Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day 171: 7/20/1973 Boston, MA

7/20/1973 Boston, MA  (master>cdr)
Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love

Plant struggles with his voice during Rock and Roll, barely able to manage anything beyond a fragile monotone. The crowd is rowdy tonight, causing quite a commotion during the intro to Over the Hills and Far Away. As the song ends, Plant pleads with the crowd to be cool, warning "if you don't stop pushin' forward, we're gonna have to stop until everybody can move happily." The band skips Misty Mountain Hop and Since I've Been Loving You, heading directly into No Quarter in hopes of calming the atmosphere. The instrumental section is devastatingly heavy, Bonzo's entrance is explosive. Page delivers a powerful guitar solo. Another outstanding performance.

An increasingly frustrated Plant again tells the crowd to cool it before The Song Remains the Same. There is a brief cut during the second verse of The Rain Song. Page shreds through the lightning-fast lead-in to the bow solo during Dazed and Confused. The excellent San Francisco interlude is preceded by a mournful chorus of "take it easy" from Plant. Page is absolutely on fire during the guitar solo/workout section. His fingers race across the fretboard as Bonzo and Jones hold down a frantic rhythm. The Mars, the Bringer of War section triggers a frenzied ascent that climaxes in the devastating return to the main riff. The outro is a blistering race to the finish. A truly amazing performance.

Page blazes through a high-speed guitar solo during Stairway to Heaven. Moby Dick is dropped from the setlist. Plant's voice has fully recovered by Whole Lotta Love. The Boogie Chillen' section features an excellent guitar solo from Page. A firecracker explodes during the thunderous finale. Plant says "thank you Boston, and goodnight!" as the band exits, leaving the uncooperative crowd without an encore. A barrage of firecracker blasts echo through the arena until someone onstage announces "thank you and goodnight, Led Zeppelin are gone."

The tape is fairly clear, if a bit distant and noisy.

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