In The Spoonful (Private Masters PM-062/063)
Nakano Sunplaza, Tokyo, Japan – February 24th, 1987
Disc 1 (57:33): In The Mood, Pledge Pin, Messin’ With The Mekon, Moonlight In Samosa, Fat Lip, Thru’ With The Two Step, Burning Down One Side, Wreckless Love
Disc 2 (40:11): Worse Than Detroit, band introduction, Like I’ve Never Been Gone, Mystery Title, Spoonful, Stranger Here…Than Over There, outroduction
Robert Plant’s February 24th show at the Nakano Sunplaza in Tokyo was the penultimate for both the tour of Japan and for the entire year. In The Spoonful utilizes a very good audience recording that has slight distance from the stage and is top heavy with an emphasis on the higher frequencies. Private Masters pushed the remaster to the upper limits of tolerability but stop just short of producing the annoying metallic whine found on many releases from this era, but some it is a bit difficult to listen to during very high and loud parts like in “Messin’ With The Mekon.”
The set begins with the surreal atmosphere of “In The Mood” with Plant wanting to create a melancholy mood. Robbie Blunt messes up the guitar parts in the beginning which renders the song rather sloppy. “Pledge Pin” is an improvement as is “Messing’ With The Mekon.” All three numbers are segued together into one continuous block of music.
“Good evening Tokyo. You feel okay? No? It’s very nice to be back in Tokyo after all this time. It’s been a long time since I played in Tokyo…twenty-four hours. Okay…” Plant jokes with the audience. He then dedicates “Moonlight In Samosa” to Benji, Bill “and all the fun loving guys on the team.”
“Fat Lip,” which was played the previous evening in Nagoya, makes another appearance in this show. This is one of the numbers that was only occasionally played on this latter tours in 1984. “Thru’ With The Two Step,” extended to more that twelve minutes, was a regular number and has a majestic feel in this recording.
“Worse Than Detroit” has the “Going Down Slow” interlude in the middle. After introducing the band, where he points out that Jeff Woodroffe is the true star of the band, they close with “Lice I’ve Never Been Gone.” When the come out for the encores “Big Log,” which was played at almost all the shows, is dropped as it was the previous night in Nagoya in favor of “Mystery Title.”
A cover of Cream’s “Spoonful” follows and the evening closes with “Stranger Here…Than Over There” with the middle section sounding more like Queen’s “Get Down Make Love.” Overall it is a good show and also shorter compared to the others played in Japan. Even with the encores the show just about reaches the hour and a half mark.
In The Spoonful is a very good title to have for the Robert Plant collection. The artwork utilizes several photographs from the tour with Plant wearing that stripped shirt and black leather pants. Private Masters include a replica of the ticket for the show which fits nicely in the jewel case, something they’ve done for previous release including Queen and Genesis.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)