Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day 87: 9/28/1971 Osaka, Japan

9/28/1971 Osaka, Japan  Osaka Woman
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, That's the Way, Going to California, Tangerine, Down By the Riverside, What is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love, C'mon Everybody, High Heel Sneakers, Communication Breakdown

Led Zeppelin's first night in Osaka begins with the thunderous battle cry of Immigrant Song. The sonic assault doesn't let up during Heartbreaker. Page is on fire, blazing through an amazing guitar solo. Plant declares "tonight you will be happy" before Since I've Been Loving You. Bonzo attacks his drums with incredible force. Plant mentions that his shoes won't stay tied before introducing Dazed and Confused, only to find that the next song is actually Black Dog. Plant's vocals are drowned in echo.

Page hints at Communication Breakdown before Plant introduces Dazed and Confused. The lead-in to the bow solo is growing longer and more complex every night. Page is very improvisational, playing anything that comes to him, with Bonzo and Jones close behind. The improvisation continues during the excellent guitar solo/workout section. Unfortunately, the song fades out during the outro as Page starts playing some 3rd Stone From the Sun-esque licks. An amazing performance, one of the best thus far.

There is a cut during Stairway to Heaven that loses most of the guitar solo, hindering an otherwise great performance. Plant tells the crowd "you are too quiet... dishonorably quiet" before leading the band in a mini medley of Please Please Me and From Me to You. Celebration Day is a cacophonous explosion of energy. The acoustic set begins with the first complete performance of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. An alternate source provides That's the Way before the original source returns for an absolutely beautiful Going to California, the best yet. Plant leads the crowd in a tongue-in-cheek We Shall Overcome sing-along before Tangerine. They close the acoustic set with a foot-stomping rendition of Down By the Riverside with Jones joining in on organ near the end.

Plant introduces Bonzo as "your old friend" before Moby Dick. The theramin freakout section during Whole Lotta Love includes yet another impromptu jam before the guitar solo. The medley features an excellent Boogie Chillen' followed by a great run-through of Cliff Richard's D in Love. The band gets into a rare waltz rhythm for Bachelor Boy, followed by a riotous rendition of Maybellene. Unfortunately, the tape is cut just as the band finishes another excellent Hello Mary Lou.

An inferior source takes over as we join C'mon Everybody already in progress. Plant introduces tour manager Phil Carson, roadie Clive Coulson, and a third person whose name is indecipherable on backing vocals before a great rendition of Tommy Tucker's High Heel Sneakers. The show ends with a raucous version of Communication Breakdown, which features an extended boogie jam during the breakdown. A truly amazing performance. Must hear.

The tape is fairly clear and well-balanced with the atmosphere intact.

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