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gibsonfan159

Nitpicking Page 1977

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Nitpicking Page 5/18/1977 Birmingham, Al (Out Of The Way- The Diagrams of Led Zeppelin)

I've had this show on my computer for a long time, but was always turned off by the distant audio source, There's actually quite a bit of clarity, it just has that "recorded from the rafters" sound. It has an excellent reputation so it's worth a nitpick.

TSRTS- Page's 12 string meanderings on the intro make you wish he'd used it more frequently to write songs. Good start. First solo- Articulate first half. A little less on the latter half. 4:00, Plant strains slightly. Outro solo- Impossible to make out, but Jones and Bonham sound good. "B+".

Sick Again- Massive swagger on the intro, reminiscent of 6/21 without the string break. Plant sounds decent. First solo- Good phrasing and fairly nimble fingers. 4:23, nice double bend lick here. Outro solo- Starts off with the usual spurts of noodling but by 5:27 he's just forcing it. Still a good "B+".

NFBM- Good start. 2:05, Page jumps the gun a bit. Harmonica solo- Starts good but he seems to get lazy and hits a bum note at the end. Guitar solo- Not bad, some bends sound strained. Good energy, but performance wise- "B".

IMTOD- Thunderous first half. First solo- Hard to make out, but the phrasing sounds a little lackluster. Not bad, but Jimmy fails to really take off. Second solo- Gets going a little better. Out of key at 6:30. Struggling near the end. 8:37, fantastic vocals. 8:50-8:55, Page goes off the road a bit. 9:18, a near flub but Page jumps in on time. A cut near the end. Just like the previous song, there's tremendous energy, but the solos could've been a lot better and there were several flubs. "B".

SIBLY- Intro rolls in like fog, slow and moody. Excellent opening vocal. Solo- Page blasts off with aggressive phrasing. Not bad. Solid performance by all, but nothing too mind blowing. "A".

No Quarter- Page is absent on the intro riff and doesn't arrive until 1:40. A unique version already. 2:54- Massive vocal sustain. Nitpicking Jones- Excellent audio quality btw. The transition from organ to piano is surreal. Damn, a cut. Not too big of a chunk though. Some decent piano noodling. Boogie section is pretty straightforward, though Page never really gets a good flow going until the end. Solo- A better flow here with some nice interplay with the other two. 15:40, nice tempo change by Bonzo. 18:29, Percy is feeling his oats tonight. As usual, Page plays a little smoother with the wah toward the end. 20:15, damn. Although a good performance in places, I've really gotta grade this on a steep curve. The lackluster boogie section brings it to a "B+", otherwise fairly solid.

Ten Years Gone- False intro as JPJ apparently wasn't prepared. 3:30, Page's chorus effect comes through louder than usual. 4:27, slight flub. First solo- Rough start, but he straightens out. 5:52, wrong note. 6:03, flub. Straining near the end. Second solo- Much better, but some slight straining. Third solo- Some good bends to start. 9:15, yikes. 9:36, ouch. Fourth solo- The best of the bunch. 11:40, almost flubs the last notes. I hate to do it, but I gotta slap a "C+" on this one. (12:17, They went home with his car key?)

Acoustic Section: Battle Of Evermore- 3:30, nice vocals. Fairly solid. GTC- Very good with excellent harmony at the end. BCW- Not bad, short. BAS- Uptempo, very energetic. A cut on the breakdown. WS/BMS, rough intro. Not phrased well and minor flubs throughout. "B+".

Kashmir- Powerful with booming drums. No flaws I can hear on this inspired version. "A".

Achilles Last Stand- Intro sounds very subdued, probably a volume control accidentally turned down. Excellent beginning. First solo- Starts off just a little shaky but he gets going okay. 4:34-4:44, some off-key notes. Second solo- Not bad. Third solo- The delay effect doesn't come through but it still sounds good. Too many flubbed solo notes make it a "B", though it's certainly a thunderous, energetic version.

Stairway To Heaven- Beautiful, mesmerizing first half. Solo- Page releases a steady barrage of melodic runs with good phrasing. 8:26, out of key. The final four bars are great, except for some bad articulation on the last bit. The climax hits hard and blows the roof off. "B+" despite some off-key notes.

Rock And Roll- Good energy for the encore. Solo- Page does some unusual bends to start it off, but ends with textbook perfection. "A".


