Led Zeppelin – Live In Brisbane 1972 (Equinox EX-00-006/007)

 Live In Brisbane 1972 (Equinox EX-00-006/007)

Thunder Downunder  

Festival Hall, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia  – February 29th, 1972

Disc 1 (69:25):  Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Stairway to Heaven, Going To California, That’s The Way, That’s The Way, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

Disc 2 (72:31):  Dazed And Confused, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love

Led Zeppelin concluded their only tour of Australia in Brisbane on February 29th.  It was the only show held indoors and, with the Brisbane Festival Hall’s capacity of 4,000, was the smallest.  Three incomplete tape sources exist.  The first to surface is also the shortest, clocking in at just over one hundred minutes.  It is distant, muddy and difficult to enjoy and was released on silver as Australian Tour 1972 Part 2 (Black Cat BC-34) in 1992, one of the earliest Australian bootlegs. 

A better sounding tape surfaced in the late nineties.  It is longer and better sounding than the first, although it is still distant and somewhat muddy.  It is cut between some tracks and the encores are missing.  This is the tape Equinox used for Live In Brisbane 1972 released in the summer of 2000.  The better sounding tape is used as a base and the first tape is used to fill in some of the holes.  The sound is bright until “That’s The Way” where it becomes more dull with what sounds like vinyl surface noise.  There are cuts in “Dazed And Confused” at 7:26 and in “Whole Lotta Love” at 4:26.  It was first issued as part of the Thunder Downunder boxset and then later released as a separate title.  A third, excellent sounding tape surfaced subsequent to this and has yet to be pressed. 

The audience are extremely enthusiastic and create havoc throughout the performance.  Even before they start Plant has to tell them “We don’t want you to get jumping on the stage, otherwise we’re gonna be in trouble with the people who brought us here.”  Zeppelin’s enthusiasm from the big Sydney gig two days before seems to carry over into the opening songs “Immigrant Song” and “Heartbreaker.”

“Celebration Day” is played for the first time in Australia.  It is introduced as being about New York which is “really not all that nice a place to be really. There’s a lot of things going on, and it’s about all the social strife. They always say, have you got a message with your music, and we always saw no cause we all know what it’s about.”  It would only be played two more times this year. 

Before the acoustic set Plant mentions the show in Sydney, There was twenty six thousand people on Sunday in Sydney, and even though two of them said good evening, it sounded a thousand times louder, and this was in the afternoon too. Right now this is where we desire even more silence because we’re gonna try and play very quietly.”  It is a characteristic of shows in late 1971 to early 1972 to have feature very long versions of “Going To California.”  Brisbane reaches almost six minutes long with additional solos by Page on the acoustic guitar. 

During “That’s The Way” people in the audience grow restless enough for Plant to stop singing and yell at them.  “If you’re gonna make a noise like that there’s no point in anybody coming to play so for God’s sake shut up.  Right now will you shut and sit down so they can see.  For goodness sakes try to be as quiet as you can.  One more thing.  Can we guarantee that we can play some acoustic stuff without too much noise?” 

Things continue throughout the acoustic set, so much so that Plant again remarks about them before “Dazed And Confused” saying, “You must realize that the people you meet in the street tomorrow are the people who have been shouting and making this a bit of a nauseating time. Right, I don’t care whether you sit down or stand up. We’re just gonna play from now on.  This is one from thirty-five years ago.”  The epic reaches twenty-five minutes and Page plays some riffs in the end common to the renditions from early 1971. 

The finale is a twenty-six medley in “Whole Lotta Love.”  Included are the standard oldies for the time such as “Hello Mary Lou,” “Let’s Have A Party” and “Going Down Slow.”  But Plant leads them also into the old Dion hit “The Wanderer” for the only known time.  Plant also includes a reference to “Cocaine Blues” in “Boogie Chillun’.”  The tape cuts out at the end eliminating any encore performed.  As far as silver pressings go this is perhaps the definitive version.  However, given the better sounding source available there ought to be a better version available someday. 

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