Led Zeppelin – O2 (no label)

O2 (no label)

O2 Arena, London, England – December 10th, 2007

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

O2 is the simply named, no label silver DVD release of the Led Zeppelin reunion gig from December 10th, 2007.  In January 2008, when Jimmy Page made his visit to Japan and to the Shinjuku section of Tokyo, many websites carried photographs of him watching this DVD in the store and the proclamation of this being the best version of the footage available.  This is, simply put, a reworking of the Third Eye footage that has gained in popularity and not a brand new source.  Since the Third Eye footage for the first song “Good Times Bad Times” was very jumpy in the excitment, the manufacturers of this title replaced that with alternate footage filmed from the upper left hand of the stage (looks like section 403?).  

Another difference is that the label readjusted the audio to sync just a bit better with the visuals.  A third, very minor point is the use of black bars at the top and bottom of the screen instead of blue which is less distracting to the picture.  One problem they couldn’t correct is the blurring in “Ramble On” from 1:50-2:50 and 3:50-4:00.    Otherwise, it is exactly the same as both the Third Eye release and its recent silver copy One Night Only on Boogie Mama.

Of all the various video that has surfaced for this gig, none other than this captures the excitment and emotion of the performance.  Led Zeppelin’s decision to not broadcast the event is regrettable and, some argue, both an insult to their millions of fans and to the Ahmet Ertegun foundation.  There are some vague talks about an official release, but that will not replace this footage making this essential to own.  Even if an official DVD were to be released, it will be edited and will most probably contain lots of quick cuts based on the mistaken belief that we all have short attention spans and need the MTV style editing.  This footage focuses upon the action on stage with occasional glances at the entirey of the arena and shots from the overhead simulcast and offers the more authentic concert going experience of giving the view the choice of what to look at.  And with repeated viewings more details come out, forcing repeated, compulsive viewings. 

O2 is pressed on silver disc, NTSC region 0 to be compatable with all DVD players.  It has a simple menu where one can chose to either view the entire show or to jump to a particular song with “Black Dog” serving as bumper music.  The introduction outside the arena and the London Tour on Third Eye were not replicated.  This is a barebones release that may have been improved with more extras (like maybe footage of Page visiting Lighthouse), newscasts and interviews.  But the focus is entirely upon the footage from the concert and whether or not this represents a major improvement over Third Eye is entirely in the eye of the beholder and a more detailed description of that release can be found in the excellent review by our correspondent Hager.  It is packaged in a standard plastic keep case with an insert containing the track listing and a panoramic photo of the event on the front cover.  The inside artwork has another picture of the band from the event underneath a photo of the band in similar pose taken from one of the 1975 Earl’s Court show (the song remains the same indeed).  Overall this is a good effort by the label and very enjoyable.      

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