The Led Zeppelin Live Shows Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Rockin' Robby, Oct 30, 2023.

  1. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't see a thread dedicated to Led Zeppelin live. I saw that Hendrix has one, and I think the most bootlegged band in history deserves one too.

    I would like to start with The Texas International Pop Festival. August 31st, 1969. I was listening to this gig last night. Anybody who argues that Page is sloppy live (I don't dispute that he was at times) should listen to this one. He is FAST and precise, incredible guitar playing. The band is very tight and powerful, and the outdoor atmosphere is great. You can tell the audience is really mind-blown after a few tunes.

    This was randomly the first bootleg CD I ever bought. "Plays Pure Blues" 2CD.

    What are your favorite releases for this show? Note that this forum allows discussion of the releases, but we cannot discuss where to buy them. I've got Empress Valley "The Only Way To Fly", Oh Boy "Texas International Pop Festival", and the Tarantura DVD. I really enjoyed The Only Way To Fly disc 2 last night. It has a DR of 9, but sounded good at a decent volume. I also tried the Nite Owl matrix but found that one had too much high end and was very hard on the ears. What is the best release of this devastating performance?
     
  2. T-Mac

    T-Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I have the Texas Pop on Oh Boy, Texas International Pop Fest Definitive Edition on TCOLZ and Texas Int Pop Fest 1969 stereo matrix

    all have their good points, the Oh Boy still sounds incredible, the TCOLZ has the SB and audience sources and the stereo matrix is a matrix of the SB and EX audience sources done by Nite Owl, an A+ matrix and a must have

    incredible show ! All the summer 69 shows are straight forward visceral playing. For those who do not like audience recordings, the SB is the best from 1969
     
  3. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Yes! Thanks for the response. Do you have a favorite? Didn't find the Nite Owl tough to listen to in the upper ranges? I prefer versions with spliced in audience tape of the missing parts, those parts are great too.

    Agree about the summer of '69! So good. Those festivals are some of my fave shows. Central Park was amazing as well.
     
  4. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Yep, just did a quick shootout and preferred The Only Way To Fly over the Nite Owl matrix. TOWTF has more bass which gives it a warmer sound.

    Edit: the other thing I found with the Nite Owl matrix was an unstable feeling to it, maybe due to the way the matrix was done, or movement of the audience mic? IMO the soundboard recording is great with quite a bit of ambience and a matrix is unnecessary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2023
  5. T-Mac

    T-Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    Nite Owl did a nice job, Texas Pop, Blueberry Hill, and The Stones Liver were all good fan produced matrix versions.

    my go to for Texas Pop is still the Oh Boy version.
    There is a bit of video footage from Texas Pop that gives a unique view of the performance, not sure why but I originally thought Zep played during the day.

    Central Park, Milwaukee, Toronto Late show, and Newport Jazz are all smoking, unfortunately they are audience recordings, Newport being the worse.

    now I’m gonna have to pull some ‘69 stuff out, have been listening to Montreal 1975 for the past couple days
     
    Rockin' Robby likes this.
  6. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Yes, Newport smokes! I actually think it sounds pretty good for a '69 audience.

    Which version of the Blueberry Hill show do you reach for? Once again Nite Owl's ears don't agree with mine. Reduced bass and vocals that are harsh on the ears. I think I still like my Cobla silver CDs from 1996. They were apparently a real revelation at the time. I have read that the Graf Zeppelin release is very good, but I haven't been able to track that down.
     
  7. T-Mac

    T-Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    I own the Graf Zeppelin Blueberry Hill and it is my go to. In fact I prefer the Graf Zeppelin versions of most every release they have put out, and I own them all. Off the top of my head only Cleveland 69 is not as good as others.

    move got several versions of 9/4/1970, the EV box, Eat A Peach, Cobra, Graf, EV Nite Owl matrix, Golden Eggs.

    9/2/1970 Oakland is a really good show too, lots of cool stuff, the encores of Train Kept A Rollin, Blueberry Hill, and Long Tall Sally is equally a good as the more famous Blueberry Hill show
     
  8. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I finally found a copy of the Graf Blueberry Hill. Totally agree, it's great. The quality is similar and comparable to my 1996 Cobla Standard, but the source patches are so much better, and it is more complete. I appreciate your info and will search out other Graf releases.

