Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Killing Floor, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Pat's Delight, As Long as I Have You, Whole Lotta Love
A quick and nasty Communication Breakdown starts the show. The band is full of energy. Plant's screams are unwieldy during I Can't Quit You Baby. Dazed and Confused is a sonic attack and features the first appearance of Page's theramin. Plant's squeals are echoed by the audience during the outro of You Shook Me. The first set ends with an epic How Many More Times, which includes a funky Roll Over Beethoven during the bow solo. An excellent performance of White Summer/Black Mountain Side starts off the second set. Plant includes a quick reference to That's All Right during Killing Floor. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You is followed by a thunderous Pat's Delight, which is unfortunately cut in the middle. As Long as I Have You is a wild cacophony, one of the best ever. The tape ends with the first appearance of Whole Lotta Love, although there are no lyrics during the chorus yet. The middle section includes a guitar workout rather than the familiar theramin freakout. Definitely a must hear.
The tape is very clear, if a bit distorted at times.
1969-04-26, The Winterland, San Francisco, CA (Black Swan)
Set starts with Communication Breakdown. The sound is generally all right, the Black Swan version has some volume issues here and there, I should probably try to find a better version. I Can't Quit You Baby starts with Plant really pushing the upper limits of his voice. Dazed and Confused is next, the guitar solo is starting to stretch out. There is a bit of a tape break between Dazed and Confused and You Shook Me, not sure if anything other than some Plant Chat is missing. More breaks between songs throughout the tape. After How Many More Times, Page runs thru White Summer, and then Killing Floor, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and Pat's Delight is played, though Pat's Delight is cut on the tape a few times. As Long As I Have You is next, clocking in at over 17 minutes, and then an early version of Whole Lotta Love. Interesting show, shame that there are so many tape cuts, and as mentioned I should try to find a better version, because I found this to be a bit too muddy to listen to again.
I have this on 2nd gen cdr, Krazy Kat's speed-corrected cdr package, and Tarantura's box set, "Good Old Led Zeppelin", also speed-correct.
I bought Black Swan's "Smokestack Lightning" way back when, but it really was a shoddy release. It ran way too slow and had an annoying flanging effect on a large percent of the recording that isn't on the original tape.
This performance is not for the faint-hearted. This is the best of the early shows, an ferocious display of raw power that blows me away every time. Some find early Robert Plant to be too frantic and uncontrolled, but I love it. Like the previous evening, the whole band is on fire, stretching out songs like never before. The difference between Zeppelin and their predecessors, Cream and Hendrix, is the band listens to each other more, improvising as one rather than sound like three soloists going at it all at once.
There are far too many highlights in this performance to list. If you don't have this show, get it!
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