Review Summary: This album squeezes my lemon.
I like this album. If a fan of Page and his brand of sloppy, noisy guitar work you'll like this album. If a fan of The Black Crowes well, I am sorry. Really. But at least they were worth a damn for a couple hours while Jimmy worked his magic with them. Pretty good backing band, I'd say.
It's all about Jimmy, here. Chris Robinson fills in for Plant really well, and sounds horny as hell. Something Plant hasn't sounded like since lemon juice ran down his leg all those years ago. And the band sounds high on something good. But we are listening to this album for the Zep. And the Zep is alive and well, here.
Stand out tracks are Celebration Day which is thunderous and tremendous and terrific. Like anything described by three words that begin with "t" should be. Custard Pie is aces and Robinson does a great job of shaking it on down on this track, and What Is And What Should Never Be is a true revelation as it is taken from it's tired past and given the bar band treatment it deserves by this glorified bar band.
Their are a few misfires and that is to be expected. Whole Lotta Love is not worthy of a cover by anyone. Not because it isn't great, but because no band can really do this song justice but Zeppelin. Only Zep can rip off the blues like this, and the BC's are not up to snuff. It's lost on them and comes off as tired riffing that makes one run to the original recording. Noboby's Fault But Mine is as listless as ever, and The Lemon Song is still stupid. It is indeed a lemon. Like a new car that won't start.
But those are small complaints on an otherwise glorious recording that makes me love the rock 'n roll. Ten Years Gone is an absolute riff heavy blast here with the Crowes doing a great job breathing new life into and old tired song, Hey Hey What Can I Do is sang with conviction and sincerity by Robinson with the band keeping fine pace behind, and even Shake Your Money Maker makes me want to get up and start doing just that. Of course my money maker is worth mere pennies to most, but this performance makes me not care. It's joyful, loose, and sounds like freedom.
Through it all however this recording is about Jimmy Page. Here he is the bandleader. No Plant to share the stage with, or Jones to thunder behind him, or Bonzo / Son Of Bonzo to pound away behind. He takes his songs and this silly hippie band and leads the charge with loud, heavy riffing, power chords galore, and sounds as if he is having the time of his life. Sloppy as ever, heartfelt as ever, and playing his songs as if he had just wrote them yesterday, Page sounds fresh, energized, and youthful here. He let's the flubs fly, goes out of tune, plays off key sometimes, and just gets lost in it all the way a great rock 'n roll musician should. Make no mistake this is The Jimmy Page Show. And when he is gone we will be lucky that for one brief moment later in his career he gave us all something truly great to remember him by. A rebirth, if you will. And it's a moment that on Live At The Greek we can feel fortunate to relive again and again.