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Friday, September 25, 2015

1973.01.07 Led Zeppelin Oxford UK (SoundBoard)

Led Zeppelin
Oxford UK

Here is the link
01 Rock and Roll
02 Over the Hills and Far Away
03 Black Dog
04 Misty Mountain Hop / Since I've Been Loving You
05 Dancing Days
06 Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp
07 The Song Remains the Same
08 The Rain Song
09 Dazed and Confused (incl San Francisco)
10 Stairway to Heaven
11 Whole Lotta Love

Robert's voice is still incredibly weak from the flu, but the band is definitely on, with Jones and Bonham shining through in this bass and drum heavy soundboard. Jimmy is incredible too, especially in Dazed And Confused, where he indulges in some exotic and strange sounding soloing in the fast section that sounds quite breathtaking amongst the bashing of the rhythm section. The instrumental machine is playing exceptionally which makes up for Robert's sickness. Whole Lotta Love was dedicated to road crew: "Any of our road managers that didn't get arrested in Sheffield. This really is a bit heathen for a Sunday night."

The tape begins just as Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Plant's had a few days to rest and his voice has improved, but it's still fragile. The band ends Over the Hills and Far Away a bit early as Plant struggles to squeeze in the final verse. He apologizes for the delay caused by an iron bar being thrown onto the electric railway lines, halting train service. Black Dog is dedicated to "the guy who did that." Misty Mountain Hop is no longer dedicated to the Manchester CID "for obvious reasons" as Plant puts it. Instead, he dedicates the song to "everybody who ever got waylaid when they were going somewhere." The instrumental machinery is firing on all cylinders during Since I've Been Loving You. Page, Jones, and Bonzo are tighter than ever before.

Before Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Plant tells the crowd that Bonzo will no longer be providing backing vocals on the song, explaining "I'm afraid the sweet wine has got the best of his voice." Bonzo is absolutely on fire during The Song Remains the Same, unleashing a thunderous stampede of drums. There is a brief cut in the middle of The Rain Song. Plant introduces Dazed and Confused as "one from a long time back, when we were all twenty in the press handouts." The lead-in to the bow solo features a hauntingly heavy San Francisco interlude. The frenzied guitar solo/workout section includes the return of the Walter's Walk theme. Page conjures up a vast array of new riffs and licks as Bonzo and Jones hold down the urgent rhythm. Bonzo's relentless pounding is like a barrage of canon fire during the Mars, the Bringer of War section. An amazing performance.

Plant introduces Stairway to Heaven as "a song that was conceived about two hours after we finished Black Dog." Whole Lotta Love is dedicated to "any of our road managers who didn't get arrested in Sheffield." Plant's microphone cuts out during the first chorus, returning with a loud screech of feedback in time for the second verse. Unfortunately, the recording ends just as Everybody Needs Somebody to Love crashes into motion.

The tape is a great soundboard recording with Plant and Bonzo out front. Unfortunately, Page gets a bit buried in the mix at times. Overall, an excellent recording for Bonzo lovers, his performance is definitely the highlight of the show

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