Average: 4.9 (101 votes)

September 14, 1971

Berkeley, CA US

Community Theatre

Setlist:

includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, That's the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, My Baby Left Me, Mess of Blues, You Shook Me).

Notes:

Newspaper review from local press:

Led Zeppelin Bows In with a Roar

Led Zeppelin, tabbed a supergroup by many rock critics, proved itself only to be loud, boisterous and very deafening at their first Bay Area appearance in over a year last week.

Filling the Berkeley Community Theater with some 40 amplifiers and speakers, the English group apparently mis-judged its sound projection because its effect was almost unbelievable, and often unbearable. It is well known that Led Zeppelin is a talented group. Jimmy Page is without a doubt one of the best guitarists in the musical world, John Bonham is a great drummer, bassist John Paul Jones is an above-average performer and Robert Plant, well, he has been called a male Janis Joplin.

The concert, which started 20 minutes late, began with the barely recognizable "Immigrant Song," with Page improvising to the hilt throughout the number and Plant dancing around onstage spastically to the tune.

"Since I've Been Loving You," was moving, dramatic and gutsy, but absolutely too loud and so was "Black Dog," from the newest album. Their mystic and haunting "Dazed and Confused" has improved by Page and his guitar. Zeppelin's "Celebration Day," a hard, driving number that was unbelievably loud, shook the auditorium and the people in it.

A quiet and peaceful interlude where the group sat down and performed a couple of tunes including the lyrical and soothing (to the ear) "Going to California" almost saved the evening. They played acoustic guitar, but even it was plugged in.

John Bonham, the drummer in the group, presented one of the most phenomenal drum solos this reporter has ever witnessed. The half-hour solo had the crowd in a frenzy and they roared its approval until his conclusion. From then on, the crowd stood until the end of the performance, apparently hypnotized by the music, and danced Whole Lotta Love", a fast moving tune, interspersed with oldies but goodies like Rick Nelson's old hit, "Hello Mary Lou."

When called back for an encore, they went into "Been a Long Time," also from their upcoming album and again blasted the audience out of the auditorium, ears ringing with the tunes of Led Zeppelin, probably the loudest group to
come out of England. — Oakland Tribune.

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Comments

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Berkeley 9-14-71

First time seeing Led Zeppelin. Hitch-hiked from Sacramento I ws 16, Got to the box office early and scored a single ticket on the floor. I remember it being very hot that day. I was surprised they even played Berkeley given it's small size (3,600 seats), I do remember Robert Plant saying "you should have been here last night." And yes, it was LOUD! They were amazing and the way Plant moved on stage! Hearing the new stuff was a treat - but so was hearing That's The Way, one of my favorite Zep tunes. I went on to see them 6 more times including their last U.S. show (2nd Day On The Green appearance in 1977), but the first time at Berkeley will always be the best.