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ZepHead315

Favorite opening song?

27 posts in this topic

To clarify: I'm not asking for your favorite opening song overall (ie. Immigrant Song vs. Rock & Roll vs. TSRTS). Rather, I'm curious as to what your favorite opening songs are to a particular concert/bootleg. One that makes you think "This is gonna be epic!" Here's a few of mine:

Train Kept a Rollin' - Boston 1/26/69 - Oh man, that wah-wah intro! Just a gigantic wall of sound that builds and builds before the band comes thundering out of the gate. Just explosive from beginning to end.

Immigrant Song - NY 9/19/70 (evening) - The first time I heard this, Robert's voice was so good that it actually sounded scary to me! Just insanely powerful! And this was before Led Zep III came out, so I can only imagine what it must have been like to have heard this for the first time!

Immigrant Song - Tokyo 9/23/71 - The opening salvo to the amazing 1971 Japan tour. You can tell immediately the band has a "take no prisoners" attitude.

TSRTS - LA 6/21/77 - Do I really need to explain? John Henry Bonham. That is all.

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Posted (edited)

Immigrant Song was always my favorite opening tune, started the show with a bang and the song, for the most part, is an easy one and allows the band (except Robert) to warm up nicely. Once Robert could no longer hit those notes and they changed to R&R, I thought that was a bad decision since that song is also in the higher register and Plant rarely pulled it off from 73'-75', especially since he did not warm up his voice before the show like many singers do. I really like TSRS, its one of my favorite Zeppelin tunes but it is just so damn difficult to play and to perform it right out of the gate was a stretch on most night's of the 77' tour, however when they nailed it, they NAILED it!.

So, my 2 cents: Once Plant could not pull of Immigrant Song they should have switched to Wanton Song as the opener. They have a similar structure but Plant would not be straining his voice. Another contender would be Custard Pie, great grove to start the show and also pretty easy for Plant to sing and warm up his voice.

Edited by IpMan

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Posted (edited)

As much as I like TSRTS as an opener I find that Jimmy often plays the Rover intro sloppily...and it doesn't do much for me. It just never seems to have the slinky funkiness of the studio version. I'm sure hearing/seeing it in person was mind blowing but , the combo of Immigrant Song into Heartbreaker has always been my favorite opening to a show. HTWWW is tough to beat .

9/23/71 is another fav as well as Adelaide 2/19/72. Ooh My Ears Man indeed! 

 RAH 1/9/70....Were Gonna Groove into I Can't Quit You.

6/21/77 deserves it's rep as one of the all time greatest openings though, with JHB in overdrive! Devastating. 

Edited by porgie66

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Posted (edited)

I think my favourite intro is Train kept a rollin at Fillmore 1969/04/27

 

Immigrant song at Orlando is up there as well

 

With TSRTS, LA 6/21/77 as you said :)

Edited by Klape

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The '71 Hampton and 9-29-71 Osaka Immigrant Songs are monsters and let you know right away the band's on another level those nights.  Rock and Roll from 3-12-75 Long Beach also falls in that category.  To a lesser extent, RnR from the 7-11-73 Milwaukee show and the two available NY 73 nights, although in general the '73 versions don't necessarily indicate how epic the show will or won't be.

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TSRTS>Rover into>Sick Again

 

This!!!

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Posted (edited)

TSRTS > Rover intro > Sick Again... Yep. It never got old, and even on bum gigs like Seattle '77, it worked perfectly. You can hear the crowd go nuts. Plus, they were good for Roberts voice, I think. Why they chose Rock and Roll to start, idk. Even though it had a really cool flow into Celebration Day in '73. Best opening, even folks not that crazy about 1977 live stuff love it.

1977 opening wasn't only the best, it was super effective, and the audience recording of 6/25/77 I'm listening to now shows that, as do many of them. Hell you can hear the reaction after Rover intro > Sick Again on the damn soundboards. 5/30/77 has the best TSRTS > Sick Again I've heard. Not perfect but very close to it, right amount of slop and swagger, crowd goes ballistic. :lol: The audience recording for that show makes it sound like Zeppelin's so loud they almost break the damn tape recorder.

Immigrant Song > Heartbreaker, in the early days when they couldn't play a bad gig if they tried, seemingly. Worked well but a little intense. HTWWW album shows this at its best, IMO.

We're Gonna Groove > I Can't Quit You was great, especially Royal Albert Hall on DVD. That is one stretch of music that night I'd call perfect by anyones standards, although they didn't always seem to take them seriously, like on 3/7/70 the kinda sound like they're goofing off. Then again, kinda weird they would open a Led Zeppelin gig with two covers, when they had some amazing material already. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's scratched their heads at that one. Maybe "use the covers to warm up" ? Lol

TSRTS > Celebration Day was clever. Mix 1973 and 1977 opening songs, worked great 3 out of 4 times they did it. Kinda weird transition, but 8/4/79 opening blows my mind every time. IMO Jimmy really kills it on Celebration Day, really nails it 1st Knebworth night.

Edited by Dirty Work

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Zeppelin were masters at pairing songs together, never noticed how almost every opener is 2 songs that flow together. 1 2 punch. They paired others too, TSRTS>Rain Song, solo>Achilles, you know... I'm preaching to the choir here

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Agree on Tokyo 71. Powerful indeed!

