Average: 4.5 (14 votes)

May 9, 1969

Edmonton, AB CA

Edmonton Garden

Setlist:

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.

Notes:

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)

 

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40 years ago - Led Zeppelin hit Canada

It was 40 years ago today, Led Zeppelin hit Canada
Tom Murray, Canwest News Service
Published: Saturday, May 09, 2009

They were "brutal," and "loud to the point of pain" -- and those were compliments.

When Led Zeppelin showed up in Edmonton on May 9, 1969, a number of rock fans at the Edmonton Gardens (now the Agricom) had their faces melted by the intensity of the group -- including then Edmonton Journal rock critic Bob Harvey, who couldn't write down enough superlatives to describe the show.
They were just under a year old, and only a few months from still being called the New Yardbirds -- the band's first gig under the name Led Zeppelin was in October 1968. But Edmontonians were already hip to this hyped supergroup, packing the mid-sized hockey arena.

Not Brian Gregg, though. The longtime local musician had no idea what he was getting into when the then-19-year-old guitarist and his group, the Angus Park Blues Band, were tabbed to be openers, along with Vancouver's Papa Bear's Medicine Show Band.

"I never listened to the radio, so I didn't know who they were," admits Gregg, who still keeps a heavy musical schedule as a busker, open stage host, solo artist and member of The Greggs, with his teenage sons.

"We were into the blues. We had a stack of these Chicago blues records, so that's what we listened to and played," he explains. "I was just happy to perform at the Gardens. But after we tore down gear and went to the front to watch, I was blown away -- it was so loud, and so good."
Edmonton was the first Canadian stop on Zep's North American tour, and 15-year-old hippie Kirby (who goes by one name only) -- now a respected music industry veteran -- was quick to snap up a $4 ticket.

"The album had just come out earlier that year, but, wow, did we know the songs! This was prior to Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love, of course. The big hit of the night was Dazed and Confused -- which I sure was.
"It was wild, crazed energy, this intense vibe -- the sheer power of the band, the volume. Just this huge mind and body rush when it was a tune you knew really well that you loved -- Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Communication Breakdown -- the music washing over you in deep waves."

Stony Plain Records founder Holger Peterson remembers the night very well. He interviewed vocalist Robert Plant backstage for the NAIT Nugget and chatted with guitarist Jimmy Page. When he met up with them again about a month later, Plant remembered him and gave the young writer his address and phone number should he ever make it to England.

"They were very accessible," Peterson recalls. "There wasn't the security you saw at later shows. And these were very nice people -- the only one I didn't talk to was the drummer (John Bonham), who was evidently in his warm-up routine."