Tokyo, September 23rd
Performance – The first show of the tour, and it’s already clear that the band has come to prove themselves. Playing with a tightness and energy more characteristic of a finale, the opening numbers are BRUTAL, with the only respite being a pause before Heartbreaker to fix a broken guitar string. This show also features the first performance of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, here done as a brief tease prior to That’s the Way. The climax features what has to be the wildest, craziest, most insane version of Whole Lotta Love ever, clocking in at a whopping 36 minutes. The crowd is quite rowdy tonight, causing the band to briefly pause during Communication Breakdown to calm them down.
Recordings – Fun fact: this show holds the record for the most sources of any Led Zeppelin concert, with at least 11 known to exist thus far. Of these, the best sources are considered to be Sources 4, 5, and 7. (Note: to avoid confusion, I’m using Argenteum Astrum’s classification of the sources). All three are clear and pretty well balanced, but they also have their flaws. The bass and drums on Source 4 are a bit distant and buried. Source 5 is very good, but has some tape warbling during the acoustic set. Source 7, fidelity wise, is the best one of all, with a very close, clear, and atmospheric sound. However, the majority of the recording from Celebration Day onwards has undergone heavy noise reduction and EQing, causing it to lose some atmosphere. The recording doesn’t breathe as much. This is because the master tapes for that source were tossed into the ocean in a fit of paranoia, so all we have is an over-processed version of the complete source. Despite this, in terms of audience recordings, this show has by far the best ones.
Recommended Version(s) – This is rather tricky due to the excellent quality of multiple recordings. For Source 4, I’d recommend The Diagram of Led Zeppelin’s “Reflection from A Dream”. For Source 5, I’d recommend Empress Valley Supreme Disc’s “First Attack of the Rising of the Sun”. For Source 7, there are two versions I’d recommend, and it depends on your preference. If you prefer the unmolested source, I’d recommend Watch Tower’s “Rock Carnival”. This version is incomplete and does not contain the portions that have been EQed. If you want the most complete version of this source, I’d recommend the non label “Flying Rock Carnival 1971 Complete”. Not to toot my own horn here, but I also did a version of this show, mixing together the Watch Tower, Empress Valley, and TDOLZ releases. I amplified each source so that the sound better matches up, which has proven to be a bit controversial with some fans. That being said, my aim was to provide the complete show in the best sound possible. You can PM me for this or any other version.
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp (excerpt), That’s the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Mess of Blues, I’m a Man, Tobacco Road, Good Times Bad Times, How Many More Times, You Shook Me), Communication Breakdown.