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gibsonfan159

Nitpicking Page 1980

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Nitpicking Page 6/17/1980 Dortmund (Dortmund- Tarantura)

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The first boot (and show) to kick off the 1980 tour. The guys have adapted to the new decade by abandoning the silk suits and now sport sleeveless shirts. An "Ego kill" for the dinosaurs I suppose. This is listed as a soundboard but sounds more like a quality audience recording in places, instead of the usual dry sound.

Train Kept A Rollin- An explosive new opener kicks off. Bonham's drum sound has good depth here. Solo- Wah soaked and played fairly well. Excellent start. "A" for this first time rating.

NFBM- Now skipping the acapella guitar opening and getting right to the meat. Harmonica- very good. 0:40, Page plays the wrong riff. 1:51, barely audible but Page is playing some weird chords in the background. 2:21, wrong chord. 2:36, a little sticky. Solo- not a terrible start, but 3:36-3:50 is a sloppy, poorly phrased mess. "C+". (4:48, someone yelling "intermission". And it sounds like Page is doing the Plantations now.)

Black Dog- Very uptempo and energetic. Plant sounds good and gets some excellent screams in, though I don't know if they were "aided". Solo- Rough on the edges and of course having slight articulation issues, but this is a pretty good solo with lots of attitude. "B+".

In The Evening- A quicker start to this as well. Good verses. Solo- Terrible tone, but played quite nicely. The flute on the middle section seems out of place and dated, only saved by Page's moody arpeggios. It's hard to believe with Jones' orchestration skills that's the best he could come up with- one single, repeating flute riff. Page gets some solid licks in for the outro. "B+". 

The Rain Song- Either the recorder level is clipping or Page has some static sounding overdrive. The delay coming through really helps this. 1:06, a tad sticky. Jones' synths sound wonderful here, much better than the Mello. Rock section- Some off notes by Jones, but still pretty good. Good ending. "B".

Hot Dog- Fairly good intro. 1:18, I don't know about these vocal effects. All in fun I suppose. Solo- Good first half, but 2:00 gets very sticky. Good ending. "B".

All My Love- Excellent first half. Synth solo- Perfect. Guitar solo- Page does some mild sweep picking and plays some well phrased, though choppy, leads. 3:10, slight flub. The outro is so Queen sounding it's not funny. "B+" for a first rate.

Trampled Underfoot- Uptempo and driving, very confident sounding. Jones gets some good clavinet licks in. Solo- One big ascending, wah soaked run off the bat. 3:52, some blazing runs. Very good. 4:24, wrong note? 5:40, that Bonham groove. The best version since LA 1977, maybe even top 5 for me. "A".

SIBLY- A decent intro. Jones does some exquisite piano work and Plant is singing naturally, not forcing it like 1977. Solo- Page's fingers become quite nimble and his phrasing is on point. Great solo. Latter half is played with tremendous conviction. "A".

Achilles- Solid intro. A few missed chords on the beginning. First solo- Some straining but otherwise not too bad. Second solo- A little sticky. Third solo- again, some straining but nothing major. Plant, Jones, and Bonham all sounded solid. Overall a fairly average version. "B".

WS/BMS- White Summer is very sticky and goes off the beaten path in places. BMS is much smoother, but contains a couple flubs. "B".

Kashmir- The mellotron was definitely much better on this (when it stayed in tune). A fairly solid version. "B+".

Stairway- Let's shoot that elephant in the room- Jones' synths are an absolute abomination for this song. Bring back the 'Tron. His piano work is excellent however. Plant sings this in a very moody tone, sounding a little melancholy. Solo- Good start. 5:17 is a strange released bend, but works nonetheless. Articulation is sticky in places, but overall a very unique sounding solo phrased well. "B+".

Rock And Roll- Good energy and blazing tempo. Solo- Obviously going a little fast for Page and he just tries to hang on. Audio cuts to an extremely muffled audience source. "B".

WLL (Partial) - 1:12, cool riff. 

Heartbreaker- Page is a little sloppy after the first verse. Solo- Page skips the signature acapella "Smear" part and plays the rockabilly section frantically, almost impatient. The climax solo is rife with bad articulation. Sounds like he just wants to get offstage. 

WLL (Part Two)- Good ending. "B" for the medley. 

Final Assessment- Although not flawless, this is definitely a huge step up from the 8/11/79 show. Page is struggling slightly and overly frantic in places, but I'm sure nerves played a part on this opening night. The other three are solid as usual. Highlights are a tremendous Trampled Underfoot, truly one of the better ones I've heard. SIBLY is intriguing and played with more integrity than almost any 77 version, though Page's guitar blazing has mostly faded. 