Final Assessment- This is one of those shows that had the potential to be a classic. The energy and attitude was there but lady luck wasn't with Page this night and almost every song went off in the ditch in one way or another. The other three performed exceptionally. Highlights are a moodier than usual SIBLY and a pretty much flawless Kashmir and Rock And Roll. Ten Years Gone is a travesty for Page, with even Plant losing some motivation. Achilles and Stairway were damn close to being amazing, but again Page struggled. 

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On 9/12/2018 at 8:23 PM, gibsonfan159 said:

Nitpicking Page 6/14/1977 Madison Square Garden, NY (Net Source)

The final show at Madison Square Garden. Do they carry the momentum from the previous night and go out on a high note? My source is the "NS-Net Source" that's available on Black Beauty...

TSRTS- Excellent tempo shows they've come to conquer tonight....

Sick Again- Keeping the fast tempo for this. Excellent intro. It's almost going too fast....

OTHAFA- Page keeps that uptempo going....

SIBLY- He launches into the intro quickly, missing the usual emotion that puts you in the mood. 0:26-:33, excellent phrase. 0:45-0:56, he's rushing this big time..


Final Assessment: One word- Impatient. Most hurried Sick Again, SIBLY, and BronYaur Stomp I've ever heard. 

The version you used as a reference (net source on BB site) runs much too fast. At least a whole step. Has a noticeable effect on how the band’s performance sounds. The TCOLZ version runs at the right speed.

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1 hour ago, pluribus said:

The version you used as a reference (net source on BB site) runs much too fast. At least a whole step. Has a noticeable effect on how the band’s performance sounds. The TCOLZ version runs at the right speed.

Well, that explains the tempo. Thanks. 

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I've very much enjoyed reading this thread. Any chance you might do a best of New York when you have the time?

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11 minutes ago, Daeron said:

I've very much enjoyed reading this thread. Any chance you might do a best of New York when you have the time?

I thought about it, but I don't think there's enough standouts to really make a definitive list. They're all pretty solid shows, but I don't think any performance tops the LA run.

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I've always been fond of the Birmingham show. Apart from the mishaps in No Quarter and Ten Years Gone, I always thought it was a very solid show. Not on par with the LA run, but definitely a very good show that always seems to get overlooked for some reason. Another good review. I look forward to whichever show you do next.

Edited by ZepHead315

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6 hours ago, ZepHead315 said:

I've always been fond of the Birmingham show. Apart from the mishaps in No Quarter and Ten Years Gone, I always thought it was a very solid show. Not on par with the LA run, but definitely a very good show that always seems to get overlooked for some reason. Another good review. I look forward to whichever show you do next.

I think it's a typical 77 show. The band sounds good and plays good, but Jimmy is just a little subpar and makes a few mistakes. It sounded like JPJ got something good going on No Quarter, shame it was cut. 

I think Page's improvised solos are a double edged sword. When they work they sound great, but when they don't it can be cringe inducing.

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8 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I think it's a typical 77 show. The band sounds good and plays good, but Jimmy is just a little subpar and makes a few mistakes. It sounded like JPJ got something good going on No Quarter, shame it was cut. 

I think Page's improvised solos are a double edged sword. When they work they sound great, but when they don't it can be cringe inducing.

I think that your last paragraph sums up a lot of 1977 for me.

Most of the gigs I’ve listened to are ok up to sibly. If page loses the plot in no quarter that kills the song for me. Ten years gone can be a struggle but the acoustic set through to Kashmir is usually good.

over the top is jump to next track. The guitar solo I can live with as long as it doesn’t go on too long. Achilles- can sound as if it is on the verge of falling apart but they normally hold on. Then comes stairway and the solo in that can again kill the song.

A few mistakes by page doesn’t wreck the gig for me, but when he’s improvising and struggles it can be painful to listen to.

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Nitpicking Page 4/30/1977 Pontiac, MI (No Label source)

pontiac43077_0.jpg.e674994fa5f9b757e2272bf1576b3551.jpgpontiac77_dn1_0.jpg.9b6f06b8381a40f5073c665764b5d933.jpg                                                                                                                                                                               

A legendary show in which the band again broke an attendance record. Also notable for the giant video feed above the stage which has caused a bit of debate about whether or not recorded video exists. The best version I could find was the one available on the LongLive site. It's one of the few that both runs at proper speed and sounds decent. The recording is a bit distant and some bootleg ears are required, but if you imagine yourself in the upper deck of the stadium, it sounds just right. 

