Jimmy Page is 71 years old today. To honor this rock ‘n roll holiday, let’s look at some of Led Zeppelin’s best live performances. From their inception in 1967, to their 1980 disbanding after the death of drummer John Bonham, they were one of the greatest forces in rock ‘n roll, and it certainly shows in these great clips.
“Since I’ve Been Loving You” – (1973)
The bluesy “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is one of the more epic songs in the Zeppelin catalog, and this 8-minute version from The Song Remains The Same is as fine a version of the song as you’ll ever here. Page’s subtle playing, combined with the ominous keyboard riff give the song a desperate, mysterious vibe. A well-deserved Zeppelin classic.
“Kashmir” (2007 – Celebration Day)
When Led Zeppelin briefly reunited in 2007 for a one-off gig at O2 Arena (with Jason Bonham on drums), they proved that even after nearly 30 years, their skills were not diminished in the slightest. Plant could still wail like a banshee, and Page was still unmatched on guitar. This is best exemplified by this fantastic version of “Kashmir,” which spares none of the glorious bombast that made the song so beloved in the first place.
“Dazed And Confused” – (1969)
Here we see Zeppelin right at the beginning of their career, performing what would become one of their most beloved songs. It’s always fascinating to look at an immortal band when they were young and hungry, and in this case, we can clearly see the genius that would lead to Zeppelin being loved by so many. Particularly enjoyable here is how Plant’s vocals can go from smooth to bordering-on-violent in the blink of an eye.
“Stairway To Heaven – (1975)
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include the most famous Zeppelin song, seen here in an 11-minute version from a 1975 show at Earls Court Arena in Londo. Admittedly, the video here is a bit blurry, but the audio is perfectly fine, and this is a fantastic version of Zeppelin’s defining song.
Zeppelin opened the aforementioned Earls Court gig with “Heartbreaker,” which features one of the best riffs Page ever came up with. Particularly amusing here are Plant’s antics at the beginning of the song, when he jokes, “You act like we’ve never done this before” then goes into a brief rendition of Bobby Darin’s “Dreamlover.” Once the band starts playing, however, things are strictly business.
Live At Kneborth – Full Concert (1979)
Finally, let’s look at a nearly three-hour Zeppelin gig from 1979. The show features classics from every era of the band’s existence. If you’re looking for a nice way to kill the rest of your day, you could do a lot worse than watching this.