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gibsonfan159

Nitpicking Page 1980

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Nitpicking Page 6/21/1980 Rotterdam (Live Omega)

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A three source mix featuring mostly soundboard.

Train Kept A Rollin- A good kickoff but Plant's voice doesn't sound strong. First solo- I may be fooled by the audience recording, but Page tears through an aggressive, well phrased solo. The outro solo features a nice ascending/descending wah riff. "A".

NFBM- Takes off like a jet. Harmonica- starts rough and ends rough, middle was okay. Oh Jimmy- Excellent runs off the bat. A little straining at 4:07, but not bad at all. 4:53, Plant getting scratchy. A generous "B+" considering Plant's struggles.

Black Dog- No fancy talk from Page this time as he simply introduces "Black Dog". Plant again sounding a little rough, but the raw energy pushes him through. Solo- I've listened about ten times now, and I'm simply kind of blown away here. Not only is this some 71-73 level playing, he's throwing in unique licks (4:30) that sound fantastic. The bends are perfect and the phrasing is steady and solid. I'll certainly account for some disguise from the audience source, but it sounds great to me. A shame this wasn't soundboard. "A+" for 1980.

In The Evening- Good energy. First solo- Page puts down a fairly solid one. The Mid section is what it is. Plant still scratchy on the return. Outro solo- some good screaming wah licks. Not bad. "B+".

The Rain Song- Soundboard finally kicks in. Solid playing from Page. Plant is a little rough on the otherwise well played rock section. Fairly good run-through. "A".

Hot Dog- 0:16, "C'mon you shit kickers". I have a feeling he wouldn't have used that line if they had ever played it in Texas. Beautiful piano from Jones. Solo- Some repeating bends followed by a little slop, and more repeating bends. Fairly good. A pretty standard run-through. "B+".

All My Love- Plant and Jones sounding very good. Solo- Once again sounding like he's never practiced this and just wings it. Bonham gets some big fills in on the outro. Page brings this otherwise perfect version down quite a bit. "B".

Trampled Underfoot- Frantic tempo. 1:32, Page drops out for a sec. Jones- A funky routine, but fairly simplistic. Solo- Honestly one of the best Trampled solos I've heard, but it sits so low in the mix it almost goes unnoticed. 5:38, Bonzo picks up the tempo and Page goes crazy with the wah pedal. Overall fairly average, but that solo is definitely worth a listen. "B+".

SIBLY- Page sounding lively on the start with good emotion. Solo- Good until 4:50, where he goes off the tracks pretty badly. He does come back for a strong finish. Plant comes back and sounds worn out. A skippable version. "B".

Achilles- Solid start. Plant really pushing himself through. First solo- A steady flurry of notes, a little sloppy in places. A unique phrase at 4:40 which sounds nice. Second solo- Very rough around the edges. Third solo- Doesn't quite match Bono's intensity. Explosive ending from Plant and Bonzo. This is worth a listen simply for the drums. "B".

White Summer- Average start. When Page starts going he really takes off. Almost sounds sped up. 3:30, tries some experimental riffs that don't fit well. 5:26, sloppy. "B".

Black Mountainside- Short and sweet.

Kashmir- Energetic start. 2:09, Page jumps into the post verse rhythm but Robert steers them back. 4:20, Jones' two-dimensional, funhouse sounding synths makes one yearn for a mellotron, even if it's out of tune. 6:27, someone drops a note. The dry sound makes the ending unexciting, although Bonham gets some excellent fills in. "B".

Stairway- As usual, once Jones switches over to the piano the mood improves tremendously, though his synths do have a nice balance here. Solo- Page gets a good flow going. 6:55, some atonal notes. 7:09, a little sloppy. The slower part is somewhat lackluster. Bonham and Jones are feeling it much more than Page. The final bars are played superbly however. Plant sounds good on the well played climax. I'm not gonna knock Page too much here, overall it was a fairly solid version considering the shape he was in during this era. "B+".