TSRTS- Firecrackers aplenty. And we're off. Excellent energy and timing on the intro. Jones' bass is cutting through the distant recording quite well. Plant sounds excellent. First solo- I'd have to say perfect in every way. The three instrumentalists are grooving spectacularly. Second solo- No notable flaws. What an opening. "A+".

Sick Again- Perfect intro. Bonzo's snare echoing for miles. First solo- Page gets a steady flow of phrasing down and nails the ending with a nice, raunchy exit lick. Outro solo- Very hard to make out, but sounds like the usual run of improvised licks. However, he does seem to keep it short, which is good in my opinion as it often drags on aimlessly. I love how this show is going so far, fingers crossed. "A".

NFBM- Almost sounds like they're playing the studio version through the monitors. Harmonica solo- Pretty standard. Guitar solo- Page gets some decent phrasing in with nice bends. 5:43, Plant is strong tonight. This was a solid, straightforward performance, but that's a lot better than some of them. "A".

IMTOD- 0:20, very slight atonal note. Tempo seems upbeat for this. Solid first half. First solo- Not the most impressive slide routine, but a very solid solo nonetheless. Second solo- Again, some basic slide runs, but he stays on the tracks. The latter half is devastatingly heavy. Overall, I think it deserves an "A", though a soundboard might reveal the solos to be worse than I could make out here.

SIBLY- False start. Page sounds very nimble on the intro, not rushing anything and playing with fluently with strong emotion. One of the better intros I've heard. And Plant enters perfectly with a sustained vocal. Solo- Page takes off. 4:53-5:02, some sloppiness. He ends with some good runs. The latter half features some good dramatization, though Page doesn't come through well. "B+".

No Quarter- The recording comes through a little better now. Excellent mood on the first quarter. JPJ- Excellent finger work as he gets a dramatic, enchanting motif going. The segue into the boogie section flows perfectly. Page comes in with some screaming leads, but he's careful not to overdo it. 14:30-15:40, some of the best piano work I've heard from Jones, or anyone. 16:30, that drum intro. Guitar solo- The lack of any bass at the beginning makes for an airy feel. Page gets some excellent phrases going with nimble fingers. 18:24, they flub this a little, but it honestly doesn't detract from it. 19:29-19:58, what the creation of the universe must've sounded like. Jones returns to bring it back down, followed by a thunderous return to the main theme. 23:32, superb wah riffs. Top notch ending. Easily one of the best versions. "A++".

Ten Years Gone- Good beginning. First solo- The phrasing gets a little loose near the end, but otherwise a good, lively solo with accurate bends. 5:58, Plant sounds unenthusiastic here, which is my fav part of the song. I guess he didn't start singing it aggressively until later. Second solo- Some nice pedal steel licks. Very good. Third solo- He's having fun with this one instead of trying to impress, but still sounds good. Fourth solo- Perfect balance with the delay effect but it ends a little abruptly. 9:45, nice outro leads. Some things could've been better, but I'd still go "A" on this.

Acoustic set: BOE- Jones doesn't sound so hot on this one, other than that it's ok. GTC- "Someone told me, there's a girl out there, with love in her eyes, and firecrackers..in her hair" 2:02, can you imagine this happening at a concert today? Excellent mando work and a wonderful version, despite the bubble wrap poppers. BCW- The echoing drums make this sound remarkable. BAS- 0:41, Plant misses his cue here and the beat is off for a few bars, though a casual listener might not notice. The mid-song climax sounds excellent. The breakdown drags just a little. WS/BMS- Bit of a sloppy start, but once Bonham comes it takes off nicely. The transition into BMS is lackluster, as is the performance. Overall, a "B+" acoustic set. 

Kashmir- The acoustics suit this song well. Sounds like Bonzo is back in the stairwell at Headley Grange. 2:33, might be the highest I've heard Plant go since 71. Excellent throughout, but Plant's repetitive yelling at the end started to grate on my nerves a little. Still an "A".

Over The Top- The first half is great, but I can't tolerate the last half on the 77 version.

Achilles- The recording gets murkier (Always does for this song). Bonham's snare is dominating the mix. First solo- Sounds excellent with monstrous bends near the end. Second solo- Not bad. 7:10, not sure if a drum flub or intentional, but sounded weird. Third solo- Very nice. Perfect ending. I'd love to hear a soundboard of this to judge it more accurately. "B+".

