Jump to content
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Armani

Led Zeppelin's best live performance

Recommended Posts

Tampa, May 5th 1973. I also heard a bootleg record of the San Fran show in '73 and that perfomance and sounded like the show I saw them. I just can't explain enough why I am not a very big fan of The Song Remains The Same. It was the same tour I saw them in Tampa and, to me anyway, it wasn't the same band I saw blow everyone away in Tampa. I have the DVD of TSRTS with the special features, but I bought it mostly for the Tampa Pulse newscast and the song Celebration Day. Here's a link to the intro by the local DJ and the 1st song. Click on the middle picture of Robert. It's audio only.

http://themetalden.com/?p=20023

Jeff

Edited by Great Sombreo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Strider   

I haven't seen or heard every show.. but from all that I have heard, nothing matches the power and near-perfection of Royal Albert Hall, 1970. Robert's voice was at its peak, before he started taking some shortcuts with key changes.. and Jimmy, JPJ and Bonzo are just so raw and fierce and energetic. If I had to show a new fan one show that demonstrated their greatness, this would be it.

I know you don't know me so why should you take my word for it, but if you love the January 9, 1970 RAH performance, then you must, ABSOLUTELY MUST, hear the March 7, 1970 Montreux show! It will blow your head off!!!

Try either Wendy's "I Left My Heart in Montreux" or the "Intimidator" releases of this show.

Firat of all, the setlist is pretty much the same as the RAH concert, only unlike RAH which had some damaged tape which meant some songs couldn't be released, the Montreux concert has "Heartbreaker", "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Thank You" with the organ solo. Only the first verse is missing from "Whole Lotta Love".

"How Many More Times" will knock you senseless...it's better than the RAH version. As is "Dazed and Confused".

What is really astounding about this show is that the audience tape sounds better than the soundboard. On both "I Left my Heart..." and "Intimidator", the superlative audience tape is the main source, with the soundboard used to fill in the gaps in the audience tape.

The Montreux audience really digs Led Zeppelin which makes for a festive atmosphere. I'm telling you, one listen to this show will convince anyone to the power of Led Zeppelin. The Royal Albert Hall is still a great show, if a trifle incomplete.

March 7, 1970 Montreux is the RAH show turbocharged to the max! With the added bonus of HB, SIBLY, and TY.

It will crush your balls.

Knebworth & No quarter from 1994,but then JPJ & JB weren't part of it.

Just for the record, those performances while great, aren't Led Zeppelin. There is a Pre- and Post-Zeppelin section on the Forum to talk about those years.

Edited by Strider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw them in '75 and '77, maybe on an earlier tour too but I can't say for sure. In '77 they played for 3 1/2 hours here in Greensboro. I don't know if it was unusually long concert for them but damn, it was incredible. We sat just off the orchestra floor, maybe 30 feet from the band.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know you don't know me so why should you take my word for it, but if you love the January 9, 1970 RAH performance, then you must, ABSOLUTELY MUST, hear the March 7, 1970 Montreux show! It will blow your head off!!!

Try either Wendy's "I Left My Heart in Montreux" or the "Intimidator" releases of this show.

Firat of all, the setlist is pretty much the same as the RAH concert, only unlike RAH which had some damaged tape which meant some songs couldn't be released, the Montreux concert has "Heartbreaker", "Since I've Been Loving You" and "Thank You" with the organ solo. Only the first verse is missing from "Whole Lotta Love".

"How Many More Times" will knock you senseless...it's better than the RAH version. As is "Dazed and Confused".

What is really astounding about this show is that the audience tape sounds better than the soundboard. On both "I Left my Heart..." and "Intimidator", the superlative audience tape is the main source, with the soundboard used to fill in the gaps in the audience tape.

The Montreux audience really digs Led Zeppelin which makes for a festive atmosphere. I'm telling you, one listen to this show will convince anyone to the power of Led Zeppelin. The Royal Albert Hall is still a great show, if a trifle incomplete.

March 7, 1970 Montreux is the RAH show turbocharged to the max! With the added bonus of HB, SIBLY, and TY.

It will crush your balls.

