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Nitpicking Page (The quest for the best performance of 1975)


gibsonfan159
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10 hours ago, Jason Khavari said:

Hey gibsonfan159! Very interesting little series here, love reading through. Curious if you'll give 2/28 Baton Rouge a run through? I remember this being the first time when I was listening to Zeppelin bootlegs where I looked up and was in shock over how badly page was playing because I thought it was so rare! This was during the Black Dog solo, he is COMPLETELY LOST. 

I'll try to work that one in. I'm a big fan of that show, but that's gotta be the worst Black Dog ever. Shame, because the first half is great.

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12 minutes ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I'll try to work that one in. I'm a big fan of that show, but that's gotta be the worst Black Dog ever. Shame, because the first half is great.

It's actually a decent show, right! Really well recorded even by the high '75 standard for board tapes. Seems like it's all going well until Page hits the dressing room during Moby Dick, then the Jack sends everything south...

Anyways, great work, I really enjoy reading these!

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  • 1 year later...

Nitpicking Page 1/18/1975 (EVSD Partial Soundboard)

A newly released, though incomplete, soundboard sample with a fairly good mix. This offers a good opportunity to nitpick an early show for the year. Hopefully we'll get the full release soon. 

TSRTS- Page's opening notes start out front and center but move to the right channel after the start. Plant sounding pretty good for 1975. 3:07, chord flub. 3:18, Page struggles to get this phrase started. First solo- not the most precise, but he holds it together fairly well. Second solo- some slight articulation issues, but not bad at all. "B+".

The Rain Song- 7:09, Plant's vocals move more up front and become clearer while some feedback comes through. Page and Jones knock down an excellent instrumental section. Rock Section- 11:38, a very loose drum fill by Bonham. Otherwise good. "B+".

Kashmir- This song starting off so casually never ceases to seem out of place. Maybe they didn't realize how epic it actually was. 19:53, Rob confuses the lyrics a bit. The outro is solid as Page noodles away in Arabic scales. "B+".

Wanton Song (Partial)- Rob a little hoarse on the start but otherwise hitting the notes perfectly. Unrated.

Assessment- Let's hope this entire show gets out soon as this would be an excellent introduction for the 1975 tour before things went south with Plant's vocals, as he'd get the flu soon after and remain raspy for months. Page is rusty, but plays well enough for an enjoyable show so far.

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13 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Nitpicking Page 1/18/1975 (EVSD Partial Soundboard)

A newly released, though incomplete, soundboard sample with a fairly good mix. This offers a good opportunity to nitpick an early show for the year. Hopefully we'll get the full release soon. 

TSRTS- Page's opening notes start out front and center but move to the right channel after the start. Plant sounding pretty good for 1975. 3:07, chord flub. 3:18, Page struggles to get this phrase started. First solo- not the most precise, but he holds it together fairly well. Second solo- some slight articulation issues, but not bad at all. "B+".

The Rain Song- 7:09, Plant's vocals move more up front and become clearer while some feedback comes through. Page and Jones knock down an excellent instrumental section. Rock Section- 11:38, a very loose drum fill by Bonham. Otherwise good. "B+".

Kashmir- This song starting off so casually never ceases to seem out of place. Maybe they didn't realize how epic it actually was. 19:53, Rob confuses the lyrics a bit. The outro is solid as Page noodles away in Arabic scales. "B+".

Wanton Song (Partial)- Rob a little hoarse on the start but otherwise hitting the notes perfectly. Unrated.

Assessment- Let's hope this entire show gets out soon as this would be an excellent introduction for the 1975 tour before things went south with Plant's vocals, as he'd get the flu soon after and remain raspy for months. Page is rusty, but plays well enough for an enjoyable show so far.

Couldn't wait, could ya'? Hahaha.

TSRTS - I don't know if it was trouble with his fingers getting the first solo started or Jimmy just forgot where he was in the song. He is playing the rhythm riff fine and then it is like he realizes "oh shit, I'm supposed to be soloing right now" and he goes straight into the arpeggio second part of the first solo at the proper moment, so Bonham and Jones don't lose their time. God, how I wish his 12-string sounded this good on the 1977 soundboards.

Rain Song - Flu or no flu, you can tell right away that Plant was going to struggle with the 1975 tour no matter what. It simply was too soon to come back to touring after his throat nodes surgery. Page surprisingly not that bad...fairly nimble fingered considering his injury.

