we did it!”
He also said before ‘For Your Life’: “The past few weeks have been full of a thousand emotions for Ahmet, for bringing Jason (Bonham) in.”
He also individually introduced each other member of the band during the course of the two-hour performance.
The four-piece, dressed almost entirely in black except for Page‘s white shirt, played in front of a massive video screen which featured straight shots of the band at first, but then exploded into psychedelic colours for ‘Kashmir’, the best received song of the evening.
Before that track, Plant declared: “There are people from 50 countries here. This is the 51st.”
Led Zeppelin played:
‘Good Times Bad Times’
‘In My Time Of Dying’
‘For Your Life’
‘Trampled Under Foot’
‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’
‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’
‘Dazed And Confused’
‘Stairway To Heaven’
‘The Song Remains The Same’
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‘Misty Mountain Hop’
‘Whole Lotta Love’
‘Rock And Roll’
Other acts who performed on the evening were Paolo Nutini, former Bad Company and Free frontman Paul Rodgers, and Foreigner frontman Mick Jones, all backed by former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and his band The Rhythm Kings.
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Meanwhile check out our special song by song blog and first review live from inside the concert.
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