May 9, 1969
Edmonton, AB CA
Songs performed during this period include: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, Pat's Delight.
Review: Hot Rock Band, Loud, Frenzied
The hottest new rock band from Britain stalked on stage at the Gardens Friday night and let loose an earthquake of sound and frenzy.
Their music’s loud, almost to the point of pain, but they don’t use volume to cover up deficiencies. The volume is part of their attack. They don’t titillate or tease audiences to share their inspiration.
Instead, they blast out with raw, jagged power, enough to bust a new door into your brain. They use their instruments like a brush and palette, creating frenzied visions that tumble through space and time.
The visions have such deadly fascination that you can’t bear to blink an ear, but they’re flung out like hammers, so that it’s hard not to duck in self-protection.
Led Zeppelin is probably the most aggressive, masculine rock group anywhere. They batter at the mind and ear, insisting that they will penetrate.
Because of the Air Canada strike, the group spent 12 hours getting to Edmonton, but they didn’t let fatigue affect their performance.
Their whole approach depends on being able to rouse themselves to a high pitch of excitement, and mounting all out war in an attempt to bring audiences along with them.
For every performance, they must wrench, and share what they have inside. Like other artists, rock musicians strive to lift up their audiences to a higher level, whether it be of emotion or thought. Led Zeppelin compels excitement and involvement. If an audience retains detachment or any kind of objectivity their performance becomes meaningless.
The most powerful members of the group on stage are guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant. Their movements are charged with quivering nerves and the tension and complete accord between them heightens the electricity.
Plant, 21 has a powerful, moaning voice that’s easily heard from the din of the instruments.
Page, 23 is a genius on the guitar. He creates soaring pictures of the future by using a violin bow on the guitar, plucks trumpet sounds out the air and is easily the most inventive, imaginative guitarist I’ve ever heard.
Drummer John Bonham, 21 is almost as inventive as Page. He must have four arms to play the way he does.
Bassist John Paul Jones, 22, plugs along at the bottom of the sound, adding foundation.
Led Zeppelin’s been together since late last year. The result of their first two weeks together is the album, Led Zeppelin, currently number three on the CHED chart.
Page said, “I can’t put a tag on our music. Every one of us has been influenced by the blues, but it’s one’s interpretation of it and how you utilize it. I wish someone would invent an expression, but the closest I can get is contemporary blues.”
As Led Zeppelin plays it, it’s knock-down, drag-out blues. (Bob Harvey, The Journal, May 1969)