Rock And Roll- 0:57, Page drops out for whatever reason. Solo- 1:55, very sticky. A powerful ending just doesn't save this one. "C+".

Heartbreaker- Page's gritty tone actually works quite well here and plant sounds great. Solo- Some parts sound fluid and can almost fool you to think of 1972, but most of it is a sticky mess. Not terrible, better than Dortmund. I'll give it a very generous "B+".

Final Assessment- An excellent first 1/3 with a surprisingly coherent Page, but drops to mediocre after Hot Dog. Plant on the other hand takes a while to warm up but sounds great on the last half. Bonham is quite lively and Jones' piano work on Stairway is very good. The highlight is undoubtedly Black Dog, 
 

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Totally disagree on Heartbreaker come on man that’s best post 73 version ! Listen to that solo when the band kicks in he nails everything !

 

 

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7 minutes ago, bluecongo said:

Totally disagree on Heartbreaker come on man that’s best post 73 version ! Listen to that solo when the band kicks in he nails everything !

 

 

I thought I gave it a pretty positive review. It does sound pretty good once the others jump in.

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Fair enough, but still, this is one of my all time fave Heartbreakers Jimmy just kills it imho 

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Finally! I've been waiting for your review of this tour to be continued. I'm revisiting some of these and expanding my collection to listen and see how much I agree with.

Cheers mate, a good read as usual. You are a hard critic mate, that's for sure. :)

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Gibsonfan, your review got me to go back to this show for the first time in many years - thank you for that.  This is such a cool version of Hot Dog.  The guitar intro is relatively strong, and the instrumental intro is extended because Plant fails to enter at the normal time.  During this extended intro, the piano plays some additional new melody lines, and you can really hear Jimmy's very gritty, very "chicken scratchy" backing riffs.  So cool.

I do agree with bluecongo that Heartbreaker is fantastic once the band joins Jimmy after the solo.  Plant recognizes this at  the end of the show:

"Nice little workout!"  Then he says   "See you again sometimes, who knows?"

I also like when Plant tells the audience member "No, no, that's not from the present".

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Listened to "Heartbreaker" from Rotterdam again. I used the word "mess" which was inaccurate. Though a little sticky in places, it is quite solid for post 73. "A".

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5 hours ago, Cosmic_Equilibrium said:

I can't agree with your assessment of Kashmir for this show; IMO it's an extremely powerful version and at least an A grade.

Might be powerful overall, but can't be an A grade with Jimmy missing chords. 

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Nitpicking Page 6/24/1980 Hannover (Gracias)

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A good sounding soundboard patched by an audience source in a few spots.

Train Kept A Rollin- Take away the Zep name and you'd swear it's an underground punk band. First solo is played well, good bends and phrasing. Plant sounds a little shaky. Outro solo is raunchy and aggressive, also played well. A nice kickoff, but Plant's subdued vocals hold it back a little. "B+".

NFBM- 1:38, everyone's out of sync for a couple seconds here. Harmonica- Not great, pretty half-arsed. 2:48, Bonzo drops out for a few seconds. Solo- Page rips out an excellent opening run, then proceeds to hit notes that sound out of key for the remainder. His guitar actually sounds a little sharp. A fairly strong finish and Page can be heard checking his tuning. "B".

Black Dog- The verses are decent, rough around the edges. Solo- Very sticky throughout. It's not terrible, but sounds like someone shot him with a tranquilizer dart. "B".

In The Evening- Solid first half. Solo- Surprisingly good, well phrased blues licks. Not playing some reverb drenched licks through the flute section was a missed opportunity for this song. The wah soaked outro is good. A solid version, but almost sounds like a certain amount of energy was missing. Still gotta go "A".