    As good as that recording is, I don't feel it is the best one from 1970. I think the Montreaux March 7 show is. Was Zep ever more devastating than the early 1970 shows that opened with We're Gonna Groove? Is there a better recorded complete 1970 show than this?
    "Intimidating Divinity" is a great merge of the audience and soundboard tapes for this stunning performance.
     
    Chris Desjardin likes this.
  9. FrixFrixFrix

    FrixFrixFrix Senior Member

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
  10. Greenalishi

    Greenalishi Birds Aren’t Real

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Killer show at the Whiskey in 69,


     
  11. Duckman

    Duckman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Belgium
    I agree, Montreux is a far superior audience recording. The top 3 BBHill aud. recordings -stereo and mono-are excellent documents for the time, but the weakest link was their P.A system in 1970-1972. In smaller venues like the Montreux casino or the Berkely Community Theatre (Going to California) an enterprising recording hobbyist could achieve much better results than let's say MSG, L.A Forum or Oakland Arena.
     
  12. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    trumpet sounds and FrixFrixFrix like this.
  13. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    Well, it is 1969, not 1977. JP was not known for sloppy playing in the early Zeppelin years. By 1975 when heroin and booze took over, his playing deteriorated.
     
  14. steveharris

    steveharris Senior Member

    Location:
    Mass
    I like September’70 more than shows from earlier in the year,but that’s me.Bluberry Hill,Oakland,Madison Square Garden,Honolulu.Blueberry still holds up for me even if other shows from the era were better.
    The band was fairly consistent until the end of’ ‘72.That was only because Plant’s voice.Yet he was still singing more creatively with what he had.
    My favorite show from’69 has been 4/27/69 Fillmore West.
    4/26/69 Winterland,1/26/69 Boston,are not the best recordings but I like the performances.
    I haven’t listened to every show and recording.Some of theseI have been playing for years because I enjoy them so much.I still have original vinyl of Texas Pop,Fillmore,Blueberry,Badgeholders,along with a couple different cds of certain shows I always want to hear again,even though the recordings are all the internet.
    I still prefer Denmark’71 over Odense’71.I love those live versions of Gallows and Four Sticks.
    If those Japan’71 soundboards were complete I could be very happy with those.:)
    Even after hearing so many 1973 shows,Madison Square Garden’73 is still my favorite of that year.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
  15. FrixFrixFrix

    FrixFrixFrix Senior Member

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Yep! It was a lot of fun, felt like I was on tour with the band for an entire year. The closest I’ll ever get to time travel. No way I could attempt anything like that now, though. The freedom of being in my mid-20s with little to no responsibilities is long gone.

    ‘75 wasn’t bad, I like the setlist changes and don’t mind Plant’s croak. ‘77 was the real slog. At a certain point, there’s a recording of every single night and they’re all 3+ hours long.
     
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  16. adam_777

    adam_777 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Duncan BC, Canada
    I did all the shows in about a 1.5 year span and yeah I know what you mean about it being a slog sometimes later on. But like you I found the experience to be a ton of fun. Ive been going through and hitting all the shows again for their 50th anniversaries which is kind of a cool alternative because you kind kf experience it in real time and you really realize what a blitz those first five yesrs were. Currently enjoying a long layoff at the moment as the band themselves did after MSG '73.

    Your website was such an amazing resource to follow along with as I went, seeing where we agreed or disagreed on different shows. Its an absolute time capsule to that post O2 period where we were all wondering what next? Anyways still use your website all the time its such a great resource to quickly look up rarely played songs or read thoughts on a gig. Of course 15 years on so many nee recordings, more complete recordings and upgrades have turned up so it does date it in that regard, but it still remains pretty vital so thanks for all the work you put into it!
     
  17. laether

    laether Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phobos
    It's interesting with so many great & legendary shows out there, Mr. Page doesn't wanna "bootleg the bootleggers" and just release some of these officially.

    I mean every decade they lose loads of money because of pretending this stuff does not exist...

    Oh well. Interesting thread for sure!
     
