Saturday, September 27, 2014

Led Zeppelin - 1975-01-20 - Chicago

Led Zeppelin
Chicago Stadium
Chicago, IL

01. Rock And Roll
02. Sick Again
03. Over The Hills And Far Away
04. When The Levee Breaks
05. The Song Remains The Same
06. The Rain Song
07. Kashmir
08. Wanton Song
09. No Quarter
10. Trampled Underfoot
11. Moby Dick
12. In My Time Of Dying
13. Stairway To Heaven
14. Whole Lotta Love
15. Black Dog(Two cuts in middle)
16. Communication Breakdown

Fair to Very Good audience recording. Almost complete recording missing a big chunk of Moby Dick and Black Dog. The recording starts out muffled but clears up by the end of Over The Hills And Far Away. This is a brand new alternate recording for this show. These cassettes were located by Jonohull through a friend of his who went to all 3 Zeppelin shows in 1975 with the taper of this recording. His friend Kevin was gracious enough to lend the cassettes out to Jonohull who in return passed them along to me for repair and transfering. This is the first time this recording has ever been in circulation and the first time it has been heard by anyone including Kevin in a great many years.

Kevin's Notes:
What do I remember about the chicago concerts? It was quite a while ago and there was a lot of effort in driving to chicago in freezing weather and then dealing with the large crowd. What I remember is that we didn't have the same seats on any of the nights and we were never very close to the stage, always in the upper balconies somewhere. It was very Magic though. I was a complete zeppelin fan. They were very special to me. I had some live recordings from earlier tours but Physical Graffiti was not out yet and new things undreamed of were emanating from that small stage down there! Almost all of my attention was riveted on Jimmy Page who was just a small figure way down there from where I was sitting. But what was coming out of him was simply unbelievable. I do remember one night we were a little closer, somewhere in the middle of the ground floor. I remember hearing Kashmir for the first time ( I hadn't understood the title when Plant announced the new song). As I said, sheer m
agic. No other music affected me like this. I guess this is all very subjective, and most people back home thought I was out of my tree, but now, look at all the people who are interested!! No one in my environment would have believed it then. I do remember that Plant's voice was substandard, apparently he had been suffering from the flu after hitting the freezing temperatures of Minneapolis coming straight from the much milder winter in England. That was especially true the first night. I wish I could remember more, but all of the Led Zeppelin concerts I saw (9 altogether) had me in a state of transformed excitement ( intoxication) which I can't explain and was totally different from any other concerts I saw ( for example the Who and Pink Floyd- to name two of the best). And, no, I was never using drugs or alcohol when I went to these concerts. Sorry if this has run on too long, but that is as accurate as I can be. That opening riff from Kashmir, which I'd never heard yet and was thus totally unexpected, is my most poignant memory. You see, the music was so overwhelming and had such a transforming effect that I was just stunned and came out of there in a state of total disorientation. I guess that's about the highest compliment you could pay to an artistic event.
I don't remember much about getting the equipment in because I wasn't paying any attention. I didn't want any distraction from the experience. All I remember is that he had a small tape recorder, and it was January with heavy winter jackets you know. I do remember that a security guard detected it while frisking him trying to enter one of the shows. He left and just came back again, this time not being detected. Very persistent fellow.

Review excerpt: For a band that’s been around since 1968, Led Zeppelin has done an astounding job of remaining one of the weightiest of the heavies. Their five albums have sold more than a million each; their last tour broke box-office records for a single act.

Judicious touring may have a bit to do with their drawing power. Their last appearance here was in the heat of summer ’73; a year and a half later they came back to Chicago for a sold-out show in the Chicago Stadium, with repeats to follow Tuesday and Wednesday.

They are not, however, immortals. Lead singer Robert Plant, for instance, is just as susceptible as the rest of us to such mundane things as flu, which is what he repeatedly complained of last night. “Keep your fingers crossed,” he asked the audience before starting out on Stairway to Heaven, a Led Zep staple and one of their most impressive numbers. “We’re having some problems. I’m having an inability to come to grips with this climate.”

Despite the difficulties and Plant’s obvious dissatisfaction with his voice, the show could be termed a success – a blend of Led Zep’s strong, pounding sound, with drummer John Bonham knocking out the rhythm, interspersed with slightly softer, sweeter guitar work by Page and John Paul Jones on mellotron.

Led Zeppelin always has been a band into giving people their money’s worth, and Monday night was no exception – a two and-a-half hour show with no warm-up act and no intermission. The repertoire drew from the old – such as Stairway to Heaven and No Quarter – and the new, selections from their forthcoming Physical Graffiti album, with an occasional bow to the theatrical with smoke screens, superb lighting effects, a sound system that was nearly a match for the Stadium acoustics, and “Led Zeppelin” spelled out in lights come encore time.

Led Zeppelin has a reputation for drawing a rowdy crowd. Last time they played here, Plant professed amazement at the “violence” – people trying to scrabble their way onstage and such, hardly anything new. Though “riots” had been reported in various places among restless crowds waiting for tickets, their show here Tuesday night was practically a model of decorum. With a wooden barricade separating crowd and performers by several feet and a strong security system, things remained calm, no view-blocking morons made it to the stage, and it was easy to see – a shamefully unusual please these days.

All in all, it was a good enough evening for music, if not for Plant’s health. If he can get rid of the flu for succeeding shows, none of the apologies he kept making will be necessary. Even with Plant not up to par, Led Zeppelin still manages to make most of their competitors look sick. (ChicagoTribune, Jan. ’75)

The tape begins as someone onstage announces "ladies and gentlemen, the American return of Led Zeppelin!" Plant has the flu and it shows, his voice is reduced to an injured monotone. Page blazes through the guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. The second and final appearance of When the Levee Breaks shows marked improvement on the performance in Brussels a week earlier. Plant makes mention of Page's broken finger following In My Time of Dying, joking "it must be for our sins."

Bonzo and Jones deliver a solid performance of The Wanton Song, despite their bandmates' hindrances. Trampled Underfoot is introduced as "a song for a guy who works at a gas station." Page shreds through an erratic guitar solo. Moby Dick is followed by the first appearance of How Many More Times since 1/22/1973, which includes the Dazed and Confused bow solo dropped in the middle. As the song ends, Plant announces "that was for the old folks!" The Out on the Tiles intro to Black Dog is devastatingly heavy. The band closes the show with a high-energy Communication Breakdown. Bonzo and Jones stop playing for a moment during the guitar solo, leaving Page to shred furiously a cappella.

1 comment:

Zen Archer said...