Friday, March 7, 2008

Day 67: 9/19/1970 (evening) New York, NY

9/19/1970 (evening) New York, NY (cassette>reel>cdr)
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, Out on the Tiles, Communication Breakdown, The Girl Can't Help It, I'm Talking About You, Twenty Flight Rock, How Many More Times

The final show of the tour, lost in storage for thirty-three years before being accidentally unearthed by the taper in 2003, who thought he was offering an upgrade to the afternoon set. After a brief introduction by Scott Muni, Immigrant Song comes thundering out of the gate. The band is on fire with a "take no prisoners" attitude. The taper added a false stereo panning effect to Page's a cappella solo in Heartbreaker when transferring his cassette master to reel. Page's soloing is inspired, showcasing dynamic feats of finger acrobatics.

Plant improvises a new second verse during Dazed and Confused to address those in the crowd who are blocking everyone's view by standing on their chairs. The false stereo panning effect returns during the bow solo. Plant interrupts Page to again try to get the crowd to sit down before the police get involved. The end of the guitar solo is a cacophonous explosion. Plant again pays tribute to Jimi Hendrix, who had died the day prior, before That's the Way. Since I've Been Loving You is a dramatic wall of sound. Page's soloing is drunkenly inspired. Plant is living every word he sings, full of raw emotion. A breathtaking performance.

Jones really vamps it up during the organ solo, one of the longest and most dynamic of the tour. Thank You is utterly devastating. One of the best and heaviest thus far. The false stereo panning effect makes its return during What is and What Should Never Be. Bonzo is introduced as "the man who made Milwaukee famous" before Moby Dick, which is cut in the middle. Whole Lotta Love is preceded by an excellent jam on the riff from Jeff Beck's Rice Pudding. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section at the end of the theramin freakout is a chaotic explosion of energy. The riotous marathon medley includes I Believe I'll Dust My Broom, John Lee Hooker's Bottle Up and Go, another excellent Lawdy Miss Clawdy at Plant's urging, Cinnamon Girl over the For What it's Worth theme, Some Other Guy, Train Kept a Rollin' with Stroll On lyrics, I'm a King Bee, Tommy McClennan's Baby Don't You Want to Go?, Freddie King's See See Baby, Jimmy Reed's You Got Me Runnin', and Muddy Waters's Honey Bee. One of the best and most elaborate thus far.

The second and final appearance of Out on the Tiles is introduced as "written by John Bonham" by Plant. It's a shame this wasn't played more often. The coda leads directly into Communication Breakdown after a flawless transition. There are some tape distortions during Page's frenzied solo. The breakdown features an extended bass solo and the first rare appearance of Gallow's Pole. After the band leaves the stage, someone near the taper declares "I'm gonna rip Madison Square Garden apart! Everybody is!" When the band returns, they launch into a frantic medley of old rock classics including The Girl Can't Help It, I'm Talking About You, and Twenty Flight Rock.

The biggest surprise of the night is How Many More Times as the final encore. The song's first appearance since the Bath Festival. The band is absolutely on fire. Every moment is a constant explosion of power and energy. The medley includes Boogie Chillen', Chuck Berry's No Money Down, and another excellent Blueberry Hill. The crowd is driven mad by the explosive finale.

The best performance thus far. Period.

The tape is excellent. Clear, well-balanced, and atmospheric. Must hear.


Unknown said...

Plant sings like a god here. Devastatingly powerful. The band would be guaranteed immortality on the basis of this performance alone.

Unknown said...

I wonder if it was Hendrix's recent death that spurred them to this masterpiece. A reminder that you never know if this will be your last gig.

Chris said...

Its the ultimate tribute to Jimi.
Page even sounds like him at the beginning of SIBLY to my ears.
If someone was to say to me this was the greatest Zep ever captured on tape. I wouldnt argue.

Anonymous said...

This show is another in a line of great shows from 1970. Plant sounds fantastic, as he does in almost every show from '70. The sound is good, not great, but close and clear, The whole band sounds great here, and there really isn't a bad track. A fantastic show, fron to back!

Anonymous said...

Sat in 2nd row behind Page's amps, so stoned, I felt like I was part of the band. Plant's hair looked like a waterfall, it was so long. Saying "Thank You" was devastating is putting it mildly. I still feel Jimmy's chords before his solo.
There were rumors at the time that LZ were going "acoustic". After being at this show, all I could think was WTF !

Anonymous said...

Hands down, one of the very top Zep shows.

dragonspirit said...

From the above comments and review, I seem to be in the minority regarding my view on this show. It is a GOOD show. It is NOT an outstanding show aside from its length and the medleys, etc. I would not rate this among Led Zeppelin's best-- sound quality aside. Like everyone else, I love that so many extras and rarities were included (e.g. Out on the Tiles and HMMT [for that tour]). The band went out of their way to play all they could. On the other hand, parts of the show (especially toward the end) are excessively loud and abrasive. An example of this is the sequence "The Girl Can't Help It, I'm Talking About You, Twenty Flight Rock", which also comes off as somewhat disjointed. It's not just this show-- the entire fall U.S. 1970 tour is overrated. I like early 1970 much more as a whole.

Anonymous said...

50 years on. . what an amazing show!!