A Quiet Before The Storm: The Day On The Green Tapes Vol. 1 (The Chronicles Of Led Zeppelin 042/043/044/045/046)
The Day On The Green, Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA – July 23rd, 1977
Disc 1 (61:14): The Song Remains The Same, The Rover Intro/Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter
Disc 2 (60:20): Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Trampled Underfoot, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir
Disc 3 (45:56): Guitar Solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, Black Dog
Disc 4 (64:56): The Song Remains The Same, The Rover Intro/Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Over The Hills And Far Away, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore
Disc 5 (70:59): Going To California, Black Country Woman/Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, Trampled Underfoot, White Summer/Black Mountain Side, Kashmir, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll, Black Dog
Led Zeppelin’s Oakland concerts occur in the first week of the third part of their massive tour in the spring of summer 1977. While the Seattle show was a bit flat and the Tempe show a disaster, these two represent a significant improvement. And with the tragedy that occurred to Plant’s family after the second Oakland date, these turned out to be their final US live appearance. The penultimate gig on July 23rd exists in two good to very good audience recordings collected together for the first time by TCOLZ on A Quiet Before The Storm. The first tape is contained on the first three CDs and has been pressed before on It’s Been Great (Image Quality IQ-010/11/12).
It is relatively close to the stage and reasonably clear and enjoyable although the taper seems to be picking up the music from the speakers rather than the stage. There are small cuts at 5:59 in “No Quarter,” after “Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp,” and cuts after “Stairway To Heaven” and “Rock And Roll.” The second tape source on discs four and five was first pressed on Confusion (no label) many years ago. It seems to be taped closer to the stage but is overloaded with distortion in the bass.
Part of the Day On The Green series of concerts organized by Bill Graham, Zeppelin were supported by Rick Derringer and Judas Priest for both days. With Plant wearing the “Nurses Do It Better” shirt (do what though is never answered) and Page in the black dragon suit, they deliver a decidedly uneven performance. “The Song Remains The Same” and “Sick Again” sound sloppy and sluggish. “Well good afternoon. I see we finally made it. I guess I must personally apologize for a two year delay, but it’s very nice to be here and to be back. We should just waste no time at all, and give you something that we should have given you a while back, yeah?” Plant says before the first new song of the day “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.”
He apologizes before “Over The Hills And Far Away,” saying, “If we seem to be just a little bit sluggish now we shall start to liven up cause we’re not even awake about forty five minutes. You know how it is, which is no excuse admittedly. We’re gonna do a song from before the flood you might say. We must have a short break while Jimmy puts a belt on his trousers. He’s losing his pants. That would be one of the worst things to happen. It’s just one of the formalities of getting dressed in the morning. So this is what they call daylight?”
A twenty-five minute version of “No Quarter” is perhaps the first standout in the early part of the set but “Ten Years Gone” is extremely sloppy. Page forgets his cue in the transition and the band have to figure out where they are. The acoustic set begins with a long word of explanation with Plant saying, “A long time ago ah, I guess in the days we used to play Winterland, Bill, where is he? We used to do an acoustic set, and we decided that as it’s been so long since we’d been here, like about that long, we should do an acoustic set this afternoon. Besides the fact we’ve done it everywhere else, it brings to the front of the stage ah, a very famous percussionist. A master of peace and quiet, John Bonham.”
The entire four song set is inspired in front of the massive crowd and is followed by one of the best 1977 versions of “Trampled Underfoot.” The rest of the show comes off very well and they even include a rare version of “Black Dog” which is one of the very few times they ever play it without an instrumental introduction of some kind. TCOLZ package this with many photos of the event and since this is the first time this show has been pressed in over a decade is worth seeking out.