I’ve Got You…Under My Skin (Tarantura TCD-118)
Midwest Rock Festival, State Fair Grounds, Milwaukee, WI – July 25th, 1969
(52:59): Train Kept A-Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You, Dazed & Confused, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown
During the summer of 1969 Led Zeppelin were primarily booked to play in festivals all across the country. The documents of these performances are among the most intense and exciting on tape and every one of them can be considered to be essential to own.
Their set at the Midwest Rock Festival in Wisconsin exists in a very good and clear audience recording. The bottom is a bit thin with slight distortion but nothing too noticeable. There are little cuts scattered between most of the song and what seems like a big and painful one 11:19 in “How Many More Times.”
It seems to capture the entire set, although some sources claim that “You Shook Me” was played before “How Many More Times.”
An early vinyl release called West Allison State (Grasshopper GH 104 A-B) contains the performance but is missing “White Summer.”
On compact disc Secret History Of Led Zeppelin (Scorpio) contains one tracks, “Train Kept A-Rollin’.” The entire show was pressed on Stroll On (Green Frog Records) and on State Fair (Digger Productions DP-2676) in the mid nineties. Stroll On! (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ Vol. 17) came out several years after that and represented a significant improvement over previous releases.
Tarantura is the first release of the show in many years and sounds a bit cleaner than the TDOLZ. It’s a good improvement for a vastly underrated concert.
On the bill with Zeppelin were Blind Faith with Eric Clapton on their only US tour who played the following day in the festival.
This was the first time Clapton saw Zeppelin live and, when journalist Richie Yorke asked his opinion later in the year replied: “I don’t know about them. I’ve heard their records and I saw them play in Milwaukee – we were on the same bill. They were very loud – I thought it was unnecessarily loud. I liked some of it I really did like some of it. But a lot of it was just too much. They over-emphasized whatever point they were making, I thought.”
The tape begins with the mc saying “…Zeppelin!!” Plant does a short sound check, “A bit more treble” and sings “Three four and away we go, and we’ve never ever done these things before.” “Train Kept A-Rollin” segues into “I Can’t Quit You” in a perfect light/shade contrast, setting the tone for the evening.
Afterwards, as a jet flies over the site, he says, “Right, in that case, we’d we’d like to do with the assistance of Mr. Echo. We’d like to do a thing off the first album. This is a thing that we got a lot of enjoyment doing. This is called ‘Dazed and Confused.’” A spectacular thirteen minute version of the piece follows, already greatly expanded from the Led Zeppelin prototype.
Plant says cryptically, “Phantom of the Opera stool. Good point” before introducing “White Summer” as “a combination of two things.” Page creates controlled havoc during the dramatic eight minutes of the solo piece.
“How Many More Times” closes the show. Reaching sixteen minutes on the recording, it contains references to “The Hunter” and ”The Lemon Song” as usual. Page throws in a riff from The Yardbirds’ “Over Under Sideways Down” during the long improvisation.
The cut is particularly painful since it comes at the climax of the song, but after the cut Plant comes down and quotes Frank Sinatra, saying, “I got youuuuuuuu under my skin” and cracks up the audience. A lightening fast four minute ”Communication Breakdown” is played as the encore.
I’ve Got You…Under My Skin is packaged in a gorgeous gatefold sleeve with several very rare 1969 photographs of the band inside. It is limited to 150 numbered copies and is the definitive version of this spectacular show.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)