Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 53: 4/17/1970 Memphis, TN

4/17/1970 Memphis, TN  (2nd gen>cdr)
We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring it on Home, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Since I've Been Loving You, Thank You, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Whole Lotta Love

The tape begins with a brief introduction by the taper stating the date and location of the show to follow. There is a stage announcement about an autographed Led Zeppelin album being given away by a local radio personality before the band is introduced. They do a brief soundcheck, after which Plant quips "thank you, goodnight" before properly greeting the crowd. We're Gonna Groove includes the same funky jam during the guitar solo as heard nine days earlier in Raleigh. The tape is cut between songs.

The atmosphere is very subdued during Dazed and Confused. Since I've Been Loving You is moody and dynamic, especially Plant's performance. An excellent rendition. The sound quality deteriorates a bit at the beginning of Thank You. Plant changes a line to "I think you better shut your mouth" during the final verse. The first few moments of What is and What Should Never Be are missing from the tape.

How Many More Times begins with a funky jam. Plant's introduction of Page is punctuated by a theramin burst. The apparently tense atmosphere in the crowd causes Plant to attempt to diffuse the situation by telling the police to put their hands together. Page improvises angrily as Plant tries in vain to get the house light turned off. The marathon medley features an excellent rendition of Memphis, Tennessee. Plant recites the first verse of Ramble On over the For What it's Worth theme before the band joins in for the chorus. A short version of Tobacco Road is cut in the middle. The tempo slows down for the Muddy Waters favorites Honey Bee and Long Distance Call

Plant pauses during the "got you in the sights..." section to address the crowd in regards to the police presence. Unfortunately, his comments are cut slightly before he makes mention of saving Peter Grant and asks that the crowd not stand on the chairs. After mentioning a hockey player he had seen on television, the band jumps into a raucous rendition of That's All Right. Plant stops the show again to beg the crowd to get off of the chairs and rails before the police arrest Grant. He is obviously feeling helpless as the police continue to hassle the band over the unruly crowd. The song ends in an explosion of echo-heavy wails. One of the best performances thus far, despite the trouble with the authorities.

As the band returns to the stage for Whole Lotta Love, Plant attempts to get the crowd under control, saying "when everything happens, don't stand up for god's sake." The recording ends with the taper describing the show as "the greatest concert I've ever heard."

The tape is a bit muffled and hissy with Bonzo buried in the mix, but the performance more than makes up for the less than perfect sound quality. A must hear for How Many More Times alone.


Anonymous said...

1970-04-17, Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, TN (From Source)
Tape starts off with the taper's introduction to the tape, and then off to the show we go. Show starts with a few chords and then a pause with Plant saying "Thank you, good night", heh. They then start in with We're Gonna Groove. Dazed and Confused is next, followed by Heartbreaker... Page has a couple blistering solos in there ... ah if I could only play like that (:

The is a small break in the tape before the next song, Bring It On Home, but it's probably just a tape flip, just during the beginning of the intro to the song. White Summer - Black Mountain Side follows, which Page rips through. Since I've Been Loving You, an Organ Solo, and Thank You follow.
Moby Dick is next, which has a cut about 14 minutes into it, though it might just be a tape flip, followed by an epic How Many More Times. Plant keeps asking people to get off the chairs to 'save our manager'... heh. Whole Lotta Love for the encore.

The taper paused between songs so we missed most of Plant talking, unfortunately. Tape is decent, lacks clarity and dynamic range, but things are fairly well balanced for the most part, and there doesn't seem to be speed issues. You can hear talkers around the recorder in the background of things throughout most of the tape. The before and after taper comments are an interesting addition.

Jeromezone said...

I was at this concert, I was 19. I can't remember if there was an opening act. It was sensational. I got to see them some years later at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.

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