Boston Cream Pie (Empress Valley EVSD 353/354)
Boston Garden, Boston, MA – July 20, 1973
Disc 1 79:47: Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Bring It On Home Introduction/Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, No Quarter, The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Dazed And Confused (includes San Francisco)
Disc 2 33:15: Stairway To Heaven, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (includes Boogie Woogie)
Any new show or even new source for a Zep show is a cause for celebration. This newly surfaced source from The Boston Garden is still somewhat distant but much better than Zep vs. Boston on IQ. This show was plagued with audience problems. Plant has to keep trying to calm the crowd, even threatening to stop the show, and it is evident during some of the songs that something was going on. As a result, songs were cut from the set and no encore was played.
Robert’s voice sounds weak as he strains through the first part of this show but it will improve as the night progresses. The crowd seems to enjoy “Black Dog” as they follow in his call and answer game. Jonsey is also having some problems with the tuning of the mellotron in “The Rain Song”, but Jimmy holds it together nicely.
Plant’s voice improves as the band plays an excellent version of “Dazed And Confused”. His raspy vocals really add emotion to the song giving it a nice effect. This and “Whole Lotta Love” alone, make this set worth owning. The band was really on fire during the medley, it’s a shame the show was cut short. Perhaps “Communication Breakdown” would have made a great encore as the band was in top form by the end of the night, with Robert’s voice almost fully recovered.
Comparing this release with Wild And Relatively Mellow on Badgeholders shows that EV equalized this more toward the lower frequencies. Badgeholders can be a little harsh on the top end at times but it really depends on personal preference, I guess. Badgeholders also runs slightly fast. For some strange reason, EV cuts out before the final announcement “Thank you and goodnight. Led Zeppelin are gone”. Empress Valley also released this as a 4CD set that contains the older source as well. (WGPSEC)