August 15, 1970
New Haven, CT US
includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, Since I've Been Loving You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown (medley: incl. Good Times Bad Times).
Press Review: "Zeppelin Zap"
The parting gesture to the New Haven Jaycees’ 1970 P Series arrived in the form of Led Zeppelin, a rock quartet whose reputation is largely explosive as nitroglycerin. Handled badly, the group goes up in smoke; handled well, the group provides nerve shattering musical gymnastics that cry out to the heavens.
Saturday night’s performance was handled brilliantly by the stage crew and even the sound system behaved sharply (an augmented reverb system was the electronic high point of the evening).
But lest one think that Led Zeppelin is a sedate, socially acceptable group, he may perish the thought. Led Zeppelin is the very reincarnation of the apocalyptic bad trip. The trip begins the moment John Henry Bonham throws the beat into first and power shifts straight to some nirvana. John Paul Jones swings his bass into play, Jimmy Page dives his guitar and Robert Plant cascades like pebbles in a landslide all over the stage.
The standard Zeppelin carved-in-granite stuff mingled with some new, surprisingly enchanting material, “The Golden Breath” (aka “Bron-YR-Aur”), a poignant, haunting tune by Page. The segues through Zeppelin I and II were exactly what the capacity crowd wanted.
One of the memorable moments came when Plant and company exited; leaving John Bonham to his sticks and drums. And for nearly 10 minutes, his “Moby Dick” solo showed once and for all that nobody this side of maybe Ginger Baker can crumble another drummer’s ego the way Bonham can.
“Big Girls Don’t Cry”, (aka “That’s the Way”), another unusual song, utilized a simple mandolin which Jones handled like a symphonic virtuoso. That the Way, Immigrant Song (soon to be released on Zeppelin III) and that ever-charting Whole Lotta Love, snapped, crackled and boomed for nearly three solid hours. And when the convoy of black Caddy limousines appeared, the crowd grew restive, refusing to let the boys go away so easily.
The closing encore was met by standing ovation and a general run ensued onto the stage. Police and Jaycee security held the line, but the fans did get to run alongside the limousine as it sped out the side gate and into history.
And under the full August moon; with the dust lingering behind the empty bowl, the people were going home stoned on electric Kool-Aid running full tap from Led Zeppelin’s keg of true rock professionalism.
Chalk up the 1970 Jaycee Pop Series as “Right On!” (P. Gionfriddo, New Haven Register, August 1970)