Thursday, February 28, 2008

Day 59: 8/21/1970 Tulsa, OK

8/21/1970 Tulsa, OK  Turn the Lights Off!
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring it on Home, That's the Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Thank You, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

Plant tells the crowd to "be prepared to take off your ties" before Immigrant Song. Page stops playing during the a cappella solo in Heartbreaker and demands that the house lights be turned off. Plant echoes his demand and asks the crowd to cooperate and sit down or the show will not continue. The crowd cheers as the light go down and Page continues with an excellent second half of the solo. Dazed and Confused is amazing. Page adds new sections and riffs throughout the marathon guitar solo section, even including some licks from White Summer during the outro. One of, if not the best performance thus far. A true epic.

Page, Plant, and Bonzo get into an intimate interplay with each other in the middle of Bring it on Home. Plant teases those sitting in the balcony, asking if they've got their popcorn and telling them if they're falling asleep, That's the Way will help them along. The taper fiddles with the microphone during the song, disturbing the delicate atmosphere. Jones plays some beautiful licks on the mandolin. Plant tries to keep the crowd calm as Page plays the intro to another moody, dynamic Since I've Been Loving You. Bonzo's performance is especially powerful. The song seems to get better and better with each performance.

The middle of Thank You is explosive, Page's frenzied soloing soars over Bonzo's thunderous pounding. Plant sounds mournful during the final verse as Page's ethereal licks accent Jones's organ outro. A beautiful performance. Plant once again showcases his encyclopedic knowledge of old rock and blues classics during Whole Lotta Love. The medley includes an excellent rendition of Matchbox, Jimmy Rogers's That's Alright, and a slow blues version of Heartbeat. Plant has the crowd screaming "P.A. is crap!" in response to the feedback on his microphone before the band launches into frenzied renditions of Elvis Presley's My Baby Left Me and That's All Right. He warns the crowd to be cool before Communication Breakdown. Page accents the end of the song with a series of theramin bursts. An absolutely amazing performance from beginning to end. Definitely a must hear.

The tape is a great audience recording, clear and well-balanced. Amazing.

Side note: I designed the artwork for this a decade ago when this version surfaced (as Sharky Goes West) and forgot about it, only to find someone had uploaded it to Zeppelin Art after all this time. Cheers to whoever held onto it for all these years.


Anonymous said...

Whoa, Interesting story on the cover art, your review is making me want to get my hands on this show!!!


Laurence said...

I don't find this concert amazing anyway, the performance is very dull and uninspired. Despite the great quality recording, i wouldn't refer to this one like an Must Hear.

dragonspirit said...

Plant and Page are the stars of the show (I can't hear JPJ very well though). Although I agree that this isn't really a must hear, I still say that it's a very good show.

Mr. K. said...

I'm listening to WLL - for this alone it's half a Must Hear.

Great Web Site!

Anonymous said...

It's always been a bit disturbing to me to see bootleggers profit from one of my recordings

FRX said...

Fortunately, this version of the recording was distributed for free through a trading tree back in the late '90s on the FBO mailing list.

Anonymous said...

Any particular reason why Conner stopped reviewing these shows along with you? I thought they were a nice complement to yours.

FRX said...

I'd imagine he just got too busy. Keeping up with this was a full-time job. I don't know how I managed to make it all the way through!

Anonymous said...

Connor have a jammer on his long run? Great recording, very underrated show because of the excellent shows a little later on in the tour overshadowing it. But always a wonderful listen if you're looking for something else from this tour beyond the usual suspects.