Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 84: 9/23/1971 Tokyo, Japan

9/23/1971 Tokyo, Japan  Live in Japan 1971
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, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

The first show of Led Zeppelin's epic first tour of Japan. The tape begins with a lengthy stage announcement in Japanese, which ends in a very enthusiastic band introduction. Immigrant Song is a sonic assault. While Page changes a broken string, Plant mentions how much the band have been enjoying their stay in Japan and tells the crowd that they want to make this the best time they've ever had before Heartbreaker. Page blazes through an excellent guitar solo.

Dazed and Confused includes one of the earliest hints of what will become The Crunge from Bonzo and Jones during the excellent guitar workout section. Page plays an excellent solo during Stairway to Heaven. Jones is on fire during Celebration Day. The acoustic set begins with a bit of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp before That's the Way. Plant talks about San Francisco in 1967 before a beautiful Going to California. He tells the crowd to "stop all that whistlin' man!" before What is and What Should Never Be

There are a couple cuts during the theramin freakout in Whole Lotta Love. The second cut leaves us in the medley during Hello Mary Lou. Elvis Presley's A Mess of Blues is followed by an excellent Tobacco Road and the first appearance of Good Times Bad Times since 9/4/1970. The biggest surprise is the inclusion of How Many More Times, its first appearance since 9/19/1970. The medley ends with an excellent You Shook Me. Plant tells some people causing trouble near the stage to cool it before Communication Breakdown. The band stops playing during the guitar solo as Plant shouts "stop that thing, you!" at the offending audience members. The recording ends during the return of the main riff after a short funky interlude. A taste of things to come. Must hear.

The tape is an excellent audience recording. Clear and well-balanced, if a bit overloaded in the bass frequencies.


Anonymous said...

I was there at Budokan 40 years ago. I watched them from the seat at left side of the stage, 1F (not arena). I remember Robert shouting
"Stop that thing! You, You You during the play of Communication Break Down as encore is to the man who broke into the venue (1F) and run to the back of the stage chased by the guard. There was a
good stereo audience recording bootleg which reminds me of the good old days.

Anonymous said...

To me this show surpasses the more famous Osaka gig. Despite the broken string after Immigrant song the first 6 songs (maybe apart from DaC) are better on 23rd. ''Celebration day'' is about equal. Osaka obviously has the best acoustic set with ''Friends'' and ''Tangerine'' + ''Mr.Bonham'' and ''fuck you, mate''.
''Whole lotta love'' goes to 23rd and Osaka again wins on encores having TY and RnR in addition to CB.

And of course the sound quality. Just grab the ''Flying rock Carnival'' or even Dadgad remaster of 23rd and be done while in the case of Osaka you could listen to 5 different sources and not be happy. The stage recording is overloaded with drums and cymbals while vocals in the heaviest spots are inaudible. All of the audience sources are good at best.