Kashmir - I got news for you, gibsonfan159, Plant always switched these lyrics up. I saw "Kashmir" performed nine times and every single damn time Plant switched the "Talk and song" and "Oh Father of the Four Winds" verses from the order it is on the studio version. I have listened to nearly every Led Zeppelin bootleg from 1975 to 1980 and every Kashmir has the same lyric switch. Even the 1988 Atlantic Records Anniversary Kashmir is switched. It wasn't until the 2007 O2 reunion that a Led Zeppelin live Kashmir featured the lyrics in the original order.

This is still a pretty powerful Kashmir for the opening date of the U.S. tour. Later on in the tour, Plant would frequently drop out of the coda altogether...not singing the "Let me take you there" refrain.

Wanton Song - As smoking hot as I knew it would be just from all the audience tapes of early 1975 I have heard. Release the Kräken!

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5 hours ago, Strider said:

I saw "Kashmir" performed nine times and every single damn time Plant switched the "Talk and song" and "Oh Father of the Four Winds" verses from the order it is on the studio version. I have listened to nearly every Led Zeppelin bootleg from 1975 to 1980 and every Kashmir has the same lyric switch.

Not a major problem to me, I can live with that lyric switch. A huge disaster is the mutilation of the OTHAFA verses from 1973 onwards, that makes me mad.

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6 hours ago, Strider said:

Couldn't wait, could ya'? Hahaha.

TSRTS - I don't know if it was trouble with his fingers getting the first solo started or Jimmy just forgot where he was in the song. He is playing the rhythm riff fine and then it is like he realizes "oh shit, I'm supposed to be soloing right now" and he goes straight into the arpeggio second part of the first solo at the proper moment, so Bonham and Jones don't lose their time. God, how I wish his 12-string sounded this good on the 1977 soundboards.

Rain Song - Flu or no flu, you can tell right away that Plant was going to struggle with the 1975 tour no matter what. It simply was too soon to come back to touring after his throat nodes surgery. Page surprisingly not that bad...fairly nimble fingered considering his injury.

Kashmir - I got news for you, gibsonfan159, Plant always switched these lyrics up. I saw "Kashmir" performed nine times and every single damn time Plant switched the "Talk and song" and "Oh Father of the Four Winds" verses from the order it is on the studio version. I have listened to nearly every Led Zeppelin bootleg from 1975 to 1980 and every Kashmir has the same lyric switch. Even the 1988 Atlantic Records Anniversary Kashmir is switched. It wasn't until the 2007 O2 reunion that a Led Zeppelin live Kashmir featured the lyrics in the original order.

This is still a pretty powerful Kashmir for the opening date of the U.S. tour. Later on in the tour, Plant would frequently drop out of the coda altogether...not singing the "Let me take you there" refrain.

Wanton Song - As smoking hot as I knew it would be just from all the audience tapes of early 1975 I have heard. Release the Kräken!

Wasn't Jimmy playing with only two fingers during this part of the tour?  I know it's been said that he developed a two finger mode of playing while his finger healed. That may be why it's a bit off and not because he is using the injured finger.

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2 hours ago, Autumn Moon said:

Not a major problem to me, I can live with that lyric switch. A huge disaster is the mutilation of the OTHAFA verses from 1973 onwards, that makes me mad.

Oh, definitely. Don't take my words as being angry. For "Kashmir" it still worked. To a lesser extent, Plant's regular botching of "Sick Again" (the Lips Like Cherries and Hours and Hours verses regularly got flip-flopped) and "The Ocean" and "Trampled Under Foot" didn't damage the songs as a whole too much.

But "Over the Hills and Far Away"? Yes, his eliminating the "Many have I love" verse and repeating "Many times I've lied" makes the song sound imbecilic and sloppy and careless. It's yet another reason why Robert Plant was the main focus of criticism of the band in the 1970s.

1 hour ago, hummingbird69 said:

Wasn't Jimmy playing with only two fingers during this part of the tour?  I know it's been said that he developed a two finger mode of playing while his finger healed. That may be why it's a bit off and not because he is using the injured finger.

The "Two-and-a-half Finger Technique" is what Jimmy said in the Creem interview at the time and what Plant said on stage.

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3 hours ago, Strider said:

.

The "Two-and-a-half Finger Technique" is what Jimmy said in the Creem interview at the time and what Plant said on stage.

