Thursday, September 25, 2014

Led Zeppelin - 1977-07-20 - Tempe

Led Zeppelin
July 20, 1977
Activities Center
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

01. Battle Of Evermore
02. Going To California
03. Black Country Woman
04. Bron Yr Aur Stomp
05. Trampled Underfoot
06. Black Mountain Side
07. Kashmir
08. Guitar Solo
09. Achilles Last Stand
10. Stairway To Heaven

This is the worst 1977 performance. The whole band seems to be sloopy, tired and Pagey is missing almost all his solos! Due to a big delay, the show was also shortened and the encores as well as drum solo were dropped out from the set. The show opened with a strong performance of The Song Remains The Same. The first part of the set seemed decent, with the exception of Page who stood still near Bonzo's drum riser for most of the night. During the guitar solo in Over The Hills And Far Away Page miscalculated his need to switch his guitar floor effect, with Robert Plant being closer to it and actually activating it for him. Things took a strange turn after a very low key acoustic set. During Trampled Underfoot Page turned in a very uninspired guitar solo. Then ... He chose not to perform White Summer. He played a few bars of Black Mountain Side before going into Kashmir ... but without the rest of the band, slowly Bonzo joined in, then John Paul Jones. Next ... there was no Moby Dick! Bonzo seemed to be "missing in action" at the close of Page's guitar solo so there was an improvisational opening to Achilles Last Stand. And after the opening bars of Achilles right when the song "kicks" in, there was an extremely loud explosion with a blinding white light from the flashpots located at the front of the stage, which threw Jimmy back a couple feet, then you could see him going over to the side of the stage raising a closed fist presumably at a roadie. After the song Robert announced that the explosion was not meant to happen and that the person responsable would soon be "casterated". The band just never seemed to ever get on track and turned in a very uneven performance. Jimmy was content with standing perfectly still through most of the show. During Stairway To Heaven Jimmy actually dropped to one knee during the guitar solo. Bonzo seemed in a hurry to end the show and was off his drum stool and gone before Robert finished the final lyric. So you didn't have the customary cymbal flurry at the end of the song. Then ... that was it! No encore! It's reported that people in the crowd after the show did comments, one was "Led Zeppelin didn't eat their Wheaties".

The tape begins with a barrage of firecracker blasts as the band prepares for the acoustic set. Plant is still having trouble with his voice, completely losing control toward the end of The Battle of Evermore. The taper can be heard fiddling with his microphone throughout Going to California. Plant's weak voice forces him to alter the song's melody to compensate. Page wanders aimlessly through an uninspired guitar breakdown during Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. The band plods through a lackluster Trampled Underfoot. Someone near the taper can be heard shouting "The Lemon Song!" as the piece comes to a close.

Page abandons White Summer tonight, playing only a few bars of Black Mountain Side before jumping directly into Kashmir without the rest of the band. Unfortunately, a cut in the tape near the end of the song leaves us at the beginning of the bow section during the experimental guitar solo. Achilles Last Stand is a disaster. Page constantly gets lost in the arrangement, resulting in a chaotic cacophony of mistakes as the band struggles to get back on track. The studio recording of All Right Now can be heard bleeding through the tape as the song ends. The distracting effect continues through the initial verses of Stairway to Heaven. As the band leaves the stage, Plant announces "thank you very much, you've been too kind... really."

1 comment:

Zen Archer said...