Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 222: 4/27/1977 Cleveland, OH

4/27/1977 Cleveland, OH (master>dat)
The Song Remains the Same, Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, 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, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot

The famed Destroyer tape begins during the first verse of The Song Remains the Same. Plant's voice starts off a bit rough and Page's fingers are constantly getting stuck in the strings. Things pick up during Sick Again. Plant seduces the crowd with his aggressive snarl as Page slashes and shreds through the bone-crushing rhythm. An unbelievably heavy performance, one of the best thus far. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "it's very nice to be back... in more ways than one." The band hammers through a devastating Nobody's Fault But Mine. Plant exclaims "go Jimmy, go!" as Page begins the guitar solo.

Since I've Been Loving You is excellent. As the song ends, Plant announces "Jimmy Page on guitar there... the doctor was played by Larry Badgely (the band's doctor) and management was arranged by Peter Grant." The ominous introduction to Jones's piano solo during No Quarter is fantastic. Unfortunately, a cut in the tape soon after leaves us at the end of the upbeat interlude. Page delivers an erratically epic guitar solo, punctuated by Bonzo's violent outbursts. Ten Years Gone features some fantastic soloing from Page. Before The Battle of Evermore, Plant tells the crowd "this song reflects, I s'pose more than anythin' else, an evening in England some seven hundred years ago... just about the time that me and Bonzo got married." Going to California is beautiful. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "this is startin' to feel good, man."

Plant introduces Bonzo as "one of the few gentlemen in Cleveland who manages to wash my hair with 7 Up, the man who... childhood friend, sweet baby, always been the lover boy of the band" before Over the Top. The drum solo features the extensive use of a spaced-out phasing effect as Bonzo hammers at his tympani. The song's finale is punctuated by a series of lightning-fast machine gun snare blasts. Page's fingers are a bit sticky during the first guitar solo in Achilles Last Stand. Plant dedicates Stairway to Heaven to "the sort of atmosphere that I think we've actually achieved between us all." Page disappears at the end of the guitar solo, leaving the rest of the band to fill the void for the remainder of the song.

As the band exits the stage, a cut in the tape leaves us near the end of the first verse of Rock and Roll. Page's guitar cuts out briefly at the beginning of the solo. Plant announces "well, now it's been a long time... I guess we should do a bit of stompin'" before the band closes the show with a heavy, plodding Trampled Underfoot. Bonzo gets into a disco rhythm for a few bars following the initial verses. Page shreds wildly through the guitar solo. A strong performance for the band's first night in Cleveland. Must hear.

The tape is an excellent soundboard recording.

6 comments:

Ned said...

This concert symbolises how much of 77 sounded live:

Strong but Erratic!!!

Anonymous said...

The 1977 tour didn't have lots of triumphs. This show has good sound quality, and the performance is OK. Sick Again (with the Rover intro), Nobody's Fault, Black Country Woman/Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, are all really good. I disagree with the reviewer about the guitar work on Ten Years Gone--contrast this performance (not great) with the 6/21/77 performance (which is outstanding--even with the cut in the tape on the latter).
-ABH

Anonymous said...

I agree, this concert is not a must hear. The tape has great quality sound, but the band sounds like it's having trouble getting through the music too much.

dragonspirit said...

Bonzo's drumming on Achilles Last Stand is really good.

Anonymous said...

I think if there wasn't a cut in No Quarter, it would be one of the best versions.

dragonspirit said...

I revisited the early 1977 shows recently. I'd say that this show marks a turning point in the tour. At one point in this show, Robert comments something like "It's good to be back-- in more ways than one" and on the good atmosphere and vibes "among us all" right before STH. My theory is that Robert and Jimmy had gotten on the same page (no pun intended) with respect to Jimmy's heroin addiction and were talking again more openly and that Jimmy was seriously trying to get clean of it at this point. It's no coincidence to me that the next two shows were solid nights for Jimmy. Also, from photos and vids that I've seen of him, it seems like he got back to a more normal weight between April and the NYC June shows. Up through the last LA show (June 27), Robert's tone is generally more upbeat than in the earlier April shows-- his delivery on Nobody's Fault But Mine (a song about drug abuse) is less harrowed, and he'll even started to tease Jimmy with a SIBLY reference of "I need a little help sometimes..... Jimmy!" right before the solo. He'll also tease him on NFBM with the "oh Jimmy, oh JIMMY". All of this suggests to me that things were on the upswing from this show and stayed okay until the end of June. After that, from all accounts that I've heard, it seems like Jimmy relapsed into heavy heroin use.