Average: 4.7 (82 votes)

April 16, 1970

Evansville, IN US

Roberts Stadium


Includes: We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love.


News Report: Rock Group Fans Get Over-Turned On

The lead singer of Led Zeppelin is a lean, young man with thick shoulder-length hair named Robert Plant. His cool handling of a frenzied audience last night at Roberts Stadium prevented the British acid-rock group’s concert from turning into a riot.

The 3,400 fans, mostly high school students, had taken most of the evening to come alive, but in the last 30 minutes of the two-hour concert, many left their seats and pushed toward the stage area. A few wanted to jump up on the stage with Led Zeppelin and dance. The 20 security guards assigned to the event tried in vain to hold back the enthusiastic youths who were pulsating with the heavy rock beat.

On the main floor, everyone was on his feet and those in the back were standing on chairs to get a better view of the hard-working, turned-on performers. The crowd was grooving to the music – clapping, shaking their heads and bodies and rhythmically flashing peace signs with the fingers at Led Zeppelin.

As the crowd surged forward, civil defense officers jumped up on the stage to avoid being crushed. When one of them drew his night stick and waved it threateningly at the audience, it made the crowd even more excited.

At that point lead singer Plant, recognizing a potentially dangerous situation, told his audience: “Easy, easy – you stay where you are and we’ll all have a good time. Let’s show the police everything can stay cool.”

The officers were then asked to leave the stage amidst cheers from the audience and Led Zeppelin resumed its acid-rock beat. By this time, the audience was wild and it was easy to imagine the feeling at rock festivals since the performers and audience were communicating so beautifully.

As Led Zeppelin ended the concert and the exhausted foursome left the stage, they were brought back by cries of “more, more” for an encore and the song most of the crowd waited all evening to hear. The crowd recognizing the first few bars of “Whole Lotta Love”, just broke loose.

The last 30 minutes saved the show from being just another expensive rock concert. People left with the feeling that they really got their money’s worth. Two untidy events of the night were the arrest of an 18-year-old for drunkenness and a request for extra police patrol cars to prevent youths from sneaking into the stadium.

A bright spot in the evening was drummer John Bonham’s solo which lasted 20 minutes, allowing the other members of Led Zeppelin to take a break. Bonham’s great beat brought him a standing ovation and wild cheers – it was at this point half-way through the evening that the audience began warming up.

Jimmy Page played his electric guitar with a violin bow, creating some eerie sounds and John Paul Jones was featured in a well-received organ solo.

Although Led Zeppelin fans were spared listening to a warm-up group or an intermission, they still had to wait 30 minutes past the announced starting time for the beginning only to have sound equipment failure early in the show. -Elen Soo Hoo.

Submit your personal review of a particular show you attended, updates, corrections, etc., which will be considered for addition to the official online archive.

You may also contact the webmaster at: webmaster@ledzeppelin.com


Submit your personal review of a particular show you attended, updates, corrections, etc., which will be considered for addition to the official online archive.You may also contact the webmaster at: webmaster@ledzeppelin.com

An Evening with Led Zeppelin in Indiana, of All Places!

This was my first real concert experience at the tender age of seventeen. What a great band to provide that experience! I had seats in the seventh row and was accompanied by a friend who was suitably impressed. I remember the sound system problem mentioned in the newspaper article. There was a loud 60Hz hum shortly after the show began and after a brief interval the band began to jam in a key that was close to the key of the hum (B, I think it was). The audience appreciated the effort.

What I remember was a band in its prime that exemplified what is meant by the phrase "greater than the sum of its parts". I also remember Robert's unbuttoned shirt and his unbelievable voice and stage presence (did the engineers, I wondered later, really have to wrap the microphone in a towel in the studio to keep him from overpowering the preamps in the mixing desk, as some of my young bandmates had heard?), Bonzo's solo in Moby Dick (complete with a section performed sans sticks, which I had been eagerly awaiting), Jimmy's violin bow/Echoplex antics and his overall tone and technique, and John Paul Jones's wonderful bass work and also his keyboard playing on Since I've Been Loving You. Here were my heroes, previously only worshipped from afar, now just a few feet away and giving it their all for us Yanks! I was euphoric beyond belief and hardly able to contain my excitement. Even now, the thought of the show still gives me a thrill.

I had forgotten that there was no opening act, but now I remember that I was happy that there was none. I also would have guessed the audience to be much larger than the 3,400 given in the Evansville Press article, but then the passage of time does things to one's ability to recall events. In any case, this show inspired me to go home and work even harder on my bass playing, and to continue to try new and different things musically. Thank you, gentlemen, for a wonderful evening. I only wish that I were able to see the reunion performance at O2 Arena on 10 December. I'll be there in spirit though, cheering you on just as I was 37 years ago. I know you won't disappoint. . .