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I'm looking forward to this tour review. There seem to be far more duds than diamonds, so I'm interested in your opinion on what are the diamonds.

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If you're doing the entire tour, I'd recommend seeking out Liriodendron's matrix of Frankfurt 1980 (which is so good it could pass for an official release) and Bluecongo's matrix of Zurich and the 2nd Mannheim show. For the rest of the shows, I'd say go with either Winston's remasters or the Weedwacker transfers.

This has always been my least favorite Zeppelin tour so I'm interested to see how you rate Page's playing compared to prior years. For me, I can't stand his tone, Jonesy's synths, or how Bonzo (with a few exceptions) is a shadow of his former self. There's some gems here and there but less so than other tours. Again, just my two cents.

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1 hour ago, ZepHead315 said:

If you're doing the entire tour, I'd recommend seeking out Liriodendron's matrix of Frankfurt 1980 (which is so good it could pass for an official release) and Bluecongo's matrix of Zurich and the 2nd Mannheim show. For the rest of the shows, I'd say go with either Winston's remasters or the Weedwacker transfers.

This has always been my least favorite Zeppelin tour so I'm interested to see how you rate Page's playing compared to prior years. For me, I can't stand his tone, Jonesy's synths, or how Bonzo (with a few exceptions) is a shadow of his former self. There's some gems here and there but less so than other tours. Again, just my two cents.

For me Jonesy's keys sounded silly. Much of Zeps keyboard stuff he used the mellotron, Hammond C3, electric piano, or piano. The synths of the 80's were great for Depeshe, Yazoo, and the other New Wave bands but Zep needed the orchestration for some of those songs. Kashmir is a perfect example. I would have preferred they abandoned the keys and put Jones on bass for Kashmir, would have sounded better than those crappy synths.

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Good Lord! No matter what you will nitpick after this precious 1980 tour, things can only get better.

Enjoy yourself! Lol

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This is a tough tour to nitpick all the way around the horn...Jimmy alternated between decent and train wreck, sometimes within the same minute, Plant's heart wasn't in it, undoubtedly Bonzo's most lackluster tour, and Jones' Alembic and keyboard sounds don't exude much warmth.  It has its moments, but this is the tour that time forgot, unfortunately for good reason.

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13 hours ago, White Phone said:

undoubtedly Bonzo's most lackluster tour,

I read a lot of people saying this, but I don't really hear it that way. To me, Bonzo kept getting better and better, unlike poor Jimmy, who got worse and worse.

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6 hours ago, Christopher Lees said:

I read a lot of people saying this, but I don't really hear it that way. To me, Bonzo kept getting better and better, unlike poor Jimmy, who got worse and worse.

For me there's a cut off around the collapse in Nuremberg. Before that, he's as good as he always was. After that, he seems to be phoning it in.

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I was hoping you'd nitpick this tour. I've been convinced for a long time that the soundboards for 6/17 and 6/18 play way too fast, but whoever shared them corrected the pitch but not the tempo. They just sound impossibly fast to me. That said I still think your assessment of 6/17 was spot on. I'm most looking forward to your assessments of 6/20, 6/21, 7/2, and 7/7.

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White summer hits an all time low on this tour.

Yet its revitalized properly in 1988, outrider tour

Stairway was a song the singer did not want to sing anymore...so why play it? Honestly they came nowhere near cutting the waffle with the setlist....yet they played like they were cutting the waffle. 

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To me, cutting the waffle was the opening of the 80 shows, the first few songs. But after that, between the epic songs and the new songs there is a giant void. For example, if they only edited stairway and sibly, that would leave space for 3 general zep songs they recently were playing 79...over the hills, misty mountain, celebration day. So that still leaves the rain song, achilles last stand and kashmir in the set. Three epic songs...and they were wanting to play the rain song, you can hear it. Also, just for some added change up songs to the othafa mmh celebration....., like levee, the rover, night flight, or anything else. 

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Excellent review Gibsonfan...I've never been a fan of any of the WS/BMS on this tour. 

Trampled was my favorite moment of 1980...all in all this tour suffered from some odd choices in the set list.

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4 hours ago, zepscoda said:

Trampled was my favorite moment of 1980

This was the real stand out by a country mile. It was the closest they connected to their past live glory in a sense. WLL also had it's moments more than anything else. I still occasionally will give a 1980 show a go, but there is a lot of skipping I will admit.

