Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 80: 9/9/1971 Hampton, VA

9/9/1971 Hampton, VA  (master>reel>dat)
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That's the Way, Going to California, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick

The tape begins with Immigrant Song already in progress. Page misses the change to the lead-in to the a cappella solo during Heartbreaker, but quickly rights himself. The solo itself is a bit subdued. Since I've Been Loving You is a mournful death march. Page's playing is simple, but powerful. Plant introduces Dazed and Confused as "a really far out ditty from long, long ago." Page takes his time getting to the bow solo, fiddling with licks and riffs as Bonzo and Jones try to follow along. After shredding through the guitar solo, Page is in a very playful mood during the guitar workout. Highly improvisational, he leads the band through a variety of rhythms and jams, even throwing in a bit of Over Under Sideways Down, which causes Plant to lose his cool and laugh. Unfortunately, the tape is cut before the return to the main riff, leaving us in the middle of the outro.

During a pause before Stairway to Heaven, Plant explains that the band has come to expect some downtime during the show before announcing "and over to William Tell" as Page begins the song. An out of time vocal from Plant causes Page and Jones to get a bit mixed up just before Bonzo comes in. Plant introduces Celebration Day as "a New York song." After Going to California, Page plays the riff from Tommy Tucker's High Heel Sneakers, to which Plant responds by singing the opening lines of the song. Jones flubs part of the opening to Moby Dick, which cuts off during the finale, ending the recording. A rather sluggish performance overall with a few moments of inspiration.

The tape is a clear soundboard recording. A bit bass heavy and overloaded at times, which causes crackles of static in the higher frequencies.


Phideaux3 said...

Just noticed the double-neck on Celebration Day, quite a surprise to me. And the bass line is manic!

dragonspirit said...

I view this gig as lower energy and technically inferior (especially with Jimmy) than the other gigs from this tour. That said, in terms of the other aspects of musicality (the cohesion of ideas, the interplay between the musicians, creativity, and the musicians' being "into it"), I think this show is quite good-- underrated in fact. It's better than most if not all of the early winter UK 1971 shows.