Is it just me or Led Zeppelin (or rather half of the band) were simply bad too many times LIVE? *

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DLeet, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    Don't get me wrong. Love the music. Love the miracles those guys pull out in the studio. Moreover, there are several concerts I love - some early TV appearances, and Royal Albert Hall, of course - brilliant stuff. But! Later on... they just.. don't cut it for me. And I watched/listened to plenty of shows. There is some 77 Tampa show, which is considered their nadir, but to be honest, I don't understand how this nadir differs from their usual, often sloppy playing.

    For whom I almost never have a bad word to say - Bonham and Jones. Those guys almost always were stone cold. Technical, precise, and adventurous in the live setting nonetheless. Page was very good at first, during the early years, but then he simply started phoning it in, it seems to me. Heard only several performances when I thought - yes, this is as cool as what he does in the studio. And don't tell me about overdubs in the studios. I do understand the limitations they had due to one guitarist during a live show instead of a virtual ensemble in the studio. Plant... man, I hate this guy sometimes. And you know why? I hear what miracles he does in the studio (I presume no autotune or other trickery in the 70s, so he was really doing it, right?), and I hear how awful he is live. This guy just never tries. Such a slacker. Not once I heard him flawlessly pull off the AAAAAA at the start of "Immigrant Song", even during their heyday. He does it flawlessly in the studio, so he is able to do it live, am I right? For some reason, he does not. He resorts to recitative. His vocal performances are a textbook example of sloppiness during life shows. Paradoxically enough, in some instances, I found him more pleasing during the O2 show compared to the one from Song Remains the Same done in 1973. Maybe because he was sticking to the actual melodies, who knows. And in O2 there is one moment in Kashmir when he takes this incredibly high note when instrumental section kicks in back into the verse riff... perfectly.

    I love LZ, my third favourite band ever. But their performances mostly make me cry. Have nothing negative to say about Jones or Bonham, but since Page and Plant are more prominent anyway, they spoil the whole impression. Am I just too strict? Well, no. I can call some bands off the top of my head, who are mostly very very good or even awesome live. It's just a shame that LZ never sustained a high quality level of performances. ... sorry for the rant.
  2. botley

    botley Forum Resident

    Agreed except for the "third favourite band" part. They're all great players individually, but come nowhere NEAR to being the greatest band. Where the rubber met the road they often fell short. Not taking away from their many great accomplishments as musicians, but man oh man — they played some lousy music a whole lot of the time.
  3. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    Regarding best bands ever - degustibus non est disputandum - is my credo. ))) I love their studio catalogue, but live, for me, they are almost always abysmal and never achieve the level of greatness they managed to achieve in the studio. In studio - nobody could touch 'em.
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  4. botley

    botley Forum Resident

    I'd agree that in the studio they did great things — but playing live is what should count. If you can't bring it live, then what are you doing, really?
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  5. maxnix

    maxnix Forum Resident

    Are we basing this just on recordings? No offense to the OP, I get what you are saying, but I don't think you can accurately judge a live band if you've never actually seen them live.
  6. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

    Just you.
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  7. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    "Yes" has always been one of my best examples of sublime playing both in studio and on stage. Even in 2004, as old grandpas, they could still totally bring it... not talking about nowadays incarnation, of course.
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  8. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    Of course on recordings. I do realize that being there hides many negative moments. Recordings are a fairer representation though. It's the music that counts, after all, no?
  9. mlew

    mlew Pub Rocker

    Tend to agree with LZ inability to deliver LIVE. I did see them in '70 at MSG
    and thought it was fantastic ( but then again I was influenced by a mind altering chemical ).
    When I saw Celebration Day I had a nagging suspicion it was filmed/recorded on a
    soundstage with the audience "dubbed" in. Can somebody tell me I'm mistaken?
  10. old school

    old school Senior Member

    I agree it's just you man!
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  11. SpinningInfinity