Stairway To Heaven- 1:47, wrong note by Jones. Decent first half. Solo- Very murky, but he seems to rip out a good beginning. Phrasing sounds a little spastic, but again it's hard to tell. The last four bars sound good, not a bad solo. The climax and ending both sound good. I'll put a safe "B+" on it until I hear a better source.

Rock And Roll- Bonham starts with the Heartbreaker drum intro but changed his mind. Very fast tempo. Solo- Sounds like the textbook routine. "A".

Trampled Underfoot- Massive, driving sound. Jones gets a good clavinet solo down. Guitar solo- Page comes in with the delay pedal engaged, playing very aggressively. Not very articulate, but he paints the picture he intended to. Excellent encore to end the show. "A".

Final Assessment- Honestly, this might be the first boot I've listened to that made me feel grateful that someone snuck a shitty recorder into the show so I too could experience it 40 years later. It might also be the first that made me truly realize how grandiose a Zep show could be. I think the natural reverb in the Silverdome helped with that, giving a larger than life sound even on a distant, amateur recording. Page wasn't exactly on fire, but he very rarely goes off the rails.The only complaint I have is the extremely boxy snare drum that cuts through the mix. The standout performance was definitely No Quarter, but almost the entire show was very solid and top tier for 1977. Strangely, the acoustic set was the least impressive, where it's usually the most solid performance. A soundboard of this would be a Godsend, even if it is uber-twangy.

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When you say the Pontiac version of No Quarter is "easily one of the best versions", do you mean one of the best versions for '77 or one of the best versions '73-'79? 

 

Edited by Daeron

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I like how they played 2 encores at Pontiac (and most of the other shows on the first leg of the tour). I'm not a fan of how most of the shows on the 2nd and 3rd legs got Rock and Roll preceded by a truncated version of Whole Lotta Love. 

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2 hours ago, Daeron said:

When you say the Pontiac version of No Quarter is "easily one of the best versions", do you mean one of the best versions for '77 or one of the best versions '73-'79? 

 

Ever. Jones was unreal.

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Nitpicking Page 4/28/1977 Cleveland, Ohio (The Return Of Destroyer- Live Remains)

clevealnd4-28-77-c_0.jpg.04c3c6ecee550692f29aad3b255ae8ba.jpgclevealnd4-28-77-l_0.jpg.c37a7a2d36baa7aa2de77be4c7e40829.jpg

Taking another step backwards on this tour to a show that is highly regarded as one of the best of 1977. A slightly murky audience recording, but sounds pretty decent overall. Definitely a step up from the distant Pontiac source. I'm using the widely available "Live Remains" release from the Longlive site.

TSRTS- Plant sounds excellent. I sometimes forget what a contrast his 77 vocals are to 73 and 75. Good beginning. First solo- Struggles slightly on the takeoff. 4:13, a little sluggish, but not too bad. Second solo- Pretty standard. A solid "A" with good energy overall.

Sick Again- Flawless intro. First solo- Nimble fingers and some excellent runs. Outro solo- Good flurry of notes at 5:28. Very good version. "A+".

NFBM- Good intro. 0:12, the taper notices Plant's bulge. Harmonica solo- Excellent drum lead in. Pretty straightforward. Guitar solo- Beautiful takeoff and very good phrasing, sounding like 1973 a little. Bonzo's drumming was magnificent and Plant nails everything. A definitive version? "A+".

IMTOD- Very nice improv riff at 1:13. Intro is "Alligators driving steamboats down the Mississippi" level swampiness. A slight mix up at 2:58. First solo- Page gets some good phrasing in with just the right amount of sloppiness. 6:17, good scream from Percy. Second solo- 6:37, monstrous drum fill. Slide playing is a little erratic, but not off the tracks. Excellent drumming on the post solo/bridge part. A cut near the end on the "You Shook Me" section. The murky sound hides the attitude the song is supposed to convey, but it's a very solid performance nonetheless. "A".

