Four for Texas (The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin TDOLZ 60-9802-1, 2)
Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, Texas May 18, 1973
CD 1: (46:09) Rock & Roll, Celebration Day, Bring It On Home intro. / Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter
CD 2: (53:22) The Song Remains the Same, The Rain Song (small cut near end and during Plants comments), Dazed & Confused (includes San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven
After their Third European Tour in 1973, a tour which many consider to be one of their best ever, Led Zeppelin returned to North America as conquering heroes for the Ninth American Tour which began in May. For the first time audiences would experience not just the music, but a brand new stage show as well which was to feature a new light show, dry ice and explosions.
This excellent sounding though incomplete soundboard recording released by The Diagrams of Led Zeppelin label presents the May 18th concert from Dallas Texas.
Sadly the performance on this night does not match the sound quality. It is simply an average performance and in all honesty quite erratic. Jimmy Page is quite sloppy and maybe even a little lazy most of the night, but at times, as only Jimmy can do he displays flashes of brilliant inspiration. For example, “Celebration Day” is a bit of a train wreck however he becomes quite inspired in the “Mars, Bringer of War” section of “Dazed and Confused”. Another strong moment of the show for me was what I consider a particularly good version of “Since I’ve Been Loving You”. This show is certainly a roller coaster ride of good and bad.
It is hard to say what the cause of this erratic performance is. At this point the tour was still quite early on so perhaps they were still working out some of the kinks. A more likely reason though is that John Paul Jones was apparently performing with two cracked ribs on this evening and the rest of the band seemed genuinely concerned with Plant even commenting that “it’s no joke”. Percy regains a bit of his trademark sense of humor and announces, “Poor old John…if we have to pack it in another ten minutes, you’ll understand”. The protests of the crowd show that they were having trouble understanding!
The guitar begins quite distant in the mix to the advantage of the drums and vocals but seems to become more up front in the mix as the show progresses.
Very short bit of garbled tape near the middle of “Celebration Day”
There is a minor dropout near the middle of “Since I’ve Been Loving You”.
The packaging incorrectly states March 18th 1973 as the date of the show. Of course the actual date is May 18th.
The Diagrams of Led Zeppelin have packaged this release into a single cardboard sleeve into which both CD’s slide. The front of the cover contains a nice picture from that time period and the back of the cover contains a simple track listing.
As I said, the performance is marginal, but a soundboard is a soundboard and shouldn’t be ignored. So if you don’t already have this show on a pressed silver set, this TDOLZ offering is as good as any (and better than some) to get and would make a worthwhile addition to your collection.