Average: 4.8 (41 votes)

October 25, 1969

Boston, MA US

Boston Garden


includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Lemon Song, Kansas City).


'69 Programme Click here to view the 1969 Tour Book

Press Reviews: Zeppelin Rock Rafters at Packed Boston Garden

Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter and the MC-5 played to a full Boston Garden Saturday night at Narragansett's "First Tribal Rock Festival".

Zeppelin entered to a standing ovation. Their heavy beat was operating, their vocalist, Robert Plant, was bouncing like Nureyev, but the band fell short of real togetherness. Their best moments came in the solo performances, notably guitarist Jimmy Page's "White Summer" (which neatly moved from an Eastern raga into some nice Western chords and back into a raga again.) John Bonham's drum solo was good, but would improve with cutting.

The group's final number, a frenetic medley, built and built but collapsed into sloppiness before reaching the promised climax.

Robert Plant talks to his audience warmly and with conviction. He was displaying this talent when the police enforced the curfew and abruptly curtailed the concert.

WBCN's J.J. Jackson soothed the crowd and flashed the peace sign. The crowd, 16,000 strong, flashed it right back and exited in orderly fashion. [T. Crouse / Oct. 28, 1969 / Herald]


"Naragansett's "Tribal Love-Rock Festival" of the twenty fifth attracted a typical Boston Tea Party crowd, with a hardly subtle difference in order of magnitude. The Led Zeppelin propelled itself onto the Boston Garden stage to confront sixteen housand colourfully-attired high school and college aboriginals - a total of thirty-two thousand dilated pupils, all eagerly trained upon the massive loth-fronted bank of amplifiers that was 'to produce the capper of an evening of northern-fried schmaltz rock and mini-riots.

They sped rather rapidly through their early material in group effort, combining "Communication Breakdown" and "Good Times, Bad Times" into a medley. At this point, group feeling began to flag, and the spotlight turned mainly to Page, although towards the end of the performance Plant (lead vocal) began to play vocal catch with Page's riffs.

The Zeppelin performance really had two climaxes, one of them faultless.  The first was Page's rendition of "White Summer", a very lengthy medley of both Zeppelin and (Johnny) Winters-like patterns, connected at times rather faultily with semi-classical phrases.

The second climax was the well-deserved solo of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who contrived to enrapture the audience with rythm while entirely avoiding any imitation of Baker's "Toad", which is no small feat of willpower." - G.Berk, October 1969


The first Gansett Tribal Rock Festival. It's not too hard to read the minds of the promotion men who plan something like  this. First, get big name acts, book them in the biggest place you can find (to hell with any thoughts of acoustics), hype it up to sound like The Second Coming, charge the highest prices for lousy seats and then make it all just long enough so that the kiddies don't think they've been robbed. Saturday night, when 16,000 were packing themselves into every corner of Boston Garden, it looked as though the plan had worked, What the promo men didn't consider, however, is that sometimes a show can be so good that a person can shell out $4.50 for a seat in the rafters and still know that he got a bargain.

The MCS were surprisingly good. Supposedly a very angry bunch, they gave an opposite impression by getting right into the old Dovells' hit You Can't Sit Down. The lead singer was dressed in Elvis Presley black with white shoes and was jumping all over the stage like an old rock 'n' roll star. The guitarists went into splits and bends and the whole thing was like heavy Mitch Ryder. Though plagued by bad acoustics, they were very tight and were visibly happy with themselves at the end of their set.

Half an hour wait while they fix some microphones. Clapping and foot-stomping. Bobby Mitchell, everybody's favorite screaming d.j. from WRKO comes out to calm the mob. Nice try. Sounds as bad live as he does on radio. Finally they say it's okay and the place goes wild as Johnny Winter comes on. He's great to watch, crouching low, slowly taking long stalking steps all over the stage like a great albino Indian, all the while pouring out fantastic blues. However, in the middle of an old BB King number, a fight broke out in the rear of the Garden that distracted the audience long enough so that they missed Winter at his best. Besides this, he was only given a half hour ("special star attraction"). He was all set to do an encore but someone else had the last word and he was hustled off, treated like a mere warm-up act.

