Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Day 187: 2/7/1975 New York, NY

2/7/1975 New York, NY  (combo source)
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, Heartbreaker

The tape begins with a series of excited cheers from the tapers as someone onstage announces "the American return of Led Zeppelin!" The show gets off to a somewhat sluggish start. Plant sounds tired as he croaks through Sick Again, his voice still has not healed. Over the Hills and Far Away is introduced as "reflections of a dream." As the song ends, Plant complains about a loud hum coming from the PA before introducing In My Time of Dying, saying "strangely enough, due to the state of our health, it's quite an apt title." 

Before The Song Remains the Same, Plant responds to the whistling crowd, saying "that whistle reminds me of a guy who used to manage a band called Ten Years After, and every time it was time for them to go onstage in New York, he used to blow a whistle... poor fuckers." There is a slight cut at the very beginning of Kashmir. One of the tapers comments "they're on tonight, man" before the first verse of No Quarter. The instrumental section features an excellent, laid-back guitar solo from Page. Bonzo hammers at his drums with incredible power and intensity as Page shreds through a wild guitar solo during Trampled Underfoot. For  some inexplicable reason, a large portion of Moby Dick is repeated following a cut in the tape during the drum solo.

Page solos wildly during the frantic lead-in to the bow solo, following a source change during Dazed and Confused. The guitar solo/workout section is preceded by a heavy jam. Page shreds erratically as Bonzo and Jones hammer along at high speed. Page's call and response with Plant is repeated after a cut in the tape. The Mars, the Bringer of War section is a thunderous explosion. A devastatingly heavy performance. Page blazes through an outstanding guitar solo during Stairway to Heaven. Heartbreaker features an excellent extended a cappella solo followed by an explosive fast guitar solo.

The tape is a combination of two sources. The first, used through the initial verses of Dazed and Confused and a bit during Stairway to Heaven, is clear and well-balanced, if a bit distant at the beginning. The second, used for the remainder of the show, is muffled, hissy, and sounds as if it's sourced from vinyl.

Seven minutes of excellent 16mm color footage from the show is available on Hercules's Film Noir Vol. 1 and Celebration's Latter Visions. The film, which includes clips of Rock and Roll, Sick Again, and Over the Hills and Far Away, is shot from directly in front of the stage, presumably by a local television crew. It includes many dramatic close-ups of Page, Plant, and Bonzo.

Click here for a video sample courtesy of Black Beauty.

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