SIBLY- The intro sounds more melancholy than usual. The pace is barely crawling as Bonham and Page sound like they're playing chicken to see who hits the next note first. Solo- Page doesn't do the giant blazing smear run he usually starts with, instead refrains a bit and adds some good emotion with shorter, speedy runs. 4:52, love that repeated vibrato. The ending phrase with Bonzo matching Page's intensity is one of the best I've heard. Very good solo. 7:24, Bonzo knocks the walls down. Perfect ending. I have a fantasy for the 77 version of this song where instead of singing those uninspired vocals, Plant duels with Page on harmonica in an instrumental version. "A".

No Quaaludes- Good beginning. Nitpicking Jones- The piano section is chord heavy, but has a good, dramatic flow to it. 6:42, random kick and crash from Bonzo. The boogie section ends up being a nod to "The Nutcracker". 10:05, "Georgia On My Mind" as Page improvises a solo. This sounds way better than the usual boogie jam they attempt. 12:57, holy drum intro Batman! Solo- Page drops in in an unusual manner, skipping the trademark descending riff. He wanders kind of aimlessly as Jones and Bonham steal the show. 16:07, finally something that resembles the usual phrasing. Okay, there wasn't really a solo. The main motif comes back in and there's a tape cut. Even with the cut, Page could've made this a notable performance if he'd ripped a blazing solo. A solid "B+"- accounting for what there is.

Ten Years Gone- There's some annoying static noise on the version I'm using that's not present on the "Presence" version. Solid intro. First solo- Good playing and phrasing, solid bends. Second solo- Good. Third solo- Murky, but sounded good. 6:14, Bonham has some fun and switches the beat. Fourth solo- Very good. Fifth/delay solo- Solid. Outro is good. Is it just me or was there an extra solo somewhere? "A", but there seemed to be some energy missing.

Acoustic Section: BOE- Plant sings enthusiastically, showing a wide range of emotion and character throughout. Jones sings also. GTC- 1:47, yes sir. Beautiful work.  BCW- Solid. BAS- Pretty straightforward with a good breakdown. WS/BMS- Quite an adventure and textbook perfect. Solid "A" set.

Kashmir- Sound gets murkier. A good performance with Plant really coming alive toward the end. A soundboard would undoubtedly be much more impressive. "A".

Achilles Last Stand- Absolutely thunderous sound and tempo. First solo (3:36)- Very nimble 73 level fingers on the first part. Very good. 5:25, excellent improv lead. Second solo (6:38)- The guitar tone here is unreal. Awesome phrasing. Third solo (8:08)- Perfection. Plant's echoing vocals at the end is just too good. I dare say this is my new favorite verion, if only the sound was a tad better. "A++".

Stairway To Heaven- Tape cut on the intro. 0:58, taper realizes he forgot to push record on the intro. 1:35-1:48, Jones nails this magical sounding motif. I think Plant sings this with more invigoration in 77 than he did in 73 and 75. Solo- 5:33, Jones' bass pedal makes some weird after-tones so someone pulls the plug on it and the guitar drops low in the mix. Shame, because it sounds like Page leaves the earth. 6:46-7:12, some of the best lead guitar phrases I've ever heard. I know Bonzo came back in when he was supposed to, but can you imagine if he'd held off for another four measures and let Jimmy dig deeper? Bonzo is absolutely unreal on this. Final solo notes sound good as Plant comes back with an attitude. "A+" despite the technical issues.

Rock And Roll- Good energy. Solo- Unorthodox intro which sounds quite awesome. Very unique. 3:06, someone must've hooked Bonzo up with the good stuff tonight. Maybe the most raucous version I've ever heard. 4:11, taper realizes his girlfriend left with another dude. "A+".

Trampled Underfoot- Some people call this borderline Disco, but I call it early Dubstep. Jones doesn't really do much. Page taps the delay pedal on the solo and lets loose with some squawks that bounce around the stadium. I don't know how anyone slept that night after the show. "A".

Final Assessment- This might be the most energetic Bonzo since Hamburg as he holds his enthusiasm throughout the entire show. The highlights are a badass Sick Again, a brutal Achilles, and a Stairway played so wonderfully that faulty equipment couldn't hurt it. The only real low was No Quarter, which had all the potential for something magnificent, but ended up being a missed opportunity on Page's part. The murky sound fluctuations make some songs seem less than they are, so that says a lot considering they're still top notch. Undoubtedly one for the soundboard wishlist. I was gonna do the previous night next, but I don't think it's worth the bother compared to this, especially being incomplete. If there's a multitrack of this, it could be mixed and released pretty much unedited and would be one of the best live albums ever.