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When it comes to 1980, it's pretty disappointing for me. However, Jimmy's "less is more" approach to Since I've Been Loving You is unbeatable at Zurich 1980! He plays with such incredible feel. It's palpable .Face stomping emotional outbursts at its very best. It must be listened to ridiculously loud in order to fully appreciate the way Jimmy manipulates the dynamics.

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Nitpicking Page 6/18/1980 Sporthalle, Germany (Cologne 1980- TDOLZ)

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This is mostly soundboard with a few audience source patches. The description states it has been speed corrected but still seems to run a little fast. 

Train Kept A Rollin- Plenty of attitude, but rough around the edges. "B+".

NFBM- Speedy tempo. 0:46, some off notes. Harmonica- Not bad, a little uninspired. Bonzo is murdering the drums though. Solo- an unusual couple runs off the bat, then some sloppiness played at blinding speed. Not too bad overall, but this was driven mostly by Bonzo's muscular drumming. "B".

Schwarzer Hund- Very energetic with excellent enthusiasm through the verses. Solo- not amazing, but better than a lot of 75 versions. The energy really makes this shine. "B+".

In The Evening- Just noticed the intro sounds a bit like Rush's "Xanadu". Again, good energy. 2:17, synths sounding like carnival music. 2:47, notable drum fill. Solo- Just ok, nothing more. 5:38, Page comes in with some blazing wah licks. Good ending. "B".

The Rain Song- Some sticky notes throughout, but otherwise a decent run through. Though it sounds severely outdated in 1980. "B+".

Hot Dog- Very rough intro. 0:37, beautiful piano. Solo- Page does some repeated bends to start then disappears behind the piano, but seems to finish up nicely. Not bad, but it's a far cry from the nifty hybrid picking he did in 1979. A solid ending. The intro really keeps this at a "B", but good apart from that.

All My Love- No proper introduction makes this start off awkwardly. Page's little guitar voicings are played nicely and Plant sings with a fitting tone. Solo- Jones knocks his down perfectly. Page struggles slightly with his. 3:34, sloppy guitar part. I still hear Freddie Mercury singing the outro. Pretty bland version, "B".

Trampled Underfoot- A refreshing return to form. Solo- Jones was only decent, but Page takes off. 3:17, excellent riffing here. 4:05, perfect use of the wah effect. 5:54-6:40, amazing wah phrases on the outro. I don't know if these versions just sound good compared to the tamer 1980 set list or if they're really that good, but I'm impressed. "A".

SIBLY- 0:13, some off notes, otherwise good intro. Good verses. Solo- Page plays with hesitant, suspenseful phrasing but the dry soundboard does it no favors. Overall a nice solo played with passion. 7:55, some off chording. This version certainly has the mood, but it drags so bad. I'll give it a generous "B+", held together by an intriguing solo.

Achilles- 0:32, almost a blunder as Bonzo misses the bass drum pedal. 2:44, Bonham misses the beat for a second. 3:00-3:08, these guitar fills sound pretty bad. First solo (3:45)- The audio sources switch, but sounds like Page gets some solid runs in. Second solo (6:33)- very sticky. Third solo (7:49)- Not bad. A little more loose than tight on this one. "B".

White Summer- 1:00, bending those strings a bit too much. 1:33, he's having a real hard time kicking this one off. The faster tempo takes off frantically. 3:10-3:18, unique phrasing. The ending wanders aimlessly. Page just isn't feeling this one tonight. "B".

BMS- A little smoother now, though it's still lacking enthusiasm. "B".

Kashmir- Thin sound, but overall a solid performance. "A".

Stairway- I could spend an hour complaining about these keyboards, but let's just pretend they're not there. After a lazy intro, the uptempo part sounds much livelier. Solo- Opening run sounds like he skipped a few notes. 6:12, off the track. 6:28, a nice run. 7:40, sloppy. Final bars are pretty good. Not the worst solo I've heard, but close. As the ending switches to an audience source it's clear the audience couldn't be bothered with some sloppiness. "B".

Rock And Roll- Way too fast. Decent verses. Solo- very good actually. 2:18, fingers stuck in strings. Not too bad, "B+" for energy.

Communication Breakdown- Good energy for this closer. Solo- wah soaked and a little sticky. "B+".

Final Assessment- A step down from the last show. The band fails to hit on all cylinders tonight and Page's playing is very frustrated in places. Once again the highlight is Trampled, which is played with authority. The SIBLY solo is certainly worth a listen, but no real treasures to be found here. An audience source would certainly mask a lot of mistakes. 