Always thought Houses of the Holy would have been a better opener for the 75 tour than Rock and Roll. Kinda disappointing considering that they had already used it to open the later 72 and 73 shows

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The song remains the same  06/21//77

Good Times Bad Times / Communication Breakdown  11/06/69

We're Gonna Groove 03/07/70

Train Kept A Rollin'  08/31/69

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"Immigrant Song"- September 4, 1970

"Rock and Roll"- Earls Court

"Train kept a Rollin'"- July 7, 1980

 

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We're gonna groove 9/1/70

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3 hours ago, ZosoAddict said:

"Immigrant Song"- September 4, 1970

"Rock and Roll"- Earls Court

"Train kept a Rollin'"- July 7, 1980

 

Seriously???  I always have to turn the volume down when Robert sings the opening verse.  Why he never warmed up his voice before shows is mind boggling.  

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47 minutes ago, Stryder1978 said:

Seriously???  I always have to turn the volume down when Robert sings the opening verse.  Why he never warmed up his voice before shows is mind boggling.  

Agree. Bonzo & Jones were always ready to go right out of the gate but both Robert & Jimmy needed warm up time of a good song or two. Robert & Jimmy in particular should have warmed up pre-gig. In the beginning it was not a problem (usually) but by 73' and on they needed to warm up before the gig.

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20 hours ago, Stryder1978 said:

Seriously???  I always have to turn the volume down when Robert sings the opening verse.  Why he never warmed up his voice before shows is mind boggling.  

Which one are you referring to?

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IP Man knew without referencing it....Earls' Court "Rock and Roll".  "Rock and Roll" is my favorite rock song period - not just favorite Zep song, favorite rock song of all time.  However, whenever I hear or watch Earl's Court, I find myself clearing my own throat out of response.  It is downright painful to listen to Robert croak during that song.  he needed a couple songs to warm up his voice before singing in that register.   

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I have been thinking about this.  My first thought was instantly June 21, 1977.  Then I thought, that is too obvious, I should go back and think this through.  I listened to alot of other great choices listed above, but I came back to June 21, 1977.  It is the ultimate  combination of

a song perfectly suited to being an opener,

a thrilling, thundering, effervescent, electrifying version of that song,

an incredibly lively recording, and

an audience going out of their minds.

Why is it the perfect opening song?  First, it was originally called "The Overture".  It starts with a big, bold, single ringing guitar chord  all by itself.  As the chord repeats in a rapid chiming pattern a thunderous rhythm section enters in single bold blasts, then the bass and drums break free for their own incredible driving, powerhouse onslaught with guitar chords over the top.  The drumming picks up speed and then the guitar takes center stage with faster chords as the bass and drums blast away, driving relentlessly.  Guitar skips and glides, dancing and swirling, leading up to a dramatic pause, opening space and letting the song breathe as the crowd goes even more bonkers than they were during the initial blast.  The band has arrived as the vocals make a very dramatic and effective entrance, delivering a message of just what the song is all about.  Absolute perfection as an opener.  Then we are off to the races again with guitar, bass and drums.

Some of the more intricate and delicate guitar lines were not as clean as versions from 1973, but at this point it does not matter.  This is the perfect way to open a show.  An overwhelming display of positive energy, exuberant joy, and sheer musicianship.  I doubt it will ever be equaled as an opening moment to a concert.    

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On 6/24/2017 at 8:24 PM, Remi said:

Train Kept A Rollin'  08/31/69

^That's the one. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Sathington Willoughby said:

^That's the one. 

 

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Led Zepp-A-Lin". Getting déjà vu here

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On 6/28/2017 at 11:32 PM, Xolo1974 said:

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Led Zepp-A-Lin". Getting déjà vu here

^_^

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On ‎6‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 8:43 AM, Stryder1978 said:

IP Man knew without referencing it....Earls' Court "Rock and Roll".  "Rock and Roll" is my favorite rock song period - not just favorite Zep song, favorite rock song of all time.  However, whenever I hear or watch Earl's Court, I find myself clearing my own throat out of response.  It is downright painful to listen to Robert croak during that song.  he needed a couple songs to warm up his voice before singing in that register.   

I went back and listened to that. I see what you mean. I would like to replace that one with:

“Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown”- Olympia Theater Paris – October 10, 1969

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49 minutes ago, ZosoAddict said:

I went back and listened to that. I see what you mean. I would like to replace that one with:

“Good Times Bad Times/Communication Breakdown”- Olympia Theater Paris – October 10, 1969

GREAT choice!  :D

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I have always thought that TSRTS was a great way for the band to come in, sonically grab the fans like saying "strap your ass in cause we goin for a helluva ride!!" In 73-75 it had its place with TRS but wow what an opener:):) Someone posted CP would have been a good start for the 75 shows and I agree. . Its an amazing opener for PG so why not for the shows? When in the mood for a 75 boot, Ill usually go right to SA and skip RAR:) 73 for me it depends on Percy hittin right or not. . 

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The Immigrant Song/Heartbreaker double was the peak for me. When Plant had to switch to  a song like R&R to lead off, I think that Sick Again was not a good choice for second song - for me it lacks the excitement that Heartbreaker has. I would have preferred a R&R/Over The Hills And Far Away combo to open with. Jimmy had great fun with Heartbreaker after Immigrant Song and OTHAFA is also a great Jimmy number. Sick Again lacks that 'something' to make a one-two punch really effective. Just my opinion of course.

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