If you watch closely on a lot of his soloing in 75, he uses his pinky in place of his ring finger. Watch the black dog solos at EC.

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4 hours ago, Strider said:

Oh, definitely. Don't take my words as being angry. For "Kashmir" it still worked. To a lesser extent, Plant's regular botching of "Sick Again" (the Lips Like Cherries and Hours and Hours verses regularly got flip-flopped) and "The Ocean" and "Trampled Under Foot" didn't damage the songs as a whole too much.

 

I swear there are live versions of "Trampled" were Robert seems to sing one, maybe two verses over and over again😅. I'm exaggerating to prove a point, of course- it's like Plant neglected a verse or two in "Trampled Under Foot" on any given night between '75 and '80...I wonder why?

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9 hours ago, Nutrocker said:

I swear there are live versions of "Trampled" were Robert seems to sing one, maybe two verses over and over again😅. I'm exaggerating to prove a point, of course- it's like Plant neglected a verse or two in "Trampled Under Foot" on any given night between '75 and '80...I wonder why?

I think you're right. The "Groovin' on the freeway..." verse seemed to get repeated a lot.

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  • 8 months later...

Nitpicking Page 1/18/1975 Bloomington, MN (Dogs Of Doom source)

PN004762.png.1e5ff6beb96cb0c8a3dafb1fc89a2eff.pngbloom1-picsay.png.0c41fc2a94aac0dfc076ad855ead8e5e.pngimage0.png.c688528cd726e7264f93f09e87613e0f.png258268549_image0(1).png.3f4f4e4ca9bfde2d8de3b4a6197cea87.png

The Dogs Of Doom (Discord) come through again with a decent audience source. Missing IMTOD, and the encores.

Rock And Roll- Plant sounds like 1975 Plant, using the opening numbers to warm up. Good verses. Solo- a little choppy on the transitions but the phrasing is good. Good outro verses. Not too bad. "B+".

Sick Again- Plant a little better but still raspy. Good energetic tempo. First solo- perfectly played and phrased....until 1:58, where Page flubs a note badly. 2:15, easy Rob. Outro solo- starts off good with some nimble runs. 4:22-4:30, a nice set of trills and runs. 4:38, a unique sounding phrase, almost rockabilly. Apart from the very noticeable flub not bad. "A-".

OTHAFA- Solid intro. Plant manages fairly well on the chorus verses. 1:49, Page misses a chord. Solo- 2:47, Page plays the rhythm twice instead of jumping right into the solo. He noodles fluidly on the get-go and maintains a good flow of phrases. Not bad for 1975. 4:41, he struggles a bit on the ascending riff. Plant sounding a bit rougher on the return, but the outro is good. Some rough edges keep this at a "B" despite a good solo.

When The Levee Breaks- Sounding much heavier live. 0:57, Page not hitting the mark on this phrase. 2:54, not bad but Page is struggling with these slide phrases. Some decent harmonica from Plant. 5:46, a little loose sounding. Plant comes back in for some average harmonica playing. 6:40, some improv soloing by Jim with the slide which isn't the most fluid phrasing. Well, for a first time rating, "B+". (Plant mentions Page's broken finger)

TSRTS- Nice energetic start. 1:38, an off note ringing out. 2:06, there it is again. First solo- blazing speed here as Page seems to nail the articulation. 4:09, a string out of tune on the 12. Outro solo- 4:37, Page goes into shred mode on this, nailing the timing and articulation. Considering the slightly out of tune guitar, "A-".

The Rain Song- Good start and guitar interlude from Page. Jones sounds adequate though he's buried in the mix. Rock section- not bad, pretty average. Solid playing throughout. "A".

Kashmir- Recording a little murky now. Solid all the way through, no flaws that I can hear. "A".

The Wanton Song- Pretty solid playing throughout. Solo- some good phaser soaked leads. Fairly solid overall. "A". (4:01, "He was born in Jerusalem")

No Quarter- Solid first verses. Jones' section is very straightforward but pleasant. Solo- Page opens with some nimble runs. 6:23-6:30, playing aggressively. 7:30-7:42, fluid playing and excellent phrasing. 8:41, Page reusing this phrase a lot but it works well. 10:40, interesting phrasing by Jones. The solo winds down nicely and the return sounds good. 13:32, small tape cut. Some decent wah licks on the outro. Could easily pass for a good 1973 version. "A+".

