Led Zeppelin – Raleigh 1970 (no label)

Raleigh 1970 (no label)

Dorton Auditorium, Raleigh, NC – April 8th, 1970
Disc 1 (51:21): We’re Gonna Groove, Dazed & Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer/Black Mountain Side

Disc 2 (41:57):  Since I’ve Been Loving You, Organ solo/Thank You, What Is And What Should Never Be, Moby Dick

Raleigh 1970is the latest incarnation of the April 8th show at the Dorton Auditorium.  It is a dynamic three dimensional audience recording which unfortunately is incomplete.  There is a cut 9:26 in “White Summer” and “Moby Dick” cuts out after 17:36 eliminating the rest, “How Many More Times” and “Whole Lotta Love.” 

The earliest versions of the show are found on Fearsome Four Live On Stage (Mandala), Groove (Tarantura), We’re Gonna Rock (Blimp) and American Accents (Baby Face) and two tracks, “Bring It On Home” and “organ solo/Thank You” were lifted from the Mandala release for the famous Cabala box set.

Empress Valley released World Champion Drummer! (EVSD-339-340) several year ago and it was a significant improvement over the older titles.  Raleigh 1970is sourced from a first genreation tape and its quality is very similar to Empress Valley’s.  It is not as loud but has the same clarity and dynamic edge over the older titles.  As such, it isn’t a replacement for the EV, but is a good alternative for those who can’t find or afford the EV.

The new release is the only one to have the correct date printed on the artwork.  All the others say this is from April 7th in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was demonstrated several years ago through the discovery of ads and handbills that Zeppelin played in Charlotte on April 7th. The Raleigh show was the following night, April 8th. There is no mention of the location or venue on the tape, but this isn’t the Charlotte show since an eyewitness to that show posted his observations on the Electric Magic website and they do not correspond with this tape.  So it’s definitely Raleigh but on April 8th instead of April 7th.

The review in the Raleigh News and Observer made some interesting observations including:  “Playing to an audience ranging from babes-in-arms to the ‘over thirty generation,’ Led Zeppelin put wings on Dorton Arena and piloted the audience on a musical tour from blues, to jazz, to boogie, to pure hard rock.”  The article also points out Zeppelin needed to play at maximum volume and “because of this, the audience had to adjust to the powerful beat of sound.” 

Also, “as in most rock concerts, each performer gave his solo.  Unlike most rock concerts, the audience spent a great portion of the show saluting the solos in standing ovations…  If this show is an example of how the music of today will be accepted in Raleigh, we can expect to see many more concerts of this type in the future. The reaction of the audience at last night’s performance said so.”  (“Zeppelin Is Late, Loud, Good” April 9, 1970, Gerry Ligon)

In general this is one of the best sounding tapes from Zeppelin’s Spring 1970 tour.  It has a wonderful powerful percussive feel and great punchiness in the overall sound.  The performance is also great too with interesting improvisations in “Dazed And Confused” as usual.  Raleigh 1970 uses appropriate photographs on the artwork including a close up of Robert Plant’s naked feet on the back. 

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