Rain Song- Page plays some unique chords before starting the song. Plant sounds better now and sings with passion. The synths get a little loud in the mix halfway through. Rock section- kicks in very hard with Bonham laying down some monstrous fills, but Plant strains a little. Some masterful playing by Page on the outro. The synths being overwhelming hurts the audio aspect, but it's a fairly solid rendition. I did hear some off notes by Jones. "B+".

Hot Dog- A sticky intro leads to a quick tempo. Solo- Fairly sloppy, but he manages to push through. Excellent energy balances out the rough playing by Page. "B+".

All My Love- No bass coming through on the intro and Page is up front in the mix. 1:33, enter bass. Synth solo- Not bad. Guitar solo- Finally, a coherent sounding set of phrases for this song. As always, the band sounds more alive on the outro. "B+".

Trampled Underfoot- Solid verses. Jones gets his usual, funky routine in. Solo- once again Page's phrasing sounds almost verbatim to the 1977 OTHAFA solos. A little sticky in places but good for the most part. 5:56, some strained bends. 6:15, Page goes acapella in the mix. The outro solo is aggressive but on the sloppy side. A decent showing if you can ignore the sticky fingers and audio problems. "B+".

SIBLY- Some good noodling on the intro. Verses are played with enthusiasm. Solo- Page comes alive for some good phrasing. 4:54-5:04, tremendous set of bends. 5:06, a botched run. 6:32, sticky. Despite Page's stickiness in places, this version is played with true conviction and Bonham/Plant sound like they're back in 1973. "B+" overall, but "A+" on the must listen list.

Achilles- Page plays the intro at break-neck speed and Bonzo comes in a little early, though it's quickly corrected. No bass again until 1:03. That sound crew from Dallas needed to be sent back to cow country. First solo- Page struggles with the first couple runs. Not a great flow, but he's keeping a steady stream of notes going. Second solo- a little better here with some aggressive licks. 7:38, flub. Third solo- No delay effect coming through makes this sound overly simplistic. 8:35, a good yell from Plant. Bonzo's tempo increases noticeably on the last few measures and Page has a hard time keeping up. "B".

White Summer- Once the song takes off there's hardly a dull moment, with Page trodding along with energy and decent playing. I'd rate this highly for a 1980 version. "A".

BMS- 0:24-0:30, As always, Page struggles with certain phrases. 0:59, As always, Page stops in an awkward fashion and plays a different variation. "B".

Kashmir- 1:06, Bonzo misses the beat. Fairly good verses throughout. 7:20, Page's leads get choppy and hesitant. "B".

Stairway- Very solid verses, nice playing throughout. Solo- Page gets on track for some very nice phrasing and runs, showing patience and not forcing anything. Slightly sticky in places and the last phrase is almost flubbed, otherwise an excellent solo. An audience source would really do this version justice. One of the better Stairways I've heard in a while. Only downside is that Jones' beautiful piano licks are too low in the mix. "A+".

Rock And Roll- Again, no bass in the mix until 1:03. Page's tone is pure grit and grime and Plant sounds good. Solo- I don't think he could intentionally play sloppier, seriously. Bonham's final drum fills sound nice. "B".

Communication Breakdown- An intro comparable to 1969. Solo- Out of nowhere Page gets some nimble fingers. 2:30, a riff switch up. Excellent. "A+".

Final Assessment- Not the band's best show, but they put in the effort for an entertaining one anyway. Page was hit and miss as usual but did manage to wake up for a few numbers. The audio problems were undoubtedly affecting the band as Jones and Bonham were playing uncharacteristically. Highlights are a solid In The Evening, a very passionate SIBLY, a flawless Stairway reminiscent of LA 1977, and a superb finish with a punch-in-the-gut Communication Breakdown. I'm very interested in hearing any audience versions of this one.

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Posted (edited)

GibsonFan...

I'm loving your reviews.  Very engaging (and amusing!) observations and descriptions.

Dare I describe you as the successor to 'El Rey?' :godfather:

Edited by Paimonus Rex
correction

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