Just for the record, those performances while great, aren't Led Zeppelin. There is a Pre- and Post-Zeppelin section on the Forum to talk about those years.

I'd love to... any recommendations on how to find these types of performances? Aside from my local used record stores and what I see/hear on Youtube, i'm pretty much a novice in tracking down recorded shows like the one you mention here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Strider   

I'd love to... any recommendations on how to find these types of performances? Aside from my local used record stores and what I see/hear on Youtube, i'm pretty much a novice in tracking down recorded shows like the one you mention here.

I'll pm you later.

Seattle '77 doesn't need to be mentioned in this thread! :D

Amen sister! :yesnod:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sequoia   

I can only comment on the concerts that I have seen, I would say Earls Court, the others I have only heard on bootleg and I think you have to be there to really appreciate them.

This is a great distinction. The OP question is probably thought of as bootlegs, but would those answers be different if you experienced it live?

In other words, the bootlegs only capture a part of the performance. But performances that may be considered sub-par from just the boots may have been fantastic live. I won't go so far to say Tempe 77 but I would've given a left nut to have experienced that live. ;)

Edited by Sequoia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nick2632   

Southampton 73 is my overall favorite, just love the track list and the sound quality is great! I have yet to hear the full show, but Orlando 71 seems pretty damn amazing too, Plants voice was phenomenal in 71!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Boston Tea Party 1969 gigs that I've listened to were a mother. So were their Fillmore sets prior to that. Almost anything from 1970 is stellar. Same can be said about the second night in Berkeley 1971 (9-14-71 IIRC). Zep kicked ass in Oz in February 1972 and the California leg of the '72 USA run was likewise great. I've got half a dozen shows from the March 1973 sojourn and all of them are fantastic despite Plant's diminished vocals. Bonzo started hating Moby Dick early on and usually only played it in America where it was expected of him and he played a lot more call and response drums with Page's guitar during Dazed & Confused in March '73 to display those drum solo chops. D&C was the highlight of that tour as well as the rock and roll medley. The shows in May and July 1973 in the US are great too; 6-2-73 (the only June date) sounds like it was one of Zeppelin's best nights. I bet I've got a dozen soundboard recordings from 1975 (USA & UK) but can't get excited about any of them. They're accomplished performances, but 1977 is different! The LA run in June '77 was inspired, of course, but Lanham 5-26-77 is hellafied too. Knebworth wasn't so hot, I prefer the Copenhagen warm-ups. 1980 found the band much better rehearsed, especially nice were Dortmund, Cologne and Mannheim, but Zurich is my personal favorite, the audience acted like they were enjoying it and Page, Plant, Jones & Bonham responded to the good vibe.

The first concert I saw was Led Zeppelin; they're the best live rock act I've ever seen. Just before Sharon Tate (and others) were murdered I saw the band on August 4th, 1969. They opened with Train Kept A'Rollin' which segued into I Can't Quit You, Baby followed by a short 15-minute version of Dazed & Confused. I wondered who the big fat guy on the side of the stage was whispering heatedly in Percy's ear during the bow part. After Dazed & Confused Robert announced: "Even though Led Zeppelin is advertised as playing the [Lewisville] Pop Festival, we haven't even been asked yet!" Boos from the audience. At the end of the next song Plant announced (after another word with the fat man) that: "I'm glad to say we've just been asked to play the festival!" Cheers. The most well-received song that night was the yet-to-be released The Lemon Song because Plant sang a very funny and quite naughty dialogue in the middle with Page noodling along with him while Jones and Bonham laid out. This bit had little Robert Anthony stalking a young female, tying her to his bed and the last line was a long drawn out (several seconds between each word in fact): "...then...I...asked...her...to...squeeze...my..................lemon." The audience laughed like a comedian was onstage instead of a band. For an encore they played the longest version of Communication Breakdown I've ever heard.

