Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 184: 2/3/1975 New York, NY

2/3/1975 New York, NY  (1st gen>cdr)
Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown

The tape begins with a lot of whooping and hollering from the tapers before someone onstage announces "the American return of Led Zeppelin." One of the tapers can be heard saying "fuck the sodas man, light up the jay" as Rock and Roll crashes into motion. The first verse is met with shouts of "louder!" and "his voice sounds like shit!" as they struggle to find their matches. Page's fingers get a bit sticky during the guitar solo at the end of Sick Again. As the song ends, Plant asks the crowd "what ever happened to nice warm weather? it's so cold!" adding "nevermind, I think we can overcome that tonight."

Over the Hills and Far Away is devastatingly heavy. Page shreds wildly through an erratic guitar solo. Plant's voice is still rough, but slowly improving. One of the tapers can be heard saying "double neck guitar, man... that's a fine-lookin' piece of machinery" as Plant is introducing The Song Remains the Same. Page blazes through the guitar solos as Bonzo hammers at his drums with incredible intensity. Plant's injured voice lends a beautifully mournful tone to a fantastic performance of The Rain Song.

Following Kashmir, Plant tells the crowd "that was a little piece called Kashmir" joking "it costs about twenty dollars a kilo." No Quarter is introduced as "a nice wintery number." Plant describes Trampled Underfoot as having "vague sexual connotations, in that it's linked with an automobile" adding "it's an old pink truck." Before Moby Dick, Bonzo is introduced as "the man that made Led Zeppelin a myth... or a farce." One of the tapers can be heard saying "Bonham's really freakin' out, man" during the marathon drum solo.

How Many More Times has been dropped from the setlist to make way for the return of Dazed and Confused, which makes its first appearance since 7/29/1973, eighteen months earlier on this very stage. Page isn't quite up to speed yet, his fingers get stuck in the strings during the lead-in to the bow solo. The band seems a bit lost toward the end of the San Francisco interlude. Plant repeatedly moans "her face is cracked from smilin'" as Page begins the bow solo. Things get a bit disjointed during the abbreviated guitar solo/workout section, no one seems to remember the arrangement. The return to the main riff is a disaster. An uneven first attempt. 

Page blazes through the guitar solo during Stairway to Heaven. Black Dog is excellent, Page's fingers race across the fretboard during the guitar solo. The show-closing Communication Breakdown is preceded by an impromptu funky jam, including lyrics from I Wish You Would. As the band leaves the stage, Plant tells the crowd "we'd lke to give you a big round of applause, you've been grand." Overall, a strong performance with a few weak spots.

The tape is clear and well-balanced. However, the tapers' running commentary can be a bit distracting at times.


PlethoraOfPinatas said...

How do you know it is the tapers talking? Isn't it more likely some people who didn't spend a lot of money on taping equipment and a lot of time to go to the show and record it?

FRX said...

It's widely accepted that the voices on the tape are those of the tapers themselves, rather than just someone nearby. You have to remember that taping was more of a casual hobby for personal enjoyment back then, as opposed to the tapers of today who take the process more seriously, creating superior quality recordings to be shared with a large number of people.

The tapers of this show most likely brought along their deck as a lark and went about enjoying the show as they normally would without too much thought for the tape.

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for completing your journey, an awesome feat! Your site with it's Zep concert reviews is a tremendous resource (not to mention entertaining reading) for anyone collecting these historic recordings or looking to get into it.

With regard to this particular show, been listening to it recently and may I add that the crystal-clear chatter of the taper (or nearby audience?) is actually quite interesting and amusing in that it gives you a aural snapshot of the for concert audience atmosphere of that era. Since I just started to get into Zep (and rock music in general) just at the time that they disbanded, and thus never got to see them live, I consider this an enjoyable show, both for the quality of the tape itself as well as the audience babble. Good stuff!