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I'm convinced that the Cologne soundboard, like Dortmund, played way too fast, and was only pitch corrected instead of speed corrected. Both of these shows just feel way too fast to be natural, and none of the other shows from this tour are ever as fast either so that's the basis of my theory. I look forward to your nitpick of Brussels, I think it and Rotterdam are the best shows after Zurich, Frankfurt, and Munich.

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Nitpicking Page 6/20/1980 Voorst National, Belgium (Brussels Affair-Swingin Pig)

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A very dry. flat soundboard with some electrical buzzing issues, but very listenable.

Train Kept A Rollin- Plant sounds a little rough, but a good energetic kickoff. Solo- wah soaked and murky, but sounds alright. Outro solo- Page lets loose for some decent runs. Nothing great here. "B".

NFBM- Page's chording is a little loose and the maxed out overdrive doesn't help. It trods along with good energy though. Harmonica- very good, Plant plays excellent here. 2:32, sloppy chording. 2:59, Jones goes missing. Solo- There's a very thick line between phrasing and articulation here. If you don't notice the technique, it's a perfectly played solo. If you have an ear for details you'll hear very sloppy playing. Overall, not too bad. Bonham is thunderous as usual, but the other three are just sufficient. "B+". 

Chien Noir- Page practices his French on the opening. I bet this is how he wooed those 14 yr olds. Plant is sounding a little like scratchy 1973, take that as good or bad. They are definitely playing with attitude in any case. Solo- slightly lethargic, but Page's bends do sound nice. 5:31, the only real bum runs of the song. "B".

In The Evening- 0:33, Plant comments "Strange sound, Benji" in reference to a buzzing sound which immediately stops. Undoubtedly talking about Benji LeFevre who had mixed roles with Zep, including audio engineer. Good opening and verses as far as a soundboard can be judged. Solo- thin and distant, but played very well. Outro solo- some blazing licks off the bat and some steady playing til the end. I'll note once again that Jones' keyboards only do harm to this live performance, where an exciting bass line would truly make it a great rocker. Despite the audio, I'll go "A" on performance.

The Rain Song- A "zzrrpp" from Page plugging in his twelve string kicks the song off and an electrical buzz continues throughout the track. Good chording from Page and the keyboards are balanced well. Rock section- very good enthusiasm, played well. My source transfers to an audience source near the end, but sounds like Page gets the outro down. No reason to not say "A" for a 1980 performance.

Hot Dog- A loose intro by Page. Plant sounds good but the piano crowds the mix. Solo- Overplayed and sloppy. He's completely given up on the hybrid picking part. Solid ending. "B".

All My Love- Intro is lacking confidence and drags badly, though Plant sounds good. Synth solo- average. Guitar solo- terrible. Page stumbles badly and sounds out of it. The outro has more enthusiasm and drives along nicely, sounding very good. Still, a "C+".

Trampled Underfoot- Good kick off and verses. Jones gets some funky riffs in. Solo- a good array of aggressive notes without going off the rails. 4:30-4:55 is excellent. A little sloppy after 5:30 but he builds it back up nicely. The wah licks toward the end are experimental and expressive. Not perfect, but once again a solid version of the song with tremendous energy. Unless future nitpicks prove otherwise, I think it's clear that this song was their baby for 1980. "A".

SIBLY- Page teases the intro several times, getting reactions from the crowd. Decent noodling from Page to start, though a little relaxed. 2:07, Plant's voice has flattened. 2:11, a feedback blip makes Plant hesitate. Solo- Some good phrases for the first few bars. 5:38-6:00, repetitive and forced. The standard second half routine carries the song to the end in good fashion. Not bad, but I don't understand why they expanded the guitar nooding when they shortened other songs on this tour. "B+". 

Achilles- Page a little sluggish on the intro. Jones' bass barely comes through in the mix. Once it gets going they settle in nicely. 3:42, there's Jonesy. First solo (4:20)- I was expecting slop, but I got a well phrased/played solo with some unique country bends toward the end. Seriously impressive. Second solo (7:16)- Some technical issues with the guitar feed, but sounds pretty solid. 7:45, the vocal effects here sound dreadful. Third solo (8:35)- Such a terrible guitar tone coming through, but it's played fairly well. 9:45, one of the most badass drum fills I've ever heard from John. Page plays the outro adequately. Despite the intro, this is one of the most solid performances by Page ever on this track. The song overall though- a dragging tempo and a general feel like they weren't feeling it. A generous "B+".

