Monday, September 22, 2014

Led Zeppelin - 1969-01-05 - Los Angeles

Led Zeppelin
Whisky A Go Go
Los Angeles, CA

01. As Long As I Have You
02. I Can't Quit You
03. The Train Kept A Rollin'
04. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
05. Dazed And Confused
06. Killing FLoor
07. For Your Love

The group is billed with Alice Cooper as opening act, which lists them as: "Led Zeppelin featuring Jimmy Page, formerly of the Yardbirds". Upon their arrival to California, Page suffers from a fever and is forced to eliminate the 2nd set from these series of shows.

We can certainly feel that the performance of the band captured by the tape is one of its earliest, since most of the tunes are played in more compact manner than they became in later stages. Here, improvisations are confined to minimum levels. However, the brutality of Bonzo's drum playing and the wide range of Robert's voice is incredible. Jimmy also seems to have been doing some experimental guitar works here. For Your Love rounds out this performance and the band play it as it should have been originally. It doesn’t get more psychedelic than this version.

Very heavy version of As Long as I Have You, thanks mostly to Bonzo's relentless assault on the drums. The arrangement is very loose tonight with Page trying out a lot of different riffs and rhythms. Page's fingers are a little sticky, but his guitar sounds like a razor blade. The intro to Train Kept a Rollin' is a cacophony of thunderous drums and lightning guitar. Plant's harmonica collides with Page's guitar during the short solo.

Plant mentions the upcoming release of the first album before the first live recording of Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, performed in a style similar to the early studio outtakes. Dazed and Confused is introduced as "a number we wrote." Jones bends the notes of the intro for a strange effect. Plant, Jones, and Bonzo improvise through the bow solo. The guitar solo is an explosion with Bonzo attacking his cymbals nonstop. The first live recording of Killing Floor is much shorter and played at a much quicker pace than the eventual version of The Lemon Song that would appear on Led Zeppelin II. Plant's mention of Keith Relf draws a lot of applause, causing him to shout "too much!" His intro of For Your Love also brings a mention of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. The Yardbirds classic is mostly a venue for an extended guitar solo/jam, which is unfortunately cut in the middle. Plant's goodnight brings shouts of "more!" from the crowd and another mention of the forthcoming first album.

The tape is very clear with Page and Bonzo in the front. Being an exceptional quality recording from such an early date (less than four months after their first live appearance) makes this a must hear.

1 comment:

Zen Archer said...