5 May 2012, gsparaco @ 8:40 pm
Days Confused (Scorpio (UK) – 22)
Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, TX – March 5th, 1975
Disc 1 (57:27): Introduction, Rock And Roll, Sick Again, Over The Hills And Far Away, In My Time Of Dying, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Kashmir
Disc 2 (64:13): No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick
Disc 3 (60:30): Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog
When Led Zeppelin resumed their tour after a two week break, they began in Houston, Texas on February 27th, 1975. After a gig in Baton Rouge, Zeppelin returned to Texas for three more sold out shows, playing in Fort Worth on March 3rd, and two in Dallas on March 4th and March 5th.
The latter two shows in Dallas exist in excellent quality soundboard tapes. March 4th surfaced in the nineties, and the complete March 5th in 2006 and released on Days Confused (Empress Valley EVSD 458//459/460 & SBD-7/8/9). Empress Valley utilized the very good audience recording to plug three small gaps: the introduction leading into “Rock And Roll”, about thirty seconds of the introduction before “No Quarter,” and about the same length at the very end of “Moby Dick.”
Eelgrass quickly duplicated the effort, and, several years later, Scorpio (UK) likewise copied Empress Valley. Like the others, this is an excellent edit of the two sources. Scorpio is perhaps the nicest packaged of the three, coming in a handsome glossy tri-fold gatefold sleeve, and is most affordable and the easiest way to obtain the show.
A press review of this show titled “Led Zeppelin Flies High, Heavy, Loud” and published in the Dallas Morning News, observes that, “So now, the history-making Led Zeppelin concert series has thundered through Dallas-Fort Worth, breaking gate records here as has been the case of previous stops of the English group’s current and chaotic U.S. tour, which surely will bring more attendance marks before the March 27 conclusion in Los Angeles.
“At three straight sold-out performances in Fort Worth (Monday night) and in Dallas (Tuesday and Wednesday nights) the world renowned 4-man rock band attracted 34,000 fans, which according to show promoters Concerts West, is an all-time gate record for an indoor rock show in this area….”
The disc begins with the audience and the announcer introducing “The American return of Led Zeppelin” before effective versions of “Rock And Roll” and “Sick Again” from the just released Physical Graffiti. “Good evening” Plant says afterwards. “Right, now that’s the sort of communication level we intend to continue for about the next three hours. We don’t want no energy drops, right? If there’s an energy crisis, that’s not so good.”
“Over The Hills And Far Away” is also interesting, featuring Page’s dissonant guitar break in the middle. Afterwards Plant talks about the new album, thankful it sold more than ten copies in the past week, and “In My Time Of Dying” which comes from the “negro chain.” Plant sings it passionately and Page’s slide guitar sounds quite nasty. At one point Plant tells Page to “take it on” and called him “Gabriel.”
“Well, I don’t know who was swinging the pick to that” Plant jokes afterwards. But “The Song Remains The Same” is about the capitalist hippies traveling around the world and finding good people and hope. John Paul Jones’ melloron goes out of tune during “The Rain Song” which they spend some time trying to tune afterwards. Plant sings a bit of “When The Levee Breaks” while waiting. Despite the effort, the instrument goes out of tune again in “Kashmir.”
Despite the somewhat rocky and challenging opening hour, “No Quarter” is a significant improvement. Jones plays a pretty and melodic bagatelle before Page and Bonham come in with the doomy, apocalyptic duet lasting twenty-four minutes. Jones ends the improvisation by playing electric piano and grand piano simultaneously and Plant even acknowledges that afterwards (“grand AND electric piano”).
“Trampled Underfoot” is heavy with Plant quoting some lyrics afterwards (“come to me for service every hundred miles”) before introducing Bonham as “a man who can go for hours…but is a lousy lay” before a twenty-seven minute version of “Moby Dick” that simply flies by and ends with a shout by the drummer.
Before “Dazed & Confused” Plant thanks Texas and asks, “what ever happened to the butterqueen? She got cheap and got margarine instead!” Referring to an in-joke from the last tour. The song is stretched out to more than thirty minutes and several interesting new ideas by Page in the improvisation which, while not developed, are welcome additions.
“Stairway To Heaven” sounds great and the event closes with the standard encores for the tour. The band gets into “The Crunge” in “Whole Lotta Love” before the theremin chaos which segues into “Black Dog.”
Days Confused is one of the best sounding of the $10,000 1975 Showco Led Zeppelin soundboard to have surfaced over the last decade. It’s well balanced, clear and very enjoyable unlike the more recent tapes (like Nassau and Baton Rouge) which have been tinny and difficult to really enjoy. Scorpio (UK) is an excellent way to obtain this great tape.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)
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