I was considering posting the following as a new topic, but it didn't seem like the kind of thing that's welcome, as opposed to more year- or show-specific discussions, but I just made this list and thought it might generate (or outright provoke) some interesting discussion.
The rankings are a product of both the performance and sound quality.
THE 30 SHOWS I'VE HEARD, WORST TO BEST
30. - 77/05/21, Houston, TX ("How The Time Flies"). A soundboard even, and a good Achilles. But I now find the "metallic" quality of the sound grating.
29. - 77/05/22, Ft. Worth, TX ("Hideout"). Good Kashmir and IMTOD. But watch out for the ear-splitting feedback at the end of "Sick Again" (seriously).
28. - 77/06/27, The Forum ("Sunset"). Not bad. Just the weakest of the run (I've yet to hear 6/26).
27. - 71/11/24, Free Trade Hall, Manchester ([pernod rev. 3]). A really good show from a really bad tape. Plant's in great voice.
26. - 71/09/11, War Memorial Hall, Rochester, NY. Similar to Manchester, but incomplete. Plant's just a bit worse; doesn't hit Stairway here. Somehow I ranked it one spot higher. Maybe the tape is a little better. I think that's why.
25. - 73/05/13, Mobile Municipal Auditorium, AL. A decent sounding board. Plant is in pretty rough shape. I like the laid-back jazzy No Quarter courtesy of Jonesy's keys.
24. - 71/08/31, Orlando Civic Auditorium ("Florida Sunshine"). Good Black Dog. Not a particularly great show. Plant only half-hits Stairway (hits it in full voice initially and then it cracks during the note).
23. - 71/08/21, The Forum ([dadgad remaster]). Good audience recording. Sloppy show. Several glaring flubs.
22. - 71/09/29, Festival Hall, Osaka. Soundboard (mostly). Rock and Roll swings. Plant is straining. They play "Friends" which is cool. I don't like this show.
21. - 77/06/23, The Forum - For Badgeholders Only. A well-played show apart from, yes, a full 45 second-long trainwreck during Kashmir. The sound quality is good.
20. - 77/06/21, The Forum - Listen to This, Eddie ("Mike the Mike"). As someone previously said, this show peaks with the first song, which granted is arguably the best "Song Remains" ever due to Bonzo, and Jimmy pulling it together and playing some great, fluid lines. I also think the "Nobody's Fault" is very good here, and seems underappreciated.
19. - 79/07/24, Copenhagen Warm-ups, 2nd Night. A pretty tight show with some great playing from Jimmy. Love hearing "In The Evening". The sound is rather treble-y unfortunately.
18. - 73/07/17, Seattle Center Coliseum ([SBD-AUD matrix version]). An excellent DaC and a pretty good "Over The Hills", MMH and The Ocean. Bonzo is good and Plant is alright.
17. - 72/02/27, Sydney Showground [Dogs of Doom 2021]. A really well-played show and Plant is at least one whole level above where he would be just a few months later in the states, to my knowledge. (Incidentally, I recently learned from @goldenretreiver157 that Plant DID hit the "lady" on Stairway on the 6/25 Long Beach performance that Jimmy DIDN'T choose for HTWWW, which is hilarious.) Sound quality-wise, it's really not a bad listen, just somewhat "distant." I rather like this show actually.
16. - 71/03/05, Ulster Hall, Belfast (Wendy Records version). I'd advise getting the WENDY version as my prior "remastered" version has some ear-splitting feedback on Stairway. Aside from the show that I've ranked #2, this is about as peak Plant as it gets. They'd just finished IV and are tearing through these new songs perhaps a tad faster than otherwise. I have no problem listening to this tape.
15. - 75/05/24, Earl's Court @ZepHead315 Remaster. Great sound quality and a fantastic "Trampled." I'm not terribly familiar with '75 generally but this is a really good show for the boys.
14. - 77/06/25, The Forum - Badgeholders Annual Meeting. A great show with one of the greatest Kashmir's ever. Sound quality is maybe a tad below 6/23 but still good.
13. - 70/03/21, Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, BC ("Pure Blues"). Plant's actually in a relative valley here: he's a step below where he was a year ago, and and a step and a half below where he would be in September. Still, he's great on SIBLY, to the extent that it probably makes it a contender for top 10 ever. Partial soundboard and the sound quality is excellent.
12. - 70/09/04, The Forum - Ultimate Blueberry Hill (Nite Owl 2019 matrix). This is a great show that suffers from being in the same month as a much, much greater show. The sound quality is great though. A nice listen.
