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, Black Dog
The band's fifth night at Madison Square Garden begins with a barrage of firecracker blasts before The Song Remains the Same explodes out of the gate. Bonzo's thunderous pounding sounds like a violent earthquake as the band hammers through a brutally heavy Sick Again. Nobody's Fault But Mine is interrupted by a series of minor tape disturbances throughout. Over the Hills and Far Away is introduced as "one that we're attempting for the second time for the benefit of a man who usually sits in the second row... a Ritchie Blackmore look-alike, wherever he's gone." Plant attempts to sing the chorus in its original melody, but doesn't quite make it. Page shreds through a wildly dissonant guitar solo.
Plant introduces Since I've Been Loving You as "a central London blues." Page's fingers tear across the fretboard in a furious cascade of notes during the guitar solo. Jones's somber piano solo gives way to an excellent upbeat boogie as Page and Bonzo join in during No Quarter. The instrumental section reaches its peak with an outstanding guitar solo from Page, his masterful fingerwork leading the way as the band embarks on an epic musical journey. Jones hints at Chim Chim Cher-ee as the piece comes to a close. A fantastic performance. Ten Years Gone is simply amazing. Page blazes through the guitar solos with amazing fluency and precision. An incredibly powerful performance, one of the best thus far. Bonzo is introduced as "a rhinestone cowgirl" as he comes to the front of the stage before an excellent The Battle of Evermore. The crowd erupts in a thunderous stampede as a beautiful Going to California comes to a close.
Plant hints at The Lemon Song before dedicating Black Country Woman to The Jive Five. There is a slight cut in the tape near the beginning of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. White Summer/Black Mountain Side is preceded by a long pause due to Page dropping his guitar and knocking it out of tune. Plant pushes his voice to the limit during a riotous Heartbreaker. Unfortunately, there is a cut in the middle of Page's blistering guitar solos. Achilles Last Stand is a thunderous explosion. Bonzo thrashes frantically at anything within reach as Page shreds erratically. An utterly devastating performance. Bonzo enters early during Stairway to Heaven, forcing Plant to skip a verse to catch up. The band closes the show with a crushing rendition of Black Dog, its first appearance since 5/25/1975. An unbelievably brutal performance, definitely the heaviest of the New York run. Must hear.
The tape is fairly clear and atmospheric, if a bit distant and boomy.