Sí, desde hace ya semanas que se sabe que algunas de las ediciones de este Celebration Day contienen un Bonus DVD ,y hasta la fecha pocos detalles se sabían del contenido del mismo, pero desde hace unas horas, como no podía ser de otro modo, Dave Lewis, uno de los grandes totems relacionados con el grupo, ha desvelado, en su magnifica Tightbutloose, todos los secretos que se esconden detrás de ese Bonus DVD:
CELEBRATION DAY BONUS DVD REVIEW:
Here’s my thoughts on the Celebration Day bonus DVD. If you want to wait for find what’s in store then as they say on the sports news results programmes …you need to look away now…
The Thursday December 6th 2007 Rehearsal Footage:
Here we go again….where to start? What can I tell you?
It’s another joy …
The rehearsal footage is the full dress rehearsal as shot by Dick Carruthers one DV camera around by the mixing desk. It’s worth noting of course that it was never intended for commercial use.
Given the close proximity of the filming of the actual show this comes as a bit of a shock initially as the stage set up comes in to play. The action is shot from about 30 or 40 metres back by the mixing desk and there are obviously no pan- ins or close ups etc.
This is the rehearsal shot by Ross Halfin who can be seen in front of the stage throughout (and on stage). Jimmy in back sweat shirt, Jonesy in plain t shirt Robert hair side parted, with brown shirt worn outside brownish jeans and then changing into a t shirt. Jason with shades and glasses. A contrast from the slick look of the show. No symbol on Jimmy’s amp at this point.
We also see the full lighting rig and back drop visuals with various camera co- ordinating the various effects. The whole film has a bootleg quietly about it but in a very good way. (Incidentally this is the same rehearsal that surfaced on a series of bootleg CD’s last year). In fact with various shadowy figures passing across the screen, it’s reminiscent at times of one of those pirate movies shot in the actual cinema that were popular on the bootleg market a while back.
But don’t be put off by that – all this only adds to the atmosphere – as rather than providing a front row seat and ‘you are there’ on stage presence as the film does, this behind the scenes record filmed four days before the biggest reunion concert of all time, offers a fascinating insight into the state of play between the four musicians.
That state of play was one of supreme confidence as time after time they just nail every performance completely. As Jimmy says in the sleeve notes ‘’We were ready…’’
Once you become accustomed to the long rage view of proceedings, the advantages are more than evident. The impact of the big screen visuals accompanying each song is an absolute revelation –the wide angle view really brings to life how well they used the screen: the striking white line effects of Four Your Life, the disco lighting of Trampled Underfoot, the split screen effect in Nobody’s Fault But Mine, the lighting rig descending down for No Quarter, the striking visuals during Kashmir, the lasers in Whole Lotta Love the vintage clips showing during Rock And Roll. The sheer scale of the screen can be clearly appreciated.
Another revelation. It’s an absolute joy to have the whole band in focus throughout. This for me only emphasises Robert Plant’s total mastery of the stage and his application to be the lead singer of Led Zeppelin again – at least for a few days. He is all over the stage, preening, spinning and posing as only he can. It looks totally authentic and totally brilliant.
It reminded me of some of that glorious 1977 cine footage –New York springs to mind. He just looks so on it and this widescreen view only adds to focus to his performance. That is not to say that Jimmy is not animated because of course he is – and loving every second of recreating his monster. Jason plays his heart out as he did on the night and Jonesy is well, just Jonesy, supercool and super-efficient in the JPJ way.
So while this rehearsal footage does not mirror the close up chemistry as captured in the film, it does offer a different take on the synergy of their performance as a collective group of musicians.
Like the 02 show itself, they often cluster together in typical Zeppelin harmony. Something else that is evident is the way Robert often steps to the side admiring the musicality of it all – a testament to that quote in Mojo where he stated ”That’s the whole thing about Led Zep – there were fantastic musical interlude where I had no part to play”
The Shepperton rehearsal environment also finds them in a playful mood – yes there was a job to be done and boy they knew it but watching it unfold you sense that air of camaraderie they had built up with the entire technical crew over weeks of intensive work together. This is plainly evident in the spontaneous round of applause that echoes throughout the hangerlike surroundings when they finish Rock And Roll. In fact witnessing all this unfold must have been incredibly thrilling because you really are watching Led Zeppelin reclaim their status as the greatest band of all time in a unique setting.
