Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 253: 6/17/1980 Dortmund, Germany

6/17/1980 Dortmund, Germany (1st gen cassette>dat)
Train Kept a Rollin', Nobody's Fault But Mine, Black Dog, In the Evening, The Rain Song, Hot Dog, All My Love, Trampled Underfoot, Since I've Been Loving You, Achilles Last Stand, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love/Heartbreaker

Ten months after their triumphant homecoming, the band returns to Germany to begin a short tour of Europe in preparation for a prospective 1980 North American tour. The setlist has seen another major overhaul to cut the fat and condense the show into a dynamic two hour affair. This new, modern Led Zeppelin show begins with an old favorite, Train Kept a Rollin', taking the opening slot for the first time since 8/31/1969. Page tears through an explosive wah-wah workout during the guitar solo. The band gets a bit lost at times during the new arrangement of Nobody's Fault But Mine, which drops the usual guitar/vocal intro, launching straight into the first verse. Bonzo can be heard shouting "intermission!" as Page greets the crowd before introducing Black Dog as "schwarzhund." Plant's voice is rough, but strong as he attacks each verse with raw aggression.

In the Evening is preceded by a short droning into, dropping the bow solo completely. Page's playing is choppy and abrasive, a far cry from his former fluency. The Rain Song is introduced as "a song about love affairs that go adrift." Bonzo can be heard shouting "interval!" at the end of Hot Dog, which is followed by the first performance of All My Love. Page shreds wildly through a sharp, angular guitar solo during Trampled Underfoot. Plant sings "take me to the bridge!" as Page begins the guitar solo during Since I've Been Loving You. Achilles Last Stand is played at a more relaxed pace than usual, closer to the studio version than the frantic explosions of the past. Bonzo can once again be heard begging for an interval as the song comes to a close. Page blazes through a sticky-fingered guitar solo during Stairway to Heaven. The band closes the show with a strange hybrid of Whole Lotta Love and Heartbreaker, with the latter dropped in the middle of the former. As the band leaves the stage, Plant announces "goodnight, dinosaurs rule!"

The tape is a bare bones soundboard recording, briefly augmented by a poor audience source.

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