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Boston 1973: The Ecstasy and the Agony


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Listening to Boston Cream Pie again(July 20, 1973 @ Boston Garden) and I

am again struck at how you can feel the excitement and sheer pandemonium

the band is stirring up come through the tape...the audience is going bonkers!

This is how I remember the 1973 tour, when the band became HUGE SUPERSTARS

and the crowds were filled with lots of first-time fans, thanks to the extra publicity

of being the band that broke the Beatles record for attendance for a single act.

Also, Led Zeppelin IV had now been out for over a year and by now radio had

ingrained just about every track on the album into every teenagers head, with

Stairway to Heaven, of course, becoming THE anthem of the 70's.

If you reflect back, the 1971 US tour actually occurred before the ZOSO album

was released and the 1972 tour was rather short and overshadowed by the media

because of the Stones tour the same summer. So, as popular as Led Zeppelin IV

was, that album never got a proper major tour in support of it.

So by 1973, fans had plenty of time to get to know Zeppelin IV and there was a

lot of pent-up demand from fans that didn't get a chance to see them in 1972;

there was a buzz building before that tour that just wasn't there in 1972. The fact

that "Houses of the Holy", which featured no less than 5 soon-to-be concert classics

on that 1973 tour, was just released was just icing on the cake.

So, when you listen to the Boston 73 show and you hear the ecstatic reaction of

the crowd, the agony of the show is that THIS concert would prove to be the last

one the band played in Boston.

Which, when you consider how Boston was one of the first cities to embrace Zeppelin via

the legendary Boston Tea Party shows and the Boston Garden shows, makes it all the

more sad Led Zeppelin never got to play there again after 1973.

In 1975, fans tore apart the Garden while waiting for tickets to go on sale for the 75 tour,

and Boston city officials, never the most understanding of the rock culture in the best of

times, banned the group from playing Boston. Hence, the lack of a Boston stop on the

1977 tour.

Such a shame, as like LA, they seemed to play some of their best gigs in Boston.

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I'm checking it out now. The quality is not very good you can only hear vocals and drums well, guitar is fine during solo's though.

Let me see if I can notice the intensity though.... yeah its there, this recording captures audience well.

Doesn't seem to stand out too much to me as far as 73' shows go though, maybe you were just "in the moment" while listening earlier. I have that often, first time I heard 07-07-80 The Last I gave it a 10/10 cause I was so into it at the time, fairly intoxicate i think as that helps. Since then I've heard much of the show multiple times and its definitely not that good. Problem is I have a bias unless I review all shows in the same state of mind, but that shouldn't be too much trouble ;).

fty I've only listened up to No Quarter so far.

and my source is: "Wreckage In Boston" - "Wrecks Havoc" - Tarantura 2000

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Don't know which version you have, but on mine it starts a little muddy but becomes

clearer after a couple songs...but yeah, you can tell the taper was either in the upper

deck or way back as there is lots of echo and the sound is boomy in the bottom end.

Only an average sounding audience tape...but you can, or at least I can, still detect

how well the band is playing and how the crowd is reacting.

My favourite Plantation from this show is when Plant says(I think it's after Dazed)

"I don't know the name of the local football team but they've been playing down

in front for an hour and a half."

Hahaha classic Plant!

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Don't know which version you have, but on mine it starts a little muddy but becomes

clearer after a couple songs...

Yes I noticed it did in the middle of Over the Hills.

And he keeps warning the audience about pushing, etc as he always does. I wish more (or any) artists cared about audience comfort / safety and more importantly the people behind me in general.

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