Led Zeppelin – Double Shot 1 (Eelgrass EGL-20247/48/49)


Double Shot 1
(Eelgrass EGL-20247/48/49)

Capitol Centre, Landover, MD – May 25th, 1977

Disc 1 (67:12):  The Song Remains The Same, The Rover / Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, In My Time Of Dying, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter

Disc 2 (48:16):  Ten Years Gone, The Battle Of Evermore, Going To California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp, White Summer, Black Mountain Side, Kashmir

Disc 3 (60:41):  Out On The Tiles / Moby Dick, Guitar Solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock And Roll

Led Zeppelin began a series of four shows in Landover, Maryland, a suburb of Washington DC in Prince George’s County, on May 25th.  Until now only a very poor audience has been in circulation of the event.  It was pressed in two twelve disc collections, first in The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin’s Maryland Deluxe box as Your Teenage Dream (TDOLZ Vol. 22) in 1997 and several years later on Return Of The Crusaders (EMC-002A/B/C), the first show in Electric Magic’s Landover box.

Double Shot 1 contains the almost complete soundboard tape.  John Paul Jones’ bass at the very beginning of the tape dominates the other instruments, but a good balance is achieved for the rest of the show.  The poor audience tape is used to fill in gaps between  4:16 to 4:40 in “No Quarter” and for the second half of “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp” (two common cutting points in these 1977 board tapes).

The tape was first pressed by Empress Valley in both a six disc edition with the May 30th soundboard and a twelve disc set with the complete Maryland set of shows.  Eelgrass copied the recordings to offer a more affordable edition in more sturdy and durable packaging.

Like most of the shows on Zeppelin’s eleventh tour this is a uneven performance.  It seems to get off on a good start with a spirited “The Song Remains The Same,” but “Sick Again” has a weak guitar break in the middle.

Robert Plant apologizes for being a bit late, ” one of the cars broke down.”  He tells Landover that “it’s really good to be back in this area again after two years of not doing too” and “we don’t intend to do too much talking just a lot of playing.”  The first song off of the new album Presence is “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” which starts off a bit out of tune and continues with Jimmy Page hitting bum notes in the solo.  Afterwards Plant says “that was ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine.’  Which is quite true actually,” almost as an apology.

“In My Time Of Dying” is much better as is “Since I’ve Been Loving You.”  The latter, which Plant says is “a blues about loosing your brain.  Something that never happens on the road,” contains the beautiful “Tea For One” melody in the middle.  

“No Quarter” is a compact twenty-minutes.  Afterwards, while introducing “Ten Years Gone” Plant says, “Well during the two years that we were unable to fly our kites you might say.  The two years we were physically incapable of touring around and having a good time.  When time came that we sat down and said ok I think we can do it now we looked back at material in the past that we had to ignore because we couldn’t play because we’re only four people … the first features John Paul Jones on a mystery three necked instrument…the first love the first climax the first wonderful moment that never ever fades” and dedicated it to John Bindon who has the biggest plonker in the world.  They play a nice and tight version of the piece.  

The acoustic set makes Plant thing about the first time they played in the states “In 1968 on December 26th” and how they used to play the acoustic numbers   The audience, just like in 1970, becomes a bit impatient with this part of the show and start to throw firecrackers during “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.”  

The “White Summer,” “Black Mountainside” and “Kashmir” segment works very well with no mistakes.  “Moby Dick” is kept on the short side, ending after Bonham’s synthesized drum interlude.  

Page plays a bit of “Yankee Doodle” as well as the “Star Spangled Banner” in the noise solo leading into a tight and inspiring version of “Achilles Last Stand.”  As Bonham propels the song along, Page comes close to replicating the profundity of the studio recording.  The closing chimes make the hair stand on the neck!  Plant even comments on the lyrics, saying, “Where the mighty arms of Atlas / hold the heavens from the earth.  We should try to find that spot.  It’s a nice place to go.”  

He continues by dedicating “Stairway To Heaven” to “everything that is good and wholesome that we can come across in life… and that we also can make.”  Like the previous song they deliver an impeccable version of the piece, building to an dramatic crescendo by the end.  In the end Plant bids Maryland a good evening (pronouncing it MARY-Land).

After a cut in the recording the band return to the stage for the encores.  Plant again greets Maryland (and giving it the proper Maryland accent this time) before they play the “Whole Lotta Love” and “Rock And Roll” pairing.  

Double Shot 1 is a release that truly allows Zeppelin collectors to reassess this show.  The poor audience recording didn’t give any indication of the effectiveness of this show.  It starts off a bit slow, but the intensity builds nicely.  This turns out to be a very good opening night at the Capitol Centre.  Eelgrass utilize a standard fatboy jewel case with artwork decorated with many very common photos from the tour.  They could have used a bit more imagination for the art (there are many photos from the actual gigs they could have used).  But that’s a minor complaint.  This is an excellent and affordable way to obtain this show.  

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