(AFP) – Dec 11, 2007
LONDON (AFP) — Hopes that rock legends Led Zeppelin could stage a full comeback tour were fuelled by the storming success of their supposedly one-off reunion gig this week, fans said Tuesday.
The three surviving members of the iconic band gave a blistering performance at London's O2 Arena on Monday night, ripping through classics from "Stairway to Heaven" and "Whole Lotta Love" to "The Song Remains the Same".
Reviewers were almost unanimous in hailing a five-star show which revived memories of their 1970s heyday, when the British four-piece virtually created the blueprint for the hell-raising rock 'n' roll band.
And fans agreed that singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones -- joined by their late drummer John Bonham's son Jason providing a driving power-backbeat -- should pick up their instruments again.
"If the crowd response didn't convince Robert then nothing will," one fan wrote on the band's official website, referring to the wave of applause from the 20,000 lucky ticket-holders for Monday's gig.
Their long-awaited performance was part of a tribute concert for Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun who died last year, with proceeds going to musical charities.
A full-on comeback would see them join the likes of Genesis, The Police and more recently the Spice Girls, who have all set aside old tensions to take the stage in lucrative global tours.
Even before the concert there had been growing talk of a reunion tour, although industry sources have suggested that the lead singer -- whose solo career has been the most successful of late -- was the most reluctant.
Plant had talked about doing "one last, great show" but both Page and bassist Paul Jones dropped hints in press interviews last week that there could be more.
"I would like to keep this moving," Page told Q's January edition. "After our initial get-together it was so exhilarating and fun that I did feel I would like to do more."
Then on the eve of the concert Plant also seemed to hold open the possibility of doing more, telling a Sunday newspaper: "It wouldn't be such a bad idea to play together from time to time."
"Led Zep owe us a tour. Robert needs to start thinking about all the fans who love them," said another fan on the band's website.
One factor keeping fans' hopes alive was the visible pleasure Page and Plant took in Monday's show: once they had warmed up, the joint frontmen could be seen repeatedly smiling at each other.
There has been much talk of tensions between the two, but there was no sign of it during the concert, which also saw flashes of the call-and-response vocal and guitar interplay between Page and Plant from the old days.
"I hope they do a mini-tour," Deborah Mataya, who travelled from Chicago for the show, told AFP. "It was so worth it. It was fabulous. Robert Plant was awesome," added the 46-year-old.
The band's bassist John Paul Jones indicated last week that a lot would depend on the success or otherwise of Monday's gig.
"I guess the door has been left slightly ajar. We'll have to see how we feel about it afterwards. Everybody's got to really want to do it," he said.
Meanwhile, for those who can't wait for a reunion tour, video clips of Monday night's concert began appearing on the Internet.
In their heyday, bootlegs of Led Zep concerts made big money. But that was before the days of ubiquitous video recorders, many of them included in mobile phones much in evidence among the audience in London.
By Tuesday afternoon at least a couple of reasonable quality videos were posted on the YouTube video-sharing website, including a full-length clip of "Stairway to Heaven."
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