Trampled Underfoot- 1:04. Plant slurring the lyrics. Jones' solo is mostly inaudible. Solo- 3:13, forcing it a little. Just not getting a good flow going but it's not terrible. An average run through for 1975. "B+" for the energy.

Stairway- Verses solid all the way through. Solo- kicking off with the usual phrases, Page playing articulate. But...the phrasing is incredibly straightforward and uncreative. It's quite boring to my ears even if he is keeping a good steady flow going throughout. 8:16, staccato chords played well. 8:26, slight flub. Honestly, the very last phrase at 9:10 is the only one he plays with emphasis. 9:25, Plant drops out for a second on the climax. I can't deduct for technicality because everything is played fairly well, but it's a slightly sleepy version. "A-".


Final Assessment- Some rust undoubtedly showing on the group, but overall much better than what I expected for this performance on the whole. Page is surprisingly nimble fingered (despite one being broken) and still has the remnants of 1973 in his playing. Plant takes a while, naturally, to warm up. Perhaps opening the tour in Minnesota during winter wasn't the best thing to do. The highlight is a strong No Quarter that contends with any 1973 version. Stairway is very solid on Jimmy's part, but as I already stated it feels a bit dialed in. TSRTS, The Rain Song, Kashmir, Wanton Song, and No Quarter is a very solid five song stretch and that type of consistency would be rare for the rest of 1975. Although playing good here, I'd still give the nod to Philadelphia for the best Page of the year. Thanks again to The Dogs Of Doom discord.

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23 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

Nitpicking Page 1/18/1975 Bloomington, MN (Dogs Of Doom source)

PN004762.png.1e5ff6beb96cb0c8a3dafb1fc89a2eff.pngbloom1-picsay.png.0c41fc2a94aac0dfc076ad855ead8e5e.pngimage0.png.c688528cd726e7264f93f09e87613e0f.png258268549_image0(1).png.3f4f4e4ca9bfde2d8de3b4a6197cea87.png

The Dogs Of Doom (Discord) come through again with a decent audience source. Missing IMTOD, and the encores.

Rock And Roll- Plant sounds like 1975 Plant, using the opening numbers to warm up. Good verses. Solo- a little choppy on the transitions but the phrasing is good. Good outro verses. Not too bad. "B+".

Sick Again- Plant a little better but still raspy. Good energetic tempo. First solo- perfectly played and phrased....until 1:58, where Page flubs a note badly. 2:15, easy Rob. Outro solo- starts off good with some nimble runs. 4:22-4:30, a nice set of trills and runs. 4:38, a unique sounding phrase, almost rockabilly. Apart from the very noticeable flub not bad. "A-".

OTHAFA- Solid intro. Plant manages fairly well on the chorus verses. 1:49, Page misses a chord. Solo- 2:47, Page plays the rhythm twice instead of jumping right into the solo. He noodles fluidly on the get-go and maintains a good flow of phrases. Not bad for 1975. 4:41, he struggles a bit on the ascending riff. Plant sounding a bit rougher on the return, but the outro is good. Some rough edges keep this at a "B" despite a good solo.

When The Levee Breaks- Sounding much heavier live. 0:57, Page not hitting the mark on this phrase. 2:54, not bad but Page is struggling with these slide phrases. Some decent harmonica from Plant. 5:46, a little loose sounding. Plant comes back in for some average harmonica playing. 6:40, some improv soloing by Jim with the slide which isn't the most fluid phrasing. Well, for a first time rating, "B+". (Plant mentions Page's broken finger)

TSRTS- Nice energetic start. 1:38, an off note ringing out. 2:06, there it is again. First solo- blazing speed here as Page seems to nail the articulation. 4:09, a string out of tune on the 12. Outro solo- 4:37, Page goes into shred mode on this, nailing the timing and articulation. Considering the slightly out of tune guitar, "A-".

The Rain Song- Good start and guitar interlude from Page. Jones sounds adequate though he's buried in the mix. Rock section- not bad, pretty average. Solid playing throughout. "A".

Kashmir- Recording a little murky now. Solid all the way through, no flaws that I can hear. "A".

The Wanton Song- Pretty solid playing throughout. Solo- some good phaser soaked leads. Fairly solid overall. "A". (4:01, "He was born in Jerusalem")

No Quarter- Solid first verses. Jones' section is very straightforward but pleasant. Solo- Page opens with some nimble runs. 6:23-6:30, playing aggressively. 7:30-7:42, fluid playing and excellent phrasing. 8:41, Page reusing this phrase a lot but it works well. 10:40, interesting phrasing by Jones. The solo winds down nicely and the return sounds good. 13:32, small tape cut. Some decent wah licks on the outro. Could easily pass for a good 1973 version. "A+".