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad to hear that this show holds up upon closer inspection. Part of the reason I love this show is the recording. It's not the best tape by any means, but the sound is thick and massive and I love it so much. I've always wondered if the situation were reversed and this show had a soundboard and 4/27 had this recording, would they still be seen in the same light? I'm not sure, but regardless, this is one hell of a show. What are you tackling next? Landover, I assume? Or perhaps Fort Worth?

Edited by ZepHead315

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6 hours ago, ZepHead315 said:

I'm glad to hear that this show holds up upon closer inspection. Part of the reason I love this show is the recording. It's not the best tape by any means, but the sound is thick and massive and I love it so much. I've always wondered if the situation were reversed and this show had a soundboard and 4/27 had this recording, would they still be seen in the same light? I'm not sure, but regardless, this is one hell of a show. What are you tackling next? Landover, I assume? Or perhaps Fort Worth?

I was gonna skip 4/27 but I talked myself into doing it, especially considering I haven't listened to it in quite a while. I think I will definitely skip Landover. I plan to end with Houston and Ft. Worth.

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8 minutes ago, bluecongo said:

Great reviews, sounds to me like 77 Tour is growing on you........

I think you have to appreciate the setlist in 77 more than Page's playing ability. Even on the most solid shows he's still not playing on the technical level of 72 or 73, so you have to just focus on the overall performance of each song. And there's no doubt that soundboards greatly accentuate his lack of articulation. I noticed that after starting the 4/27 show after doing so many audience sources. A soundboard of any of the shows I've praised might make me look foolish.

I think the true realization I've had for 77 is how smooth Plant's voice is for most shows. He even gets some air raid siren screams in. 

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14 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I was gonna skip 4/27 but I talked myself into doing it, especially considering I haven't listened to it in quite a while. I think I will definitely skip Landover. I plan to end with Houston and Ft. Worth.

I don't blame you for skipping Landover. The May 30th show is pretty darn good, and the first show on May 25th is solid (although nothing spectacular) by 77 standards. But the middle two are just awful in my opinion. Sluggish, sloppy and disjointed as hell. Probably my two least favorite Zeppelin performances by a good margin. I would recommend the last show though, if you're gonna do any of the four. You can tell they were determined to put on a good show to finish out the run. Definitely a high point of the tour imho.

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23 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I think the true realization I've had for 77 is how smooth Plant's voice is for most shows. He even gets some air raid siren screams in. 

Oh without a doubt. I don't know if you've ever attempted to listen to the (well-developed-bootleg-ears-required) opening night at Chicago but his vocals on Kashmir are very powerful. Although I never liked that harmonizer he uses when he sings In My Time Of Dying.

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Nitpicking Page 4/27/1977 Cleveland, Ohio (Winston Remaster- Dr. Who)

 

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Originally known as "Destroyer", this was one of the most popular 77 bootlegs and one of their most well known ever. I've personally never liked it due to the dryness and Jimmy's not so great playing, but I owe it to myself to give it a proper nitpick to judge it fairly. Winston did a good job giving the lifeless tone a little more space, creating a more dynamic soundscape. A remaster of this with a splash of reverb would be perfect.

TSRTS- The song cuts in during the first verses. Plant sounds good. First solo- Articulation isn't great as it sounds like Page is barely brushing the strings. Bonham and Jones are locked in tight though. Second solo- Again, he's playing the parts in time, but it sounds like his hands aren't in sync with each other. "B".

Sick Again- 0:27-0:31, sloppy, but these are the details a soundboard exposes. Verses sound solid. First solo- Phrasing sounds a little rough, but overall not too bad. Outro solo- 5:19, some struggling. Not terrible, but none too impressive. Again, the SB exposes Page's lack of articulation and it makes me wonder about the audience sources I've praised. "B+".

NFBM- 0:49, that came in hard. Nice energetic flow on the beginning. Harmonica solo- The SB really accents this and makes it more dynamic. Guitar solo- Sounds great until the 5:16 mark when it gets a little sloppy. Bonham is fairly straightforward throughout. "B+", but this version has tons of character.

IMTOD- Excellent first half. Guitar tone is very gritty. Something happens at 4:16 and Page loses his flow a bit. First solo- Still trying to get on track, but he puts down some decent phrases. 6:03, pretty good scream from Plant. Second solo- Repetitive phrases, apart from that it's alright. I may catch hell for saying it, but Page is no Duane Allman. Trying to improvise every solo doesn't help either. Nonetheless, he gets the attitude in there and that's what counts. A generous "B+".

