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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 12:58 GMT
Led Zeppelin return to the stage
It was Led Zeppelin's first full concert in nearly three decades

Led Zeppelin have played their first concert in 19 years, before nearly 20,000 fans at London's 02 arena.

Their set, lasting about two hours, opened with Good Times Bad Times, the first track of their debut album.

Original band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham.

More than one million people had taken part in a ballot for the 9,000 pairs of tickets available for Monday's show.

Plant told the crowd the reunion had meant a lot to the band members.

Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant (left) and Jimmy Page at Live Aid in 1985

They had been through "thousands and thousands of emotions" together during rehearsals, he said.

"We did it, Ahmet," he said after Stairway To Heaven - a reference to Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records founder who died last year and to whom the concert was dedicated.

Monday's show opened with news footage comparing the impact of Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, before a dazzling light show started.

The band then launched into a set featuring both new and old songs, with 59-year-old singer Plant strutting across the stage to the accompaniment of air guitars from the audience.

In two moments redolent of the band in its heyday, Plant left the stage during an epic instrumental, and Page began playing his guitar with a violin bow.

That's probably the one and only time I'll get to see them in the flesh, so tonight is a very special night
Mary Wallace

The set included Dazed and Confused, Black Dog, and after more than an hour, Stairway to Heaven.

After almost two hours, Plant was still bursting with energy as the band closed with Kashmir, before the demand for an encore brought them back to play Whole Lotta Love.

After the performance, fans voiced their approval.

"I couldn't pick out a favourite song," said Terence Baker, 47, from Wimbledon, in south London.

"Every track was brilliant. They still know how to put on a show after all these years."

"Jimmy Page was incredible tonight," added Mary Wallace, 39, from Sunderland.

'Brilliant'

"If anything, I think his guitar playing has got better over the years.

"That's probably the one and only time I'll get to see them in the flesh, so tonight is a very special night."

In an attempt to beat touts, fans had been told they would not get a pass unless they presented not only photo ID, but also the credit card they used to book their tickets and the confirmation code they received at the time.

But that did not stop some eBay sellers claiming to have tickets, with some selling for up to 1,800 each.

BBC Radio 2 listener Kenneth Donnell, from Glasgow, had the most expensive tickets - after paying 83,000 for a pair of passes in an auction for Children In Need.

Fractured finger

Promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who staged Live Aid and Live 8, said the reunion of the band, who have sold an estimated 300 million albums, had probably generated more interest than "any show I've done".

The concert had been postponed from 26 November after Page fractured a finger.

Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, Foreigner and Paolo Nutini - all Ertegun signings - also performed at the concert.


Your comments:

I was 17 when I last saw Led Zeppelin at Earls Court in 1975 and it was poignant for me to take my 17 year old son to the gig last night. As soon as the guys kicked off the last 32 years evaporated and there I was a fat, bald, 49 year old bloke whose dancing looked like he was trying to stamp out a small fire (ref. Danny Baker). There are not enough superlatives to describe last night. Wished I could play guitar like Jim. We were privileged.
Simon Clark, Elsenham, Essex. UK

Absolutely amazing. Plant can't hit the high notes any more, but the rest of it was stunningly good. Jason Bonham's clearly inherited his father's hit-everything-as-loud-as-you-can style of playing, but that's no bad thing. It's just a pity they waited so long.
Nick, London

Was one of the most overated gigs I have ever been to, talk about being past your prime.....
Graeme, Glasgow

They were fantastic - but not as good as the Spice Girls.
Jim South, Dorset

Oh, my dream came true - LedZep alive, onstage and performs great! I'm happy.
Yuri, Kyiv, Ukraine

Wthout doubt the best concert I have ever been to. I have never seen so many people with tears of joy in their eyes. On my epitaph I think I am going to ask for 'I was one of the 21,000'
Ian, Bristol

I saw them at Knebworth in 1979 and rated them 11 out of 10. Last night they were 100 hundred times better. They are peerless. The greatest rock combo in history. I hope they tour.
Simon Meakin, Oxford


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