Trampled Underfoot- 1:04. Plant slurring the lyrics. Jones' solo is mostly inaudible. Solo- 3:13, forcing it a little. Just not getting a good flow going but it's not terrible. An average run through for 1975. "B+" for the energy.

Stairway- Verses solid all the way through. Solo- kicking off with the usual phrases, Page playing articulate. But...the phrasing is incredibly straightforward and uncreative. It's quite boring to my ears even if he is keeping a good steady flow going throughout. 8:16, staccato chords played well. 8:26, slight flub. Honestly, the very last phrase at 9:10 is the only one he plays with emphasis. 9:25, Plant drops out for a second on the climax. I can't deduct for technicality because everything is played fairly well, but it's a slightly sleepy version. "A-".


Final Assessment- Some rust undoubtedly showing on the group, but overall much better than what I expected for this performance on the whole. Page is surprisingly nimble fingered (despite one being broken) and still has the remnants of 1973 in his playing. Plant takes a while, naturally, to warm up. Perhaps opening the tour in Minnesota during winter wasn't the best thing to do. The highlight is a strong No Quarter that contends with any 1973 version. Stairway is very solid on Jimmy's part, but as I already stated it feels a bit dialed in. TSRTS, The Rain Song, Kashmir, Wanton Song, and No Quarter is a very solid five song stretch and that type of consistency would be rare for the rest of 1975. Although playing good here, I'd still give the nod to Philadelphia for the best Page of the year. Thanks again to The Dogs Of Doom discord.

So I have to ask, why did your ratings from the audience recording get higher grades vs. the soundboard starting with The Song Remains The Same through to The Wanton Song? Also do you think you'll do the Brussels show by chance?

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4 hours ago, wordev1977 said:

So I have to ask, why did your ratings from the audience recording get higher grades vs. the soundboard starting with The Song Remains The Same through to The Wanton Song? Also do you think you'll do the Brussels show by chance?

I purposely didn't look at my previous ratings to see how they'd compare. It's pretty obvious that a soundboard reveals more flaws, or at least exaggerates them, more than an audience source. So the ratings are really "in the ear of the beholder", but I'll always say a soundboard is more accurate for a technical analysis.

Brussels is a possibility.

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12 hours ago, gibsonfan159 said:

I purposely didn't look at my previous ratings to see how they'd compare. It's pretty obvious that a soundboard reveals more flaws, or at least exaggerates them, more than an audience source. So the ratings are really "in the ear of the beholder", but I'll always say a soundboard is more accurate for a technical analysis.

Brussels is a possibility.

Oh gotcha and yeah you're right a soundboard puts forth absolutely every little mistake vs an audience recording which hides the minute details.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Nitpicking Page 1/18/1975 (Source Mix- LedZepFilm)

This review includes the rest of the EVSD soundboard. *songs were from the first review.

Rock And Roll- Guitar tone is maximum lifeless twang. Robert's opening "Whoo" is on the rough side. Verses are decent. Solo- Talk about being fooled by an audience source, the first series of phrases sounds like he's trying to play with one finger. Even if we accept the fact that a 1975 soundboard paints the worst picture possible this level of playing is just inconceivable by a professional guitarist. Let's move on. "C+".

Sick Again- Good start. First solo- smooth sailing until 1:59 where Jim hits a bum note. Outro solo- not the most technically precise, but Page keeps a good flow going throughout with decent playing. "A-".

OTHAFA- Out of tune off the bat. Opening is decent, Plant sounds a little rough on the verses. 2:25, Page chokes a note. Solo- bit of a rough start. He keeps a good steady flow going. 3:53-4:07, some bad articulation. The ending phrases are played roughly but he hangs on. Plant sounds half asleep on the return. The out of tune string doesn't help the outro. Bit of a let down. "B". (Plant blames the lighting)

When The Levee Breaks- Decent start. 2:27, Page putting a little too much vibrato on the slide, but decent playing overall. Plant's harmonica is adequate. 4:29, Page playing behind the beat a bit. 6:20, decent harmonica playing. 6:48, Page attempts a slide solo which borders on good and slopfest. Honestly, Jones and Bonham are the only ones putting down a solid melody here. If you like slow and messy, this is great. If you like a professional sounding performance, "B".