  18. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Ain't no doubt about it! I'm just saying he achieved his place among the great rock n roll players during that time through 1973, and that shouldn't be taken away from him. He was at quite a peak for years. Let's not judge by a person's lower moments in the wilderness. Any hedonistic player who pushes the boundaries is going to have some highs and lows. His live playing was stunning for years, and the seven album run of perfection from I-Presence is pretty much unmatched.

    I'm a person who has thought lesser of his playing overall due to the sloppier period he had from '75 on. There are some abysmal shows. Texas Pop '69 reminded me that he certainly was one of the best rock n roll players ever.

    One thing I read was that Page's jaw was on the floor while watching Ten Years After at Texas Pop. Alvin Lee was so fast. Perhaps that inspired his August 31 performance a little bit. I also read he had some good "speed" that night. :agree:
    Sounds like pure speculation, although not outside of the realm of possibility.
     
  19. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    I've only heard a small fraction of the shows that you have, but I totally agree on 77 versus 75 from what I have heard.

    So from a guy who has heard everything, what is your favorite tour or period?
     
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  20. Rockin' Robby

    Rockin' Robby Gettin' down so low I'm below ground! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Just wanted to correct this, because I just checked and Ten Years After actually played after Led Zep. So maybe Page inspired Alvin Lee. :laugh:
     
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  21. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    I doubt the bootleggers eat much into the band’s revenues with limited edition, hard-to-find concert releases, where the audio is freely streamed all over the internet by a faction of Zeppelin enthusiasts.

    That said, the band probably left a lot of money on the table during the 90’s and 00’s by not releasing more archival material when music retail was booming.
     
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  22. FrixFrixFrix

    FrixFrixFrix Senior Member

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    I’ve been asked a few times if I’ll ever go back and write about the new tapes that have surfaced in the meantime, but so much of the experience was hearing every show in sequence and following the evolution of the band’s chemistry and dynamics from one night to the next that it wouldn’t be the same to just drop in for a single show without the larger context. I still collect and listen to new recordings when they pop up, but I don’t think one-off write-ups would do the same justice to the music as the original process.

    I’m glad it’s been a useful resource, though! I wrote everything longhand in notebooks, but figured making a website would be a good way to create a searchable database for myself to reference in the future. Never imagined it would garner so much interest from other folks.

    Every tour and phase of the band’s career has high and low points, so I can’t pinpoint favorites outside of the list of shows I marked as ‘must hear’. My picks don’t always align with general consensus, but those are the ones that I think represent the band and their legacy the best.

    That said, I’ve got pretty finely-tuned bootleg ears, so I know my picks aren’t always the ones that someone more sensitive to sound quality would find most enjoyable.

    I did make a shortlist of shows at some point that could act as an introduction to the band’s live career for those who aren’t willing to explore the depths of vintage audience recordings. I’ll see if I can dig it up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2023
  23. FrixFrixFrix

    FrixFrixFrix Senior Member

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Found it! Mind, I made this list 15 years ago and haven’t looked at it since. Didn’t even think it still existed.

    4/27/69 San Francisco, CA
    8/31/69 Dallas, TX
    10/10/69 Paris, France
    9/4/70 Los Angeles, CA
    8/31/71 Orlando, FL
    9/29/71 Osaka, Japan
    6/25/72 Los Angeles, CA
    1/22/73 Southampton, England
    7/17/73 Seattle, WA
    2/12/75 New York, NY
    5/25/75 London, England
    4/27/77 Cleveland, OH
    6/21/77 Los Angeles, CA
    8/4/79 Knebworth, England
    6/30/80 Frankfurt, Germany
    12/10/07 London, England
     
  24. shokhead

    shokhead Head shok and you still don't what it is. HA!

    Location:
    SoCal, Long Beach
    Saw them all at the Inglewood Forum in June of 72, May of 73 and March of 75 from what my friends tell me.
     
  25. jay.dee

    jay.dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Barcelona, Spain
    For 1973 I would definitely add Vienna Fireworks in Austria (Mar 16) and Bonzo's Birthday Party in LA Forum (May 31) - even better performances in also great sound quality.
     

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