Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Led Zeppelin - Past, Present and Future

Led Zeppelin
Past, Present and Future
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

Led Zeppelin
August 11, 1979
Knebworth Festival
Stevenage, UK
1. 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. Hot Dog
10. The Rain Song
11. White Summer / Black Mountainside
12. Kashmir
13. Trampled Underfoot
14. Sick Again
15. Achilles Last Stand
16. Guitar Solo
17. In the Evening
18. Stairway to Heaven
19. Rock and Roll
20. Whole Lotta Love
21. Communication Breakdown
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.

 Not as good as the first week and also a little more tension in the air. Some songs sound very sloppy, almost like the band doesn't want to be there, but then again, some sound excellent. The opening 45 minutes or so sound strong and good, but the intensity starts to flag towards the end. Jimmy butchers the solo in Whole Lotta Love, and the end encores sound tired ("Can you do the dinosaur rock?" reflected what the band thought playing these old tunes). This was also the last concert in the United Kingdom but Robert, before as he left the stage, said: "We'll see you soon. Very soon. Don't know about the Marquee, but somewhere soon." They couldn't knew what happened a year later. Some problems with Page's guitar and PA system truncated Over The Hills And Far Away and Misty Mountain Hop.
A week after night one of the 1979 Knebworth Festival, the band returns for what will prove to be their final performance in England. The nerves of the first show have subsided and the band launches into The Song Remains the Same with power and gusto. Plant pushes his voice to the limit during a frantic Celebration Day. The massive crowd sings along with every word during a bone-crushing Black Dog. Plant has some trouble with his microphone during the initial verses of Over the Hills and Far Away, which causes a series of loud popping noises. Page's fingers get caught in the strings of his guitar during the song's outro.

Since I've Been Loving You is simply outstanding. Page blazes through a fantastic guitar solo with incredible fluency and precision. An unbelievably powerful performance, one of the best in recent memory. Jones briefly hints at Your Time is Gonna Come near the end of an excellent piano solo during the band's final performance of No Quarter. Page tears through an amazing guitar solo, shredding wildly during the song's explosive outro. In mentioning the new album, Plant tells the crowd "it's called In Through the Out Door, which is... one of those methods of entry that proves to be harder than one would originally expect." Hot Dog is dedicated to "the texas road crew and all the people to be found in the sleazy hangouts around there." Someone in the crowd can be heard shouting "New York City!" as Page begins The Rain Song. Bonzo pummels the crowd with his thunderous fills near the end of Kashmir. Page stumbles through a sticky-fingered guitar solo during Trampled Underfoot.

Achilles Last Stand is a bit dull and uninspired, despite Bonzo's efforts to inject some energy into the performance. Page gets lost near the end of the song. Plant delivers an incredibly powerful performance during In the Evening. As the song ends, someone in the crowd can be heard shouting "happy birthday Robert Plant!", to which Plant responds "not yet, one week." The crowd erupts as Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Page flubs the guitar solo during Whole Lotta Love. The biggest surprise of the night is the inclusion of the Boogie Chillen' section for the first time since 7/29/1973. Page blazes through an outstanding guitar solo. Plant shreds his voice as the band hammers through a blistering Communication Breakdown. An explosive finale to a somewhat uneven performance. As the band leaves the stage for the last time, Plant announces "thank you very much indeed... we'll see ya soon, very soon."

1 comment:

Zen Archer said...