*TSRTS- Page's opening notes start out front and center but move to the right channel after the start. Plant sounding pretty good for 1975. 3:07, chord flub. 3:18, Page struggles to get this phrase started. First solo- not the most precise, but he holds it together fairly well. Second solo- some slight articulation issues, but not bad at all. "B+".

*The Rain Song- 7:09, Plant's vocals move more up front and become clearer while some feedback comes through. Page and Jones knock down an excellent instrumental section. Rock Section- 11:38, a very loose drum fill by Bonham. Otherwise good. "B+".

*Kashmir- This song starting off so casually never ceases to seem out of place. Maybe they didn't realize how epic it actually was. 19:53, Rob confuses the lyrics a bit. The outro is solid as Page noodles away in Arabic scales. "B+".

Wanton Song- Plant really straining for those notes but not sounding too bad. SBD cuts out right before the solo, but this has solid playing from all members. Still an "A".

No Quarter- Soundboard enters at 2:27. Jones- solid playing and still very 73 sounding. Solo- Page enters fluidly with steady phrasing, not rushing. 5:20-5:27, not the most articulate through here. 6:29, a little sloppy. 6:50, better flow here. A reserved sounding solo but certainly not bad. 9:30, interesting phrasing by Jones. The return is good and Page gets some decent wah licks in toward the end. I'd call this a perfectly average performance. "A-".

Trampled Underfoot- Slightly upped tempo to kick it off. Jones- reserved but good. Solo- Page enters with some nice pulloffs before launching into faster phrases. 3:14-3:20, sloppy. 3:35, repeats this phrase a few times but can't seem to make it work. Solid ending. "B+".

IMTOD- Solid verses and playing. First solo- some small hangups but otherwise good. Second solo- 6:22, a little forced here. Not bad. 7:03-7:11, nice playing from Jones. Very solid overall with good enthusiasm. "A".

Stairway- Jonesy is absent from the mix and finally gets plugged in at 2:21. Not the most proficient playing from Page through the verses as he's choppy with some of the chording (4:49), but good playing from the others. Solo- struggling with the opening phrases a bit. 6:46-6:48, some hang ups. Page sounding sticky throughout. 7:28, wrong chord in there somewhere. 8:14, repeats an off sounding phrase twice. 8:31, bad chording. 8:40, flub. 8:53, sticky. The audience source does a good job at masking this sloppy playing, but all is revealed here. "C+".

WLL (Partial)- 0:06, Plant not sounding well but it's a nice groovy tempo which is only used as a lead in.

Black Dog- Plant forgets one of the opening lines and repeats the previous one. The added vocal effect is very off sounding. Apart from that the verses are good. Solo- a little sticky on the take off. 4:25, some bad articulation. 4:46, straining a bit. Overall however it's a surprisingly good solo played passionately. "B+".


Final Assessment- The contrast between the SBD and AUD for this show honestly made me rethink my audience source reviews. I've always known that a soundboard reveals small flubs that are otherwise unnoticeable, but this one shows that any audience source that isn't a Millard quality recording is pretty unreliable for accurately judging technicality and proficiency. Makes me worry about soundboards coming out for other shows I've held in high regard. With that said however, it's still a pretty good showing for such an early performance in the tour. Wanton Song and IMTOD are the highlights. Also a very solid No Quarter.

Edited by gibsonfan159
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Nitpicking Page 3/3/1975 Ft. Worth, TX (Rock Superstars- Liriodendron Remaster)

1975-ftworth-bw-cd32.jpg.2da613a27c5fe40ce6e84b29216bc309.jpgimage0.jpg.7fddf7cd39eefa5c29dac3d42adff163.jpg750303-03.jpg.5167ab62c08f5d79339e647ee55161f9.jpg

Rock And Roll- 0:15, Bonham switching up the beat either purposely or accidentally. Again at 0:25. Plant sounding very rough on the opening notes. 1:48, Bonham going ape here. Solo- Slightly loose in places but very solid overall. I think Bonzo might've had some technical problems which is what made him overplay and switch the beat up so much, but who knows. Plant's raspiness considered, "B+".

Sick Again- Solid verses though Plant is still straining. First solo- honestly, very good all the way. One of the more fluid ones I've heard. Outro solo- good start. 4:30, starts a surprisingly fluid run but runs it into the ditch. He's back on track to end it properly though. The band is very tight overall so far. "A-".