SIBLY- Page plays the opening runs very subtly, lacking some vigor he usually has. An appropriate mood is created though. Plant enters with a nice extended note. Verses are missing some emotion as Plant sounds bored, doing the over repetitive routine. Solo- SB or not, he's fairly inarticulate on this. The phrasing is alright, but his hands aren't syncing up. 5:22, gobble gobble. The latter half of the song is played with better expression. "B".

No Quarter- First quarter, decent. Plant sounds a little strainful. Second quarter- Jones gets a good transition down, but there's a tape cut that jumps ahead almost to the end of his routine. Third quarter- 6:30, awesome drum fill to launch the solo. Page gets some good phrases down off the bat. 7:51, straining a little. 8:22, Bonham is flexing a little. Page sounds lethargic, like he can't muster up enough energy to move his fingers. The phrasing really isn't too bad though. 10:20-10:42, a mess. Page runs out of gas trying to keep up with Jones and Bonham. Plant a little scratchy on the return. There are two types of "No Quarters"; Ones where Page makes the song, blowing everyone away and ones where he sounds like he's just interfering with the awesome groove Jones and Bonham are putting down. This was the latter as the other two were absolutely killing it, and it's a shame about the tape cut. "A+" for the rhythm section, "B" for Pagey.

Ten Years Gone- Solid intro. First solo (2:41)- 2:54, off the tracks. 3:15, nice little run. Second solo (4:47)- Some nice bends and phrasing. Third solo (6:20)- Starts out good, but a little spastic. Not bad. 7:15, that drum beat. Fourth solo (7:17)- Pretty good. Despite some struggles from Page, I'd still call this a solid "B+".

Acoustic Set: BOE- Not bad as Jonesy sings adequately. GTC- Guitar is way down, making for a unique mandolin dominant version. Plant sings great and this sounds quite nice. BCW- Page lets loose with some aggressive guitar strums. Excellent audio as the bass and drums blow away the studio version. BAS- The backup vocals don't sound like anyone in the band. Did someone guest on this? Really strange. The bridge is heavy as hell as Page chords like a maniac. 2:44, weeee. Excellent breakdown as Page comes alive. WS/BMS- Fairly solid, but a little too loose in places. Overall this is one of the better acoustic sets I've heard. "A".

Kashmir- Page's chording sounds slightly atonal throughout. 5:36-5:40, Plant sounds different here. Guitar twanginess at the end. Not a bad version, but lacks some atmosphere. "B+".

Achilles- Solid opening, just the right tempo. First solo (3:31)- Good start. Slight hang up at 3:59, but otherwise great. Bonham and Jones are locked in nicely. 5:50, is someone accompying Plant here or is it a harmonizer? Sounded awesome. Second solo (6:27)- A little sloppy, but some pretty nice runs. Third solo (7:58)- Completely missing the delay effect, but still decent. Another perfect ending. Even with the exposing soundboard this gets a solid "B+".

Stairway- Excellent intro and verses. The song really picks up when Bonzo comes in. Solo- Page gets the initial series of runs in ok. 7:54, just a little rough. Final four bars are solid. The phrasing is ok, but it was lacking fluidity. Page is absent on the climax. And the ending. Like the previous two numbers, this is fairly solid but nothing to write home about. "B+".

Rock And Roll- Cuts in on the tail of the first verse. Good energy and crunchy guitar tone. Solo- Excellent scream from Plant, but Page goes missing again. The guitar feed from the soundboard appears to lose connection as it's obvious he's still playing like normal. Good solo. "A".

Trampled Underfoot- 0:22, nice drum beat. Excellent energy. Jones' solo is drowned out by Bonzo's amazing groove. Guitar solo- Page hits the delay pedal but very little comes through. Still some good noodling. 3:49 is pretty rough. Good return and a heavy ending. "B+".

Final Assessment- This one obviously pales in comparison to the following night, and I don't think it's because I'm fooled by the distant audience source. They were clearly more focused on 4/28. However, this isn't a bad show. It's just a shame that this one was so popular and represented the 77 live set for so long. I think the acoustic set is the highlight. Going To California, Black Country Woman, and Bron y Aur Stomp are stunning.

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