Friday, September 26, 2014

Led Zeppelin - 1975-05-23 - London

Led Zeppelin
May 23, 1975
Earls Court Arena
London, England

01. Introduction
02. Rock and Roll
03. Sick Again
04. Over The Hills and Far Away
05. In My Time Of Dying
06. The Song Remains The Same
07. The Rain Song
08. Kashmir
09. No Quarter
10. Tangerine
11. Going to California
12. That's The Way
13. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
14. Trampled Under Foot
15. Moby Dick
16. Dazed and Confused
17. Stairway to Heaven
18. Whole Lotta Love
19. Black Dog

John Bonham's brother Mick recalls this night in his book 'My Brother John':

"Come May 23rd, Jacko (father), Debbie (sister) and myself, along with a good friend of mine set off to see for ourselves how the band had progressed since we had last seen them at Trentham Gardens. As soon as the band walked onstage, to rapturous applause, we were in awe at the whole bloody size of it. Showco had shipped in the PA system and light show that was used on their American tour and above the stage a huge video screen showing close up views of the band as they went about their business. For three and a half hours, we were treated to rock music from a band that you just know were glad to be home. Every enthusiastic move by the band was highlighted in a show that was second to none. Laser beams fired above the heads of the audience gave the effect of flaming arrows when they reflected off a mirror ball, filling the vast hall with snowflakes and stars..."

An excellent show ... "Good evening! Welcome to the show. Afer an absence of something like two years, I guess we're all ready for a little Physical Graffiti. Please welcome to Earl's Court ... Led Zeppelin! DJ David Jensen introduced the band in the great style Robert's voice is in strong shape (by 1975 standards) and the band rocks! "Last weekend we did a couple of warm-up gigs for these three. We believe these were the first three gigs to be sold out, so these must be the ones with the most energy stored up. You've been waiting!" Plant stated. Kashmir is thunderous and No Quarter contains some truly excellent improvisation from all three instrumentalists. The acoustic section is wonderful and Dazed And Confused and Stairway To Heaven are excellent version, though both will be bested the following night. The Whole Lotta Love encore has a really long jam leading into Black Dog, with the rhythm section cooking ferociously while Robert screams and ad-libs.

The band's third night at Earls Court begins with an enthusiastic introduction by David 'Kid' Jensen before Rock and Roll explodes out of the gate. Bonzo is like a thunderous stampede, hammering at his drums with incredible intensity. Page tears through the guitar solos during an aggressive Sick Again. In My Time of Dying is a wild cacophony. The band gets a bit lost in the melee at times. Plant hints at You Shook Me near the end of the song. Page's fingers are a bit sticky during The Song Remains the Same. Plant tells the crowd "my left arm is swollen beyond all proportion because I just had it chipped for cholera and smallpox and everything else that we might catch while we go hunting in the jungle for new words and new songs for a new album" following The Rain Song.

Jones is introduced as "Jonesy the maestro" before No Quarter. The electric piano intro is nearly inaudible due to PA problems, recovering before the first verse. Jones's ominous piano solo is followed by a long, wandering guitar solo from Page. Plant hints as When the Levee Breaks while introducing Tangerine as "a song of simple love, first love." That's the Way is beautiful. As the song ends, Bonzo announces "Robert Plant on vocals!" Plant tells the crowd "I think this evening is beginning to feel... silly!" before an explosive Trampled Underfoot. Bonzo is introduced as "a friend, a truly great percussionist, a man with a big heart" before Moby Dick.

Plant unleashes a spine-chilling scream at the beginning of the third verse of Dazed and Confused. The bow solo is preceded by a hauntingly heavy San Francisco interlude. Page shreds erratically through the guitar solo/workout section. The band nearly falls apart during the return to the main riff. The thunderous finale is punctuated by another blood-curdling scream from Plant. Stairway to Heaven is dedicated to journalist Chris Schaar Murray, who had recently described the band as "like a vibrator, it can get you off something ridiculous, but it can't kiss you goodnight." Page delivers an excellent guitar solo. The band closes the show with a devastatingly heavy Black Dog.

1 comment:

Zen Archer said...

(I copied the infofile from the EVSD post i did a couple of months ago, that's why it says EVSD, I forgot to edit the info file... the actual rip is from Express)