Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Led Zeppelin - 1979-08-04 - Knebworth Festival

Led Zeppelin
August 4, 1979
Knebworth Festival
Stevenage, UK

01. The Song Remains the Same
02. Celebration Day
03. Black Dog
04. Nobody's Fault But Mine
05. Over the Hills and Far Away
06. Misty Mountain Hop
07. Since I've Been Loving You
08. No Quarter
09. Ten Years Gone
10. Hot Dog
11. The Rain Song
12. White Summer / Black Mountainside
13. Kashmir
14. Trampled Underfoot
15. Sick Again
16. Achilles Last Stand
17. Guitar Solo
18. In the Evening
19. Stairway to Heaven
20. Rock and Roll
21. Whole Lotta Love
22. Heartbreaker

A pretty good show but nothing compared to the standards Zeppelin had set in the past. The first 45 minutes or so sound good and strong, and Ten Years Gone is very pretty, but towards the middle section, the individual performances, though good, don't quite gel into a good ensemble performance. "Well, it's nice to see you again" said Plant to the audience at the beginning of the show, in fact they not played in the United Kingdom for the last four years! The crowd roared. Achilles Last Stand is aggressive and In The Evening is intense, but Stairway To Heaven sounds timid and tired ... Robert's introduction is so lackluster it is obvious he didn't want to play it. The encores are energetic and good, and Whole Lotta Love features the new arrangement first tried in Copenhagen in July. A short Heartbreaker finishes the event. After the last note, Plant said: "All you people that have come so far. It's been kinda like a blind date. Thanks for eleven years!"

Following a four year absence, Led Zeppelin make their triumphant return to England with two of the biggest shows of their career. However, despite two successful warm-up gigs in Denmark two weeks earlier, the band is still nervous to be performing for their home crowd after such a long break. The apprehension is evident as The Song Remains the Same gets underway. Page has lost the fluency of his Denmark performances, causing him to stumble a bit during the sticky-fingered guitar solos and Plant's voice is a little rusty at times. On the other hand, Bonzo is a thunderous explosion of energy, his powerful hammering is the backbone of the band. Following a high-speed Celebration Day, Plant greets the massive crowd, joking "I told Pagey that one or two people would be here, but he said he doubted it very much." Page's fingers get stuck in the strings during the guitar solo in Black Dog. Plant unleashes some spine-chilling shrieks during the initial verses. The band hammers through an abrasive Misty Mountain Hop.

Since I've Been Loving You is absolutely fantastic. Page leads the band on an intense emotional journey, tearing each note of the guitar solo from the depths of his soul. A phenomenal performance, one of the best in recent memory. Jones is introduced as "the man from Casablanca" before No Quarter. Page is on fire as he blazes through an excellent guitar solo, shredding furiously during the blistering outro jam. An outstanding performance. Plant shouts "come on, let's hoedown!" at the beginning of Hot Dog. The Rain Song is beautiful. The crowd erupts as a powerful Kashmir launches into motion. Plant's howls echo over the field and into infinity as the band thunders through the intimidating march. Page shreds wildly through the guitar solo during an incredibly aggressive Trampled Underfoot. The band hammers through a brutal Sick Again, introduced as a song that "relates the experience of the lobby and going down to get some cigarettes at ten thirty, rather than bein' in bed." Page tears through a frenzied guitar solo near the end of the song. Afterward, Plant jokes "so we got the cigarettes and carried straight on up to bed."

Bonzo thrashes wildly at his drums during an explosive Achilles Last Stand. Plant dedicates Stairway to Heaven to the crowd, thanking them for coming "on a blind date." Page blazes through a blistering guitar solo. The crowd sings the final line along with Plant. The first encore is preceded by ten solid minutes of cheering. As the band returns to the stage following a riotous Rock and Roll, Plant leads the crowd in a sing-along of You'll Never Walk Alone. The new arrangement of Whole Lotta Love is devastatingly heavy. As the song ends, Plant announces "thanks for eleven years." The band returns to the stage one more time to close the show with the first appearance of Heartbreaker since 6/21/1977. Page shreds wildly though the guitar solos. The crowd is left begging for more as the band leaves the stage for the final time.

1 comment:

Zen Archer said...