The Song Remains the Same, Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Over the Hills and Far Away, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, The Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Over the Top, Heartbreaker, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll
The first show of the band's six night stand at The Forum begins with a brief soundcheck as the crowd's excitement builds to a frenzied peak. Following a shaky performance two nights earlier, Bonzo is back with a vengeance, thrashing at his drums in a frantic explosion of energy as The Song Remains the Same crashes into motion. The intense sonic assault doesn't let up as the band launches into a ferocious Sick Again. Page's guitar cuts out briefly during the intro, causing a moment of confused hesitation at the beginning of the first verse. He shreds wildly through the guitar solos as Bonzo continues to pummel the crowd with his thunderous attack. A brutal performance, one of the best thus far. Nobody's Fault But Mine is devastatingly heavy. Plant exclaims "oh Jimmy, excuse me!" as Page begins a blistering guitar solo. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "it is indeed a great pleasure to be back in California... it's very hard to see the sun in a basement in New York."
Page blazes through an excellent guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. Since I've Been Loving You is an intense emotional drama. Plant is in top form, belting out each line with power and conviction. As the song ends, he announces "we'd like to welcome back to the world John Bonham, who had a terrible fit of food poisoning," joking "he ate far too many rhinestones." No Quarter is an epic journey. A series of haunting theramin howls introduce Jones's ominous piano solo, which includes hints of Your Time is Gonna Come. Page and Bonzo join in for an outstanding blues improvisation. The band is absolutely on fire during the fantastic guitar solo section, slowly building tension until everything erupts in an explosive climax, crashing down on the crowd in thunderous waves. Page shreds wildly during the song's violent outro. An utterly devastating performance, one of the best ever.
Page blazes through the guitar solos during an excellent Ten Years Gone. Someone near the taper can be heard shouting "bring on Neil Young!" as the band prepares for the acoustic set. Going to California is beautiful. Plant hints at Gallows Pole before Black Country Woman. Page's fingers dance across the fretboard during White Summer/Black Mountain Side. Kashmir is incredibly powerful. Jones's droning keyboard symphony washes over the crowd as the band defiantly marches into battle. A crushing performance. There is a long pause before Over the Top, during which Plant pokes fun at Bonzo as he tries to fix a problem with his drum kit. The crowd goes wild as Page begins Heartbreaker. His fingers tear across the fretboard in a furious cascade of notes during the blistering guitar solo.
Shouts of "hey asshole, play some music!" and "we've had the guitar lessons!" can be heard coming from the crowd during a particularly lengthy experimental guitar solo. The band hammers through a violently aggressive Achilles Last Stand at a frantic pace. Plant tells the crowd "it's sort of a high point of the whole tour to be back here" before Stairway to Heaven. Bonzo thrashes wildly at anything within reach as Page shreds through an explosive guitar solo. Plant pushes his voice to the limit during the final verse. Whole Lotta Love is preceded by a heavy a cappella intro from Page with hints of Communication Breakdown thrown in. The band closes the show with a riotous Rock and Roll. As the song ends, Plant announces "it's like a good woman, goodnight!" An unbelievable performance, one of the best ever. Must hear.
The legendary Listen to This Eddie tape is yet another phenomenal Mike Millard recording, briefly augmented by an inferior audience source during Ten Years Gone.
Click here for audio samples courtesy of Black Beauty.