I do not want to give too much away and don’t read this if you want to wait and view it yourself…but here’s a few notes I logged soaking up the performances:
Opening sequence – tremendous initial shot of the soundstage and screen set up – lights go down – Tampa film plays
Good Times Bad Times – Jason clear on backing vocals, Page in tailcoat and shades as at the 02, Pant also initially wearing shades.
Ramble On – Plant totally in character, Page solo spot on and that moment they come out of the chorus the solo is sustained awaiting the applause that would follow four days later…
Back Dog: Plant weaving in and out of the chorus and moving stage left and stage right in between the solos – dancing away ala Earls Court/77. Minor response from a tech guy when the ‘’Ah ah” sequences kick in. Jason and Jonesy locking in all the way here.
A ‘’Good evening’’ from Plant
In My Time of Dying. Coat off , ES350 on – far off view highlights the compelling interplay between Jimmy and Robert.
For Your Life – dare I say this seems even more impressive than the 02 version. Plant so animated within the lyrics adding various ad libs (‘’You know what you do baby’’) and impressively elongating the final lines.
Folks, For Your Life as captured in rehearsal at Shepperton Studios is simply one of the great Led Zeppelin performances anywhere anytime….
‘Let’s get a little sprightly ‘’says Plant
Trampled Underfoot – Jimmy leans back on the solo and just squeals it out –you know the rest.
Robert playfully swings the mic over his shoulder a tactic I seem to remember he used with Page Plant ‘98 touring era. There’s a magnificent image at the close where Robert raises the mic above his head turning to the drum rise ala those Neal Preston Knebworth shots.
Nobody’s Fault But Mine – a brilliantly playful performance Page’s guitar pleasingly echoing within Robert’s vocal nuances of the title lines (‘’Nah nah nah nah nah nobody’s fault..’). The split screen captures the harmonica-guitar duel most effectively. So much energy coming off the soundstage here.
No Quarter – lighting rig lowering down, Plant sat on drum riser…switches to wearing a t shirt. Jonesy exquisite and Jimmy’s solo. Jason on tympani. Plant with tambourine briefly.
Since I’ve Been Loving You – back drop captures Page silhouetted playing the intro ….lovely echoed guitar sound – Robert crouches as he watches Jimmy’s solo and then they cluster together for the finale. Stunning.
Plant: ‘’Are we recording this Mick?’’
‘’Good…I don’t think we’ve played it that well since 1910’’
Dazed And Confused – vivid green lighting effect…Ross moves in on Jimmy for the violin bow episode…great overview of the laser pyramid…slight feedback… triple screen images on the ending.
Stairway To Heaven….very dignified intro – great Plant with tambourine shots – he totally misses the cue for the final verses…
Some banter between Robert and Jason afterwards.
The Song Remains The Same –great images of the double neck – Robert mic off and strutting for the closing verses – totally into it.
Misty Mountain Hop – captures the psychedelic backdrop really well –Robert steps up on the drum riser at the beginning –Jason on vocals…lots of fun being had here.
Kashmir – Robert to the left of the stage –heavy concentrated delivery not quite as majestic as the 02 (as if anything could be). Robert looks up as he get to the ‘’time and space’’ line. Yallah like vocal effects … Jimmy spot on and then the finale – brilliant views of the circular backdrop and then the emergence of the Objects…..Plant again so animated as we get to the ”Let me take you there” parts –kicking the mic stand down.
Spontaneous applause at the end.
Whole Lotta Love – flashing lighting effects –impressive lasers. Plant : ‘’It’s what I want, it’s what I need’’…Theremin wheeled on! Robert classic foot on monitor pose for the ‘’Looove’’ refrain. Smiling Jimmy at the close. Then some banter from Jason.
Rock And Roll – Great to see the vintage film on the back drop. Powerful Plant vocal and ‘’Suck it, suck it, go- go- go’’ into the solo…duck walk from Jimmy, Robert falls over a monitor and recovers quickly! ..Ross on stage to get the in front of drum riser shots. A final cluster around Jason…Led Zeppelin sign ignites….applause from the mixing desk….
Robert: ‘’House lights up please’’
Summary: This is more than just a DVD extra destined to be watched once – I’ve already clocked For Your Life four times in the last hour. You have to say hats off to them for offering fans this enlightening insight into the process that led up to that night of nights.
It adds yet more enjoyment to the whole unique Celebration Day experience for us all.
Four days later as Robert states in the sleeve notes, it was ‘’House lights down –no place to hide’’
On the evidence of this remarkable Shepperton rehearsal – there was no absolutely no hiding place required.