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TyrackT71

BEST ZEPP CONCERT?

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9/29/71 in Osaka! I was thinking back on what show is actually my favorite and I really couldn't say it's anything other than this one. It's really dear to me personally.

When I was a young teen, I didn't have an iPod or any mp3 type devices (this was around 10 years ago), so I just ended up using my dad's old Walkman when I wanted to have my music on the go. I had just gotten into Zep bootlegs around then, and saved up to order a copy of the 9/29 show, the Nighthawk CD version. I remember listening to it constantly at home, but wanting to have it for bus rides and just when I was out in general! So I bootlegged my bootleg ūü§£ I used some old casette tapes my dad had and taped the whole thing. It fit on a couple casette tapes, and those things with me to hell and back. In the process I became intimately familiar with the show, and I love every minute of it.

Funnily enough, it's still the show I listen to most. Albeit with half of it now being replaced with the vastly superior soundboard source. Here's to hoping the rest comes out eventually!

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I don't think Zep had one, or even several, top performances as every tour was very different from the prior. New setlists, new approach to songs and playing in general. To be fair one would have to give a best of each tour IMO.

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It's hard to pick just one because it can change with my mood, but I would have to go for Osaka 71 or Blueberry Hill 70.

There are some great shows in 75 and 77 but the problems with those shows is either Plant's lower range or Page's erratic playing. For instance, a very popular on is Eddie, but Plant's using his B voice, not his A+ voice (Honolulu 70'), and Page, while being in good form for 77' isn't as sharp as in his best shows from the early days. Another show I love is Nassau 75', but for the same reasons I guess I couldn't choose it as my favorite. I have a hard time understanding how people can choose shows from 75-80 as their all time favorites given Plant's harsh limitations and Jimmy's inability to play like he did in 71-73. One thing about the later shows though is that the set lists are big and varied. We get to hear some of the great songs from the later days.

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1 hour ago, Christopher Lees said:

It's hard to pick just one because it can change with my mood, but I would have to go for Osaka 71 or Blueberry Hill 70.

There are some great shows in 75 and 77 but the problems with those shows is either Plant's lower range or Page's erratic playing. For instance, a very popular on is Eddie, but Plant's using his B voice, not his A+ voice (Honolulu 70'), and Page, while being in good form for 77' isn't as sharp as in his best shows from the early days. Another show I love is Nassau 75', but for the same reasons I guess I couldn't choose it as my favorite. I have a hard time understanding how people can choose shows from 75-80 as their all time favorites given Plant's harsh limitations and Jimmy's inability to play like he did in 71-73. One thing about the later shows though is that the set lists are big and varied. We get to hear some of the great songs from the later days.

I must disagree here as IMO, Plant's delivery for most of 77' was better, again, IMO, than in any of the early shows where he screams like a banshee. His 77' voice was my favorite as he was using more of his whole voice and had much more resonance as well. A good example is Black Country Woman, holy shit when the song goes uptempo Plant belts it out, and more powerfully than in the early days. I would gladly take his limited high range in exchange for the warmth and resonance of his voice in 77'.

Now for Page. Yes, he was erratic as a live player from 75'-83' however when he was on, he was ON! As in better than anything he had done 68'-73'. Hell, the NQ's from EC, especially the 18th & 23rd more than prove that and the LA & NY runs in 77' are pure lightning in a bottle.

I would agree the band was much more consistent live from 68'-73' as it is quite difficult to find an even mediocre performance from that period. However 75'-79' had some amazing shows.

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20 minutes ago, PeaceFrogYum said:

I would agree the band was much more consistent live from 68'-73' as it is quite difficult to find an even mediocre performance from that period. However 75'-79' had some amazing shows.

I would say that erratic performances began to creep in around the '73 England tour. Shows like Southampton prove Page and Plant were both beginning to struggle and drag the band down at times. The US '72 Tour is the last in which you could see the band on any given night and get a great show. Of course, with these inconsistencies, the band proved they could prevail quite well considering the years best and most memorable performances of the year. But this is steadfast balanced by the more shoddy performances (Southampton, both Chicago shows, Sheffield)

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I tend to agree with the sentiments above -- it's not so much that the ceiling lowered after '73, but rather the floor did.  Whereas the range in quality night-to-night on the Summer 1970 tour was great to all-time great, the range on the 1977 tour was horrendous to all-time great. 

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