Average: 4.6 (16 votes)

April 2, 1970

Charleston, WV US

Civic Center (Charleston)

Setlist:

includes: We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love.

Notes:

Charleston newspaper Review: Led Zeppelin brought the frustrated Charleston rock community sweet release at the Civic Center Thursday night in a brilliant, bombastic contemporary blues recital.

Everything came together. The five thousand freaks were hungry. The capricious sound system — bolstered by imported British components — bore up nobly. And Led Zeppelin took full advantage of an extended program to fully elaborate on their varied, blues-based repertoire.

ZEPPELIN'S blues are guyed to Jimmy Page, fragile, virtuoso lead guitarist. Page doesn't deal in phony frills and cheap thrills. He is one of the world's leading guitarists, regardless of fie!d. Sitting alone on the Civic Center stage, he played blues, the classics, jazz and then jacked up the voltage and played his own pet product, progressive blues, the Page solo was the high point of an extraordinary performance.

Drummer John Bonham also triumphed in a solo, demonstrating a tenacious capacity to muster and sustain high-density sound at high volume. He drummed for 20 minutes, paying respects along the way to jazz deans old and new, and ended it flailing the skin with his flesh.

ZEPPELIN IS NOT thin on material. They dip liberally into their two millionseller albums and have been previewing — on this their fifth U.S. tour — a sure hit from "Led Zeppelin III," a blues called "Since I've Been Loving You." Their third album will be released in June, after which the group will return to the U.S. for appearances at several of the summer rock festivals.

It is apparent that Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant deserves his growing reputation as the most sexually exciting personality in rock. But he deserves more. Plant is more musician than he is pretty goldilocks rock and roll star. He has the guts to get into a blues like "Bring It on Home" and the range and musical sense to do something with it.

Additionally, there is the Robert Plant howl. It starts in the airless womb of an electron tube, lodges itself in the main  columns of the building, is conducted to bedrock and is now entombed in eternal torment in the hoiwjycombed interior of the Appalachain range. (Ray Brack)

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Comments

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

Led Zep at the Civic Center.

I was there for the Charleston, WV concert with 4 of my buddies from Marshall University. I remember entering the Civic Center and seeing so much long hair on guys and the girls too. Long hair in 1970's WVa was unheard of and the Movie, "Easy Rider" was just out and we were all pretty parinoid since we all hair. We entered the arena and went to our seats and Led Zep was the only band playing and they started right on time. I still remember how loud they were and how much Page and Plant danced around the stage and showed off. Bonzo did his Moby Dick solo and played his kit with his hands which I had never seen before and it brought the crowd to their feet. I had seen Cream at the Field House in Huntington, and Ginger Baker did his solo on "Toad," but Bonzo, with a much smaller drum kit, topped Baker's Toad. Page bowed his guitar and the evening went along fine and being a guitar player myself, I was on the edge of my seat. The band played their last number and Plant said "goodnight" to everyone and we all started to leave. I was walking past the stage and I saw the band standing in the hallway behind the stage and they were smoking cigarettes and toweling off the sweat from their faces and hair. I told my buddies to stop and about a minute later the band came back to the stage and we were right there, leaning on the stage within reaching distance of Led Zeppelin.

They started Communiation Breakdown and Page and Plant were right in front of me within reaching distance, Bonzo was behind his drums most of the time with his eyes closed and John Paul Jones had his back to the crowd, bent over playing his bass in front of his amp. Plant looked right at me several times, there were no security on or near the stage, but none were needed as the small remaning crowd was well behaved. They finished their encore and Plant yelled "Good Night and Go Home" and they were gone. Seeing Cream and Led Zep opened my eyes to the real blues that the old blues masters had played. Unlike the Cream concert where they showed a dislike for each other and the small crowd( the headliner of that concert was The Grass Roots!!) I still got the chance to shake hands with Clapton and Bruce as they went around the back of the stage and were smoking cigarettes as they were leaning against their Marshall amps while Baker did his "Toad" solo at the Huntington Field House. Neither one made eye contact with me as I shook their hands and I remember their hands were very soft like a girls hand. I still play lead along with the CD's from the Led Zep albums and still think about those days and the people I played music with. Bonzo's dead, I read where Jack Bruce is very ill and I don't think those two super groups will ever play together again. But for the two years in sleppy WV that the Civic Center and Huntington Field House rocked monthly with Chicago,Led Zep,Stephen Wolf,The Chambers Brothers and many others, rock and roll lived in Charleston and Huntington.

I remembered Led Zep smiled as they played and they talked and laughed a few times. I got the feeling they liked playing together and liked each other. It was a great time to be young and in college when the spirit of the 60's was in the air and great groups toured the land with their music.