11. - 73/03/21, Musikhalle, Hamburg ("It's Complete" [dadgad remaster]). A rockin' Black Dog, a great DaC, AND a great Stairway. The latter two are mostly soundboards. Bonzo is HOT. As is Pagey.
10. - 71/09/14, Berkeley Community Theatre, CA ("Going To California" [dadgad 24-bit remaster]). A great-sounding audience recording. A very good show. Plant is good, not great.
09. - 69/04/27, Live at Fillmore West (CA) [Nite Owl 2019 matrix]. JPJ and Bonzo are bringin' the heat, and Jimmy's command of the blues is probably higher here than at any other time period. His guitar tone is nasty and so is his playing. Plant is strong.
08. - 71/11/20, Empire Pool, Wembley, LD ("Electric Magic" [2020 Graf Zeppelin release]). Merely decent (but importantly, sonically-consistent) audience recording, but THIS SHOW IS FIRE. Percy's back hittin the highs with ease. All-time greats of SIBLY, Rock and Roll, DaC, and maybe a Top 5 Stairway solo EVER. Plant hits "lady" because this show is fire. Also includes the cleanest, best "Tangerine" I've yet heard.
07. - 69/11/07, Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco [2021 Dogs of Doom]. THUMPING sound and a roaring performance all-around. The best White Summer / Black Mountain Side on tape. Heartbreaker slays. So does DaC and HMMT. Again, the sound of this audience recording absolute rules, especially with the hard work of DoD.🙏
06. - 71/05/03, K.B.-Hallen, Copenhagen, DK ("Stick Out!"). If you want to hear Plant nearest his peak playing songs from IV in decent fidelity, this is the show. Black Dog is a Top 5 ever. SIBLY also a Top 5 due to everyone, especially Plant. Stairway is awesome. CB is awesome. An essential bootleg.
05. 77/06/22, The Forum - Thirty Years Gone. I think their best of these shows, and one I never tire of hearing. Probably my favorite Achilles ever. John Bonham. Only known time on Stairway that Pagey skips the extra four bars and goes straight to the solo as on the album.
04. 77/04/28, Richfield Coliseum, OH (2019 JEMS/Winston remaster of "Rocco C. master tape"). In my opinion Bonzo's best-ever show post-'71. This show is nothing like the previous night. Miles ahead. A Top 5 Ten Years Gone (perhaps the very best), and the sickest transition from White Summer / Black Mountain Side to Kashmir ever, itself a version rivalling or exceeding 77/06/25, in my book. Bonzo's comping during Jimmy's Stairway solo is perfection. An all-time great Rock and Roll. Near to the end, Bonzo mid-measure just blows through several bars with a syncopated 6/8 snare roll. The best. The ambience of this show is unique. The recording might be called only "above-average" (conservatively), but crank it and it rocks as hard as anything. As a bonus, even "Over The Top" and Jimmy's "solo" are rather compelling, seriously!
03. 73/01/22, Southampton University @SteveZ98's "The Stereo Project". I'm comin in hot on this one as I've just listened to it once, for the first time today, but it IS THAT GOOD. Performance-wise, it blows away any other '73 boot aside from 3/21 Hamburg, and the sound is all killer no filler. For my money, THE BEST "Over The Hills" EVER and all-time greats of "Song Remains" and "The Rain Song". Page's Stairway solo is badgeholder-level.
02. 70/09/19, MSG Evening ("One More For The Road"). Simply the greatest Led Zeppelin show we have on tape. Plant's best show. Pretty much all of their best shows. Bonham still has those insane kick-drum chops. Everything rules.
01. 71/09/23, Budokan Hall, Tokyo @ZepHead315 remaster "Tobacco Road". This gets the nod because it includes material from IV. Plant is still in EXCELLENT voice. A good audience recording from a few different tapers. The best WLL ever. A Top 3 Stairway, with maybe Page's best solo on a bootleg. It's flawless. Plant nails it and sings the whole thing beautifully. The best Immigrant Song ever. Thunderous. Along with #2, a virtually perfect show that I never tire of hearing.
* If the newest, remastered version of the complete 71/04/01 Paris Cinema Theatre, LD show (most of which is on some form or another of "BBC Sessions") were a true bootleg, it would be in my top 5. Also, 73/03/24 Offenburg is a very good/great show I just can't listen to due to the left channel fluttering issue (and the mono version of it is just not good).
Thanks for indulging me.