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Sunday, September 27, 2015

1970.03.07 Led Zeppelin Montreux Casino (Awesome Audience)

Led Zeppelin
Montreux Casino
(Awesome Audience)

Here is the link
Soundman Phil Dudderidge: "When I arrived, mid-tour, at Montreux to join the Led Zeppelin crew, I found a fairly standard rig for that level of band, similar to those owned by The Who and Pink Floyd, which I had seen at various gigs. The speakers were mostly 4 x 12-inch columns (10 per side), plus two stacks of two 2 x 15s with a small horn on top per side, all driven by 12 100W power amps. And just two WEM five-channel Audiomaster mixers providing 10 channels. I'd never had my hands on such a big rig! Mics were the usual assortment of Shure Unidynes and Unisphere's, the forerunners of the SM57 and SM58." (Performing-Musician interview)

Montreux promoter, Claude Nobs, sparks a close friendship with the band and brings them to perform at the Casino. They would return to play in 1971 and 1972 as well as taking personal holidays to the mountain retreat throughout the decade. One of the perks of playing in Montreux is the availability of the state-of-the-art recording studio, Mountain Studios, connected to the venue, which the band also used.

(The group was never part of the "Montreux Jazz Festival", as they as sometimes erroneously attributed.)

We're Gonna Groove seems a bit sluggish, especially Page. He seems to be moving in slow motion during the intro to I Can't Quit You Baby. Quite the opposite can be said of Plant, who is full of energy and bravado. Page re-tunes his guitar during the third verse of Dazed and Confused. His playing is almost drunk, very bluesy. As an intro to Heartbreaker, Page leads the band in a jam on the riff from Jeff Beck's Rice Pudding. Since I've Been Loving You is like a funeral march, mournful and longing.

Jones plays a haunting organ solo before Thank You. Bonzo is an out of control locomotive during Moby Dick. Page plays a riff similar to that of Psychotic Reaction at the beginning of How Many More Times. There is a source change to the inferior soundboard tape just as the song is getting underway. The Bolero section features some excellent improvisation. The band are locked into each other during the medley, which features excellent renditions of Bottle Up and Go and Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels' Jenny Take a Ride! Plant has everyone playing his call and response game during the "got you in the sights..." section. The tape ends during the theramin freakout in Whole Lotta Love (which features Jones on organ), leaving us without the end of this great show.

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