Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 154: 5/16/1973 Houston, TX

5/16/1973 Houston, TX  (master transfer)
Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven*, Moby Dick*, Heartbreaker*, Whole Lotta Love*, Communication Breakdown*
*- Going Down

The tape begins just as Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Celebration Day is played at a frantic pace with Plant rushing to squeeze all the lyrics in. Page shreds through an angry guitar solo as Bonzo hammers at his drums with relentless intensity during Black Dog. Since I've Been Loving You is incredibly powerful and aggressive. Unfortunately, the tape is cut during Page's blistering guitar solo. No Quarter is introduced as a song "about man's passage through life... and the traumas." Jones's piano solo is punctuated by a barrage of thunderous cannon fire courtesy of Bonzo.

The lead-in to the bow solo during Dazed and Confused is a cacophonous wall of sound with Page's frenzied soloing slicing through the dissonant roar like a razor blade. The taper's equipment is on the brink of being totally destroyed by the brutal sonic assault of the guitar solo/workout section. An utterly devastating performance. As Moby Dick ends, Plant introduces "Mick Hinton, the greatest road manager that ever hit the west." Page's fingers get a bit sticky during the solos in Heartbreaker. Whole Lotta Love features a rare rendition of Don Nix's Going Down prior to the Boogie Chillen' section. The band closes the show with a quick and dirty Communication Breakdown.

The audience tape is quite noisy and distorted. The soundboard tape is very clear, although Page is a bit buried in the mix at times.

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