WS/BMS- 0:42, Page scolds the crowd for breaking his concentration. Strangely, he sounds completely sober for such lackluster playing tonight. 4:20, some experimental riffing. 6:00, I really like this new fingerstyle phrase he's added to it. BMS comes in a little sticky and Page takes a second to get back on track. It honestly sounds like Page attempts to play these songs solely by memory without practicing them since 1970. "B".

Kashmir- A good balance with the audio though Plant sounds like he's holding his nose while he sings. 3:15, some off notes. Good energy toward the end for a fairly solid version. "B+".

Stairway- Page teases a Mary Poppins tune on the start. Now we know where he stole the riff from. Once the wonky keyboard subsides and Jones comes in with some beautiful piano work the song starts moving nicely. Bonham enters and it starts sounding excellent, with Plant showing enthusiasm. 6:10-6:24, some very notable piano phrases that outshine the vocals. Solo- A good start but Page is sounding a little sticky. 8:20, the softer section doesn't have the emotion it usually does, but not bad. 8:56-9:08, Page knows he can't pull these speedy licks off anymore, so why attempt them? 9:43, slight flub. Page doesn't quite nail the final notes and Plant comes in scratchy for the climax. Not terrible, but not great. Worth a listen just for the piano. "B".

Rock And Roll- Screeching guitar tone hard on the ears. Solo- A little sticky, but suitable for the song. A monster drum roll at the end for an alright version. "B+".

WLL- Good energy, but Page struggles to hit a few of the added chords. Plant's voice has loosened up again and he sounds okay. The acid trip section is played well, with Bonzo putting down a speedy, psychotic groove. 4:37, Page forgoes the solo for a seriously badass guitar riff. Solo- About average. 5:51, Page singing along. Boogie Chillen- Lots of energy. Page's fingers aren't quite as nimble as they were in 72, but he survives the speedy runs and puts down an excellent solo. Bonham blasts some monstrous fills on the outro but Page is again struggling with the new added power chords. Not too bad at all. "B+".

Final Assessment- The dry recording certainly doesn't help, but it's not as bad as you'd think. Page isn't exactly on fire, but he shines on a few songs. Highlights are a very solid In The Evening, a good Rain Song, another solid Trampled, and a highly entertaining WLL. Stairway is worth a listen. If you were to speed up Achilles a bit I'm sure it would sound excellent. Hot Dog and All My Love however are near disasters for Pagey. In other words, it's a standard Led Zeppelin rollercoaster ride.

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^ Just listened to WS/BMS from the above show. Page seems to drop a bit of 'Swan Song' around the 7 min mark, pretty cool. He of course, would incorporate this into 'Midnight Moonlight' with the Firm. 

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I’ve always liked the Brussels show, esp the end of the concert the band seems to really come alive.  

HOWEVER

It sounds to me, that after Trampled Underfoot, Jimmy doesn’t disengage his wah wah pedal all the way.  Consequently, SIBLY & Achilles sounds super harsh and trebly.

 Do you hear that as well? Anyone else notice this ?

 

 

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1 hour ago, bluecongo said:

I’ve always liked the Brussels show, esp the end of the concert the band seems to really come alive.  

HOWEVER

It sounds to me, that after Trampled Underfoot, Jimmy doesn’t disengage his wah wah pedal all the way.  Consequently, SIBLY & Achilles sounds super harsh and trebly.

 Do you hear that as well? Anyone else notice this ?

 

 

There was definitely some serious technical issues with this show, evident from the constant buzzing coming from the guitar signal. I'd like to hear an audience source for this.

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"A standard led zeppelin rollercoaster ride" is a good description for alot of the1980 tour in general. 

Always my 2cents is the setlist should have been changed up.. 

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On 4/20/2019 at 7:00 PM, gibsonfan159 said:

Trampled Underfoot- Good kick off and verses. Jones gets some funky riffs in. Solo- a good array of aggressive notes without going off the rails. 4:30-4:55 is excellent. A little sloppy after 5:30 but he builds it back up nicely. The wah licks toward the end are experimental and expressive. Not perfect, but once again a solid version of the song with tremendous energy. Unless future nitpicks prove otherwise, I think it's clear that this song was their baby for 1980. "A"

I would definitely agree with this. From what I've heard of '80, Trampled is by far the most exciting thing they do that year.

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I gave Rotterdam Trampled and SIBLY a listen on the weekend anticipating your next pickin' - Jonesy is playing out of his skin with funkyness. The 1980 Trampled are different to any other in that Jonesy and Page seemed really to be feeding off each other and driving the creativeness further and further more so than any other time (for this particular song). Plant seems to love singing it as well and why not? It's a great groove for all.

 

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