My dad wouldn't let me go to the pop festival so the second time I saw Led Zeppelin was two years later in Dallas, August 24, 1971. I sat on the fourth row but at an angle to the right side of the stage, Bonzo was completely obscured, I only saw the side of his green bass drum. Pity. The band was much better than the '69 show I'd seen but Plant's voice was shot, he said something about thinking he caught the flu. (A friend saw them two nights later in Houston. He claims he got backstage with a reporter he knew who told everyone he was his photographer and they met the band before the concert. There was some blotter acid circulating and my friend said he took one hit and tripped hard. Also he watched each member of Zeppelin ingest four hits apiece of it then go out and play. I wasn't there so this isn't an eyewitness account. Remembering his story years later I rehearsed in my band tripping once unbeknownst to my fellow bandmates and didn't have any problem playing. I asked the guitar player afterward if he noticed anything different about my drumming that night and he said no. I guess if I could handle it the mighty Led Zep could too.)

May 18th and 19th, 1973 were the third and fourth time I saw the band perform in Dallas and Ft. Worth; I recall being pissed off they didn't play The Ocean. I was on a mental high for two weeks, those 1973 shows were the two best rock concerts I've ever seen. These were rivaled only by the last time I saw them on May 21, 1977. Fabulous from start to finish, they played a show that night as long as a Grateful Dead concert. I sat way up in the balcony of the Houston Summit but the band had Showco doing sound and every note was crystal clear and super loud at the back of the hall. Great versions of Nobody's Fault But Mine and In My Time of Dying and a far superior acoustic set than in 1971. The Battle of Evermore was unexpected and intense. I never got excited about Kashmir until I saw them play it live that night, gawd da-yum. Then Achilles Last Stand trampled me underfoot.

I'd've given a testicle to see them in Zurich 1980.

Edited by Dirigible

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seattle '77 doesn't need to be mentioned in this thread! :D

I'm rather embarrassed by this comment now considering how much of my time I've devoted to this gig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best live performance. Oh geez. That's hard if I really, really had to pick I would have to pick several from each year they toured hahaha.

Fillmore West & Boston Tea Party for 1969

Royal Albert Hall & Vancouver for 1970

Osaka & Orlando for 1971

LA & Long Beach for 1972

Southampton & New York for 1973

Brussels & L.A for 1975

Seattle, L.A., & Houston for 1977

Copenhagen & Knebworth for 1979

Zürich & Berlin for 1980

If I had to pick one out all of those for the very best. Yeah, I would have to say Seattle '77. To me it had that "We are Zeppelin, this is what we sound like, here we are" vibe. The Earl's Court gig would have to follow that. No one can deny that In My Time of Dying performance or Robert's dream of becoming a Jamaican.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Best live performance. Oh geez. That's hard if I really, really had to pick I would have to pick several from each year they toured hahaha.

Fillmore West & Boston Tea Party for 1969

Royal Albert Hall & Vancouver for 1970 : listens to Strider above , Montreux outclass both of them ! :) Hambourg and Blueberry hill too.

Osaka & Orlando for 1971

LA & Long Beach for 1972

Southampton & New York for 1973

Brussels & L.A for 1975 : I would add the seconds nights of Seattle and Earls court.

Seattle, L.A., & Houston for 1977 :D

Copenhagen & Knebworth for 1979

Zürich & Berlin for 1980

If I had to pick one out all of those for the very best. Yeah, I would have to say Seattle '77 (What ??). To me it had that "We are Zeppelin, this is what we sound like, here we are" vibe. The Earl's Court gig would have to follow that. No one can deny that In My Time of Dying performance or Robert's dream of becoming a Jamaican.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally forgot about Montreux, Blueberry Hill, and Hamburg. Earl's Court is good too, but that's an easy pick for '75.

I'll admit, the guitar solo Jimmy Page does in Houston is pretty awesome. Again, it hard for me to determine one best live performance. I picked Seattle because of Achilles Last Stand, Kashmir, and the improvisation in Bron-Y-Aur. It just stuck out for me more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone agrees this is highly subjective.

That being said, if I wanted to wager on the results of a potential poll, I would say:

Earlier days: 1972/06/25

Latter days: 1977/06/21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think everyone agrees this is highly subjective.

That being said, if I wanted to wager on the results of a potential poll, I would say:

Earlier days: 1972/06/25

Latter days: 1977/06/21

I'll agree with this one. One thing: I wouldn't call '72 early days, as they were already performing songs from HOTH. I'd say "early" ended sometime in '71, but thats my opinion. But, 6/25/72 is probably the best representation of the "early" AND "middle" days, in one show.

