October 25, 1969
Boston, MA US
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).
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Press Review: "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]