    SpinningInfinity Forum Resident

    I go through eras of the band I enjoy more. so say I was a 1971 or 1972 and before guy live because once they played Japan in I want to say 1971 Plants voice live was never the same again...BUT I went through that stuff so much all of a sudden say the 1975 tours because more interesting to listen to....then you move forward and focus on say the 1972-1974...or post 1976- end....hop around....I enjoy right now Plant a little more later in their career live...I know he doesn't hit the highs as much but I think he also matured and found a more consistent live voice and that is nice...Page to me is always pretty cool...he had some rough patches but I generally will judge a show a bit more on Plants voice.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  12. old school

    old school Senior Member

    Did you ever see them live? They brought it big time. Just from that statement you never saw them live.
  13. DrBeatle

    DrBeatle The Rock and Roll Chemist

    Midwest via Boston
    I'm a massive LZ fan but I agree, after 1973 the bad shows far outnumbered the great ones. For a variety of reasons, but it's true. And as someone stated above, yes, JPJ (always) and Bonham (almost always) were almost never at fault for this. It was mainly Robert's vocal problems after '73 and Page's increasingly erratic and sloppy playing (and the paper-thin and sustainless tone he had in '77, which is almost painful to listen to and in direct contrast to the great sound he got onstage in earlier years).
  14. Claus

    Claus Restaurant Critic

    I can understand it..... I have seen Led Zeppelin a few times. A great band in the studio, but they could never reach the same level on stage.
  15. beerice41

    beerice41 Forum Resident

    Who's your #1 and #2? and what percentage of the time do you enjoy them?
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  16. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Yes sir!!
    Every so often Jimmy would improvise and get sloppy and out of synch but within minutes they were On Time(with the help of the John's) and were chuggin' like a Freight Train. Speaking of the Houston show in 1975.
    Video and Zeppelin don't mix too well.
    Zep Fan likes this.
  17. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    I saw them in February 1969 and they frickin' killed live. This was when they were a fresh new band with things to prove, nowhere near being the "rock godz" they were eventually perceived to be.
    This was before any of their later concert excesses kind of diluted their shows with bloated, needlessly long versions of their songs etc., and probably before their personal excesses entered the picture.
    I never saw them after that show because I knew I'd never match the thrill of seeing them from 10 feet away for five bucks.
    At that point in time I think they themselves were still getting high on the music itself and the reaction that they were creating from their show.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
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  18. audiotom

    audiotom Ground Control to Major Tom

    New Orleans La USA
    I saw Zeppelin 77 in Pontiac

    Plant blew out his voice after Japan 1972
    cigarettes weren't kind either
    Page was on Heroin in 75 onward, especially frail in 77 tour

    that said they were explosive
    Earl's Court was dynamic
    77 had great moments
    Knebworth had Jimmy flubbing a bunch of stuff

    you had to see them
    not listen to a boot years later
  19. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    Any argumentation behind this?
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  20. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    I listened to officially released products mostly. They don't add to their legacy, imo, save for a few instances.
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  21. old school

    old school Senior Member

    I saw them live on there first American tour 5/69 and again in 6/72 at the Long Beach Arena which became ' How The West Was Won.' So I can only speak for those years and they were fantastic some of the best shows I ever seen in my opinion.
  22. DrBeatle

    DrBeatle The Rock and Roll Chemist

    Midwest via Boston
    This is basically 100% truth. Although you left out the '80 European tour, where even Bonham was becoming a liability by that point.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  23. DLeet

    DLeet Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Chernigov, Ukraine
    1. The Beatles 2. Yes

    percentage? hard to say... ))) too little specifications.
  24. goodboyfred

    goodboyfred Forum Resident

    I feel for the most part that they were a great live band. Saw them a couple of times and always felt that I was in the Presence of greatness. I never was looking for Led to recreate the studio experience in concert. When you're out on the edge playing night in and night out not every performance is going to be a 10. That goes for all the greats. Something about being human.
  25. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

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