After a long intermission, Led Zeppelin took the stage and for the next two hours just took the place apart. They've always liked Boston; the people here have been particularly appreciative of them and in return the group has been at their best when appearing here.
Of course the focal point of the band is their great guitarist, Jimmy Page, whose speed and versatility are beyond description. At one point the rest of the group left the stage and he launched into a ten-minute piece called White Summer. It encompassed a whole gamut of raga, blues and flamenco, played with the precision of a master guitarist; it was definitely the highlight of the evening.

At the end of the set, the audience was completely drained but on its feet screaming for more. And  through it all you could hear the people in the last rows of the balcony talking about $4.50 tickets and laughing out loud. [By: B. Longden  | Oct. 28, 1969]

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

25 October 1969, Boston Garden

I am thrilled to have information about this Zep show - I've been searching for years to learn the exact date, etc!! It's one of the few that no recordings appear to exist for, tho' I now have renewed hope.
I was sixteen and this was my first big show. It changed my life. A few years earlier, the Beatles had opened up music in general - and drums in particular - to me, and in just a few more years The Grateful Dead would turn me on to the possibilities of long-term lifestyle and community. But, it was this show that made me want to be a professional musician, not just an enthusiast. It was also the first time I'd been in a room full of thousands of longhaired freaks just like me - it was only 1969, after all, and I was only sixteen, so this was an amazing and empowering experience.
I had recently begun drumming and writing songs with a friend, and together we took the trolley in from the suburbs to Boston Garden. We had good seats, up high, stage right, with a great view of the stage. The MC5 opened the show. I only dimmly understood their politics, but admired their spunk and energy and commited stance. Johnny Winter follwed, stalking the stage like a blue velvet-clad, albino panther, and just ripped. A fight broke out briefly on the floor and I saw a pair of crutches tossed in the air, but couldn't tell much about it.
During the break, we made our way thru the subway-like labyrinth of hallways to the bathrooms.Hot, sweaty, crowded, noisy.As we headed back, a huge rumble - earthquake-like - began and we realized the band was starting to play. The surge in energy was incredible as we rushed back to our seats, arriving midway thru the set opener, "Communication Breakdown" Plant was a vision in sparkling gold and green with billows of blonde hair to match - surprisingly effeminate yet ballsy. Over the course of the evening they played much of the first two albums, plus some covers. Their sound was much clearer than the opening acts ( who were comparatively garbled-sounding - coincidence??) and the whole band was a powerhouse, very dynamic and intense. There were generous solo sppots, too ( Jonesy's organ intro to "You're Times Gonna Come", Page's seated "White Summer/Black Mountainside", Bonham's "Moby Dick" ) Lot's of call and response gymnastics between Page and Plant, Page's spacey bowing of the guitar, it's all a wonderful jumble in my mind. Incredibly, the guy seated next to us seemed hugely bored (?!?!?) and left before it was over. We, meanwhile, took a chance and made it down to the floor for the encore, where we could see and hear everything up close and personal. The stage seemed about a mile high from this angle, but I could see Bonham's vista-lites had, what we'd eventually learn was, one of the Zoso symbols on the front bass drum head, and I also saw a stack of the just-released 2nd album on the edge of the stage, ready for sale. As they closed out the show with a medly of oldies including " Kansas City", I remember Plant singing, " Bye-bye, bye-bye Boston, Bye-bye"
I bought a poster which I still have and love, and we went happily home I never got to see them again, but Led Zep rocked my world all that snowy winter and, very soon, my new band would start to rock our own little part of the universe, too.
As Pete Townsend once said, the finest bands change peoples lives. Led Zeppelin certianly changed mine. Thank you, Led Zeppelin, thank you very much indeed.