Led Zeppelin Celebration Day premiere at the Hammersmith Apollo
Arguably the most famous hard rock outfit in the world, Led Zeppelin are set to release their film Celebration Day worldwide on 17th October. We anticipate great success for the film that captures the band’s legendary performance at London’s O2 Arena in December 2007. This movie might be the last chance for the world to see Led Zeppelin communicating through their music; in numerous press conferences the band have confirmed there will not be a reunion. The film features a two-hour, 16-song set by surviving members of the band: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones, as well as Jason Bonham, the son of the late John Bonham, who fills in for his father on the drums.
There were 18,000 lucky lottery winners able to attend the historic show – 20 million applied. This movie now gives fans the chance to see what they missed out on, and to see it from an honest perspective. Led Zeppelin made the right decision not to dramatically alter or tamper with the film, sound mix or the actual concert feel of the set list. A few who attended the actual concert have confirmed that Celebration Day is an accurate account of what could have been Led Zeppelin’s last ever performance. The audience can expect to be drawn into the movie as though it was a live show; it promises to be a unique visual and audio experience.
The icons themselves graced the red carpet last night (albeit fashionably late, in true rock star style!) at London’s Hammersmith Apollo to honour the film. Fans waited for hours in the cold to get a glimpse of the rock legends. Stretched hummers followed by countless Mercedes rolled up to the red carpet. Page finally emerged after what felt like an eternity; he was in good spirits, and had a short, hushed conversation with a few members of the press, but ignored much of the attention and most of the questions thrown at him.
Robert Plant and John Paul Jones appeared five minutes later. The old-timers kept it painfully cool; smiling and waving, Plant acknowledged his fans with nods. Page and Jones sauntered down the red carpet without too much interaction with the public, possibly because the movie had already begun inside.
Previously, there had been a lot of excitement surrounding the release of Celebration Day – rumours that Led Zeppelin might tour, or perhaps the release of the film might be the beginning of something bigger for the band. The message that this is not the case has been made very clear in recent press conferences and interviews; questions regarding the subject were greeted with sarcasm, silence, and even the occasional dig at reporters that dared broach the subject. As Bonham has said previously on the red carpet, he made the point again last night that he feels there’s good reason to put it to rest.
For Zeppelin’s die-hard fans, the premiere last night was a real privilege, the chance to see the surviving members together; looking dapper and posing for photographs, with as much presence as in their heyday. It is not often the Zeppelin members are seen together. The 2007 show was the first time the original members had played together since the 1980s.
Celebration Day was filmed using 14 cameras on and around the stage, and takes you on a journey with the band. The cinematography captures intimate exchanges between Page, Plant and Jones, smiles and looks of accomplishment. The film focuses on the musicians as they revisit many of the songs that made them one of the most influential talents in history. During the 2007 show they played all their classics, from Stairway to Heaven to Kashmir, and they prove that Zeppelin have as much musical ability and presence as ever.
Celebration Day is presented quite simply as rock and roll, with no supplemental interviews or special features. The film has been said to have the same feel as the concert back in 2007.This film will give younger fans the chance to see and experience what a remarkable band Led Zeppelin was. The public last night were a mix of old-time fans, teenagers and children, which suggests Celebration Day will be a huge success.
Photos: Emmy Linnea
Celebration Day opens worldwide on 17th October 2012 for a limited time only.
For tickets and pre-orders for Celebration Day, visit Led Zeppelin’s official website here.
Watch the trailer for Celebration Day here