Average: 4.7 (30 votes)

August 18, 1969

Toronto, ON CA

The Rock Pile

Setlist:

First show: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, How Many More Times (incl. "Lemon Song").

Second Show: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, White Summer / Black Mountainside, You Shook Me, How Many More Times (incl. Bottle Up 'n Go, "Lemon Song", drum solo), Communication Breakdown.

Notes:

Two Shows: 8pm & 11:30pm. After the gig, members of the group reportedly attended a show by Canadian band Milkwood, with John Bonham jamming on a couple of songs (at the Penny Farthing, 112 Yorkville Ave.)

Review: Led Zeppelin Soars to the Pop Stratosphere

With the exception of the Toronto Pop Festival, last night’s Led Zeppelin concert at the Rock Pile was the most significant pop event this year. Not only were the two shows completely sold out in advance, but at least 2,000 were turned away, the management reported.

They missed out on one of the finest shows ever to pour sweat onto the Rock Pile stage. Led Zeppelin proved itself not only to be one conceivable replacement for Cream, but at times I doubt if even Clapton, Bruce and baker could have topped what Zeppelin offered.

At its tightest, Cream was the most exciting band of musicians in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, yet the Zeppelin came close to equaling it.

Six months ago, this four-piece band was unknown, save for lead guitarist Jimmy Page, who had gained an impressive reputation with the Yardbirds.

Two concert tours later, the band has become the most popular English group on the scene, with the exception of Beatles and possibly Rolling Stones.

But it’s not surprising. When the Zeppelin plays blues, it plays them as few white men ever have. Judging by last night’s concert, I’d even go as far as to say that very few colored bands could touch it. Certainly there are better individual musicians then the members of Led Zeppelin but, together it’s difficult to imagine a more cohesive and colorful team.

Led Zeppelin was not a band for the chicken-hearted or the people who want subtlety and soft messages in their music. It lays it all out, hard and heavy, and it was the sort of thing that only a dyed-in-the-groove rock ‘n’ roller can take.

I don’t want to sound overawed, but I do believe it is the strongest, tightest band to emerge from the current vogue of white blues groups.

The most amazing thing was the improvement in the group since its first appearance here last February, when it was a fledgling blues band. It had the ideas and the dynamics, but the expertise was yet to develop.

Now it has, and as the band says in one of its best known songs, Led Zeppelin leave one feeling dazed and confused. (R. Yorke, G&M ‘Pop Scene’, Aug. '69)

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Concert description

The first show was a great opening set that would be nothing when compared to the scorching second show here! The recording has many volume fluctuations but is fairly clear. The playing here is hot, though. Dazed And Confused is short, compact and powerful, and You Shook Me and How Many More Times are breathtaking in power and playing, and short to work to a maximum effect. Just wait until the next show! What an excellent show in front of the best crowd you'll ever hear! The band is just brilliant here and plays their guts out for this great audience. The band is so exciting to be in Canada after a bad reception from the side of Texas audience few days before what caused of Plant's long comments: "It's very nice to be back, but we've got a lot of problems. We've just come from San Antonio in Texas, wjere all the geezers thought we should get our hair cut, and we've been through that and everybody's been feeling rather bad, so we're very pleased to be here one way or ranother. It's nice to be back. We'd like to say hello to anybody from the British Isles, including Scotland and two geezers who used to come from Birmingham in a group called The Yellow Rainbow. Nice to see you're still nicking gear! And so, if everybody can feel free and easy, we'd like to see what we can do." How Many More Times is filled with some tense drama that is broken by Robert laughing when he can't hit the highest note. A very hot reception caued Plant to introduce the band in a verry funny mood: "We'd like to try to draw a conclusion to what's been a very hectic day. We'd like to tell you that Texas is still as it was when you last read about it and that England is still what it always will be, and we'd like to see you very shortly again, but if not you could all move to the Bahamas or something ... on bass guitar, Hammond organ, and throne ... King John Paul Jones, on drums John Henry Bonham and on lead guitar and as many chicks as he can find ... Jimmy Page!" Then Bonham took the microphone and inctroduced Plant as "straight from the Labour club at Cradley Heath." Communication Breakdown is a blistering version for an encore.