OTHAFA- Well, he's in tune so things are sounding bright. Solid intro. Plant already sounding out of breath. Opening chorus sounding nice. 2:13, minor chord flub. Solo- 2:57, nice fluid run. 3:44, 73-ish through here. He's seriously in the zone for this. 4:45, a little inarticulate. Good finish. Back to 1975 reality though when Plant circles back. Solid ending. Let's take the vocals out of the equation and say "A-".

IMTOD- 3:20, Page gets confused and plays the opening riff again before launching the fast section. No problem though as it still works. First solo- energy off the charts as Page nails down a fluid run of slide licks. 5:47, Bonham reverses the beat but quickly corrects it. Second solo- that fretless bass crowding the mix. Not bad at all. Quite good actually. 9:35, Bonzo getting some monstrous fills in. Plant sounding slightly better toward the end. "A+".

TSRTS- Blazing tempo. Solid start and verses. First solo- 2:42, phrasing a little choppy. 2:55, not quite playing smoothly here. Outro solo- 4:27, slight hang up. Otherwise not bad. Page sounding just a tad rusty on the solos. "B+".

Rain Song- Good beginning, solid playing throughout until... 4:54, mellotron flub. Rock section- Decent, but Plant absolutely wrecks his voice at 5:37. Good ending. The Tron was acting up a little on this one though Jones managed well. "B+".

Kashmir- Sounds solid throughout with a good balance between guitar and mellotron. Plant obviously rough in a few spots. "A".

No Quarter- Good start with the mello up in the mix. JPJ- a pretty average sounding routine from Jones. Solo- fluid start. 10:54, a little sloppy here. Page keeps the phrasing steady but isn't shooting for the moon. 13:48, switching to the bridge pickup (with the wah pedal engaged) for some screaming leads. 14:22, bending the string behind the nut. 16:00, speedy run. Not a bad solo, just not a very exciting one. 18:36, a dramatic finish from Bonham and Jones. The return is good and Page comes alive for the outro. Very solid performance, but nothing I'd write home about. "A".

Trampled Underfoot- Energetic tempo. Jones gets a good funk routine. Solo- starts good. 4:12, inarticulate. Not too bad. Solid ending. "A-".

Dazed- good start. First workout- a little underwhelming with some messy noodling from Page. Woodstock section is decent but Plant strains with the vocals (8:38). Bow section lasts just over seven minutes. Second workout- 18:11, Jim coming alive. 19:25, just a tad sloppy. 20:49, Page plays the vocal duet part but Plant doesn't jump in. 23:00, fairly solid playing though his tone seems to be dialed back. Mars- good. 26:05, a nice funk jam and you can hear a loose jack plug in the recording. Climax comes out of nowhere and Bonham goes nuts. Final verses are good. Finale- the usual ear piercing wah leads from Page. Pretty solid performance overall but the workouts leave a bit to be desired. "A-".

Stairway- Solid verses throughout. 6:18 and 6:28, off notes by Jones. Solo- decent, somewhat sticky noodling by Page. The phrasing is good but the fluidity is missing. 8:30, loose. 8:50, sticky. 9:24, Bonham plays some big fills seemingly to say "Let's wrap this up" and Page half heartedly plays the final phrases. The climax and ending sound good. Not bad, but again nothing too notable as the solo is just adequate. "B+".

WLL- Page hints at the Sick Again chords before starting. Good start. The funk jam is short and Page doesn't get a whole lot going for the freak out section. "B".

Black Dog- Solid verses to start.1:43, Plant really pushing it. 2:33, Page and Bonzo get off sync. 3:32, Robert waits for the crowd's response but Bonham keeps it going. Solo- decent until 4:11, where Page starts straining badly. 5:11, whoo boy. Train wreck here and gives the Baton Rouge version a run for it's money. I can see why Bonzo was trying to end this as soon as possible. "C+".


Final Assessment- The first two thirds of this one is surprisingly tight instrumentally, with Bonham really flexing (or being impatient). Page isn't perfect but plays impressively for the era. Plant however is dreadful for most of the show. The highlight is a standout IMTOD, where even the flub adds to it a bit. No Quarter, Kashmir, and Dazed are all solid. It's apparent though that there was some backstage medication during Moby Dick as Page got stickier toward the end. 

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