The latter days came to the mountains highest peak on June 21st through June 27th, 1977.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very surprised many of you are calling out Seattle in 1977. To me, it's a very weak performance and so uneven. The third leg as this begins this part of the tour is just not good. Not like the 2nd leg which was exceptional with Landover, L.A., NYC and San Diego. Probably others on that stretch I'm leaving out. Probably, mentioned as it was professionally filmed by the band!

Edited by SuperDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very surprised many of you are calling out Seattle in 1977. To me, it's a very weak performance and so uneven. The third leg as this begins this part of the tour is just not good. Not like the 2nd leg which was exceptional with Landover, L.A., NYC and San Diego. Probably others on that stretch I'm leaving out. Probably, mentioned as it was professionally filmed by the band!

I too am surprised by the number of mentions Seattle '77 is getting. I could certainly see 3/21/75 Seattle being viewed as a latter days peak, but I'm not so sure about 7/17/77...

That being said, like others have mentioned, this is a fairly subjective topic, so if Seattle '77 is what does it for you then enjoy it, and don't let our criticisms of it ruin the experience for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not saying Seattle '77 is some legendary performance, but there certainly is something about that show that continues to draw me back. It's not the best, but it's certainly enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally forgot about Montreux, Blueberry Hill, and Hamburg. Earl's Court is good too, but that's an easy pick for '75.

I'll admit, the guitar solo Jimmy Page does in Houston is pretty awesome. Again, it hard for me to determine one best live performance. I picked Seattle because of Achilles Last Stand, Kashmir, and the improvisation in Bron-Y-Aur. It just stuck out for me more.

I talk about the second night of Earl's Court (the 18th) and, in my opinion, its not an easy pick. I even think it's one of the most underrated show ever.

For the rest, especially Seattle, I have difficulty to understand your enthusiasm. Not to mention the performance, I think the sound of this concert is awful. The instruments sound like in a shoe box ! The only point on which I can reach you is the acoustic set : you're right, bron y aur sounds heavy.

Otherwise, I guarantee you can find better performance of other titles that you mention : Achilles on June 22/23 ; Kashmir on June 21 or June 11.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1977/04/28 is indeed the greatest show of the 1st leg. Fantastic performance and Bonham is a machine - super heavy sound, ALS is nuts and TUF is fantastic. To me the show has a major transition point - halfway through IMTOD Bonham suddenly turns it up 10 notches and becomes crazed, after which the rest of the band quickly follows. A pity that many "fans" choose to overlook the show due to sound quality a few points below Eddie or Badgeholders. If one obtains the Presence edition as cited above the sound is very pleasing - cranked loud the ambiance is excellent.

Seattle '77 is a good show. Not in the class of anything from LA mind you, but beats up on Landover outside of May 30th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I talk about the second night of Earl's Court (the 18th) and, in my opinion, its not an easy pick. I even think it's one of the most underrated show ever.

For the rest, especially Seattle, I have difficulty to understand your enthusiasm. Not to mention the performance, I think the sound of this concert is awful. The instruments sound like in a shoe box ! The only point on which I can reach you is the acoustic set : you're right, bron y aur sounds heavy.

Otherwise, I guarantee you can find better performance of other titles that you mention : Achilles on June 22/23 ; Kashmir on June 21 or June 11.

Maybe I just feel bad for it, I can't really explain why I would consider this the best. It's not the best sounding at all. I based it on how the songs where played. I just liked it better, I guess it could have had more potential and I just thought it needs more mentioning. Yeah, at the LA gig, The Song Remains the Same is probably the best live version of the song I've heard sure, The performances you mention are good. I think Jimmy's guitar solo at the Summit show are good albeit a bit sloppy. It really is subjective. I'm not discounting the others, they are phenomenal as well. Again the Seattle show was recorded by the arenas video system and I don't think it was designed to take the epicness of Zeppelin hahahaha.

If I wasn't counting Seattle, I would have to pick Earl's Court honestly. They seem to be having fun, the sound was good, their setlist was awesome, everything was there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×