Average: 4.9 (13 votes)

November 11, 1971

Newcastle, UK

City Hall (Newcastle)


includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Rock and Roll, Stairway to Heaven, That's the Way, Going to California, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Celebration Day, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown.


Press Review: Zeppelin – Good, Bad or Indifferent?

The months of frustration and impatient waiting were over – Led Zeppelin were back at Newcastle City Hall last Thursday. And the group that has brought the rock back to rock and roll were, for me at least, awful.

A young audience cried for more after their two and a quarter hour performance. They got it to the tune of a lengthy encore.

They gave us “Immigration Song”, Heartbreaker, and Robert Plant immediately sank to rock bottom in my estimation. Maybe it was the hall, maybe it was the mike…

The tragedy of it all was this band can play and Plant can sing to rival any group in the world. They proved this with one track from the new LP – Stairway to Heaven.

But Alas, the euphoria was not to last. The mediocrity of the rest of the gig could easily be seen in the band’s performance of Celebration Day.

I tried desperately to think back to Zeppelin’s first mind-shattering explosion on the British music scene and to convince myself that it WAS the notorious City Hall acoustics that daunted Plant.

I’ve hardly mentioned Jimmy Page, you say? True enough he did some amazing things with that guitar. But only spasmodically.

This is the start of the great Zeppelin British tour. They should make sure they get a bigger hall and better presentation than a packed City Hall got last Thursday night. [-S. Bennett / Disc, Nov. 1971]

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

11th November 1971

Led Zeppelin Newcastle City Hall 11th November 1971

For an old guy like me, who grew up listening to rock music in the late 60s and early 70s, Led Zeppelin were THE band. Their early albums are absolute classics of blues rock, and their live shows were simply the thing of legend. Everyone I knew had a copy of Led Zeppelin II, and would bring it to school to play at the record club, proudly displaying it to as a badge of honour. I’d so wanted to see Zeppelin live since I’d heard my friend’s older brothers talk about how great they were. They were lucky enough to see them at Newcastle City Hall and the Mayfair in the late 60s, and they came back from those gigs so excited, full of tales of Plant’s screaming vocals, of Page’s amazing guitar and how he “played his guitar with a violin bow”. In those days such tricks seemed almost unbelievable to a teenager like me.

So when Zeppelin toured in late 1971 it was my turn to see them for the first time. I was determined to make the most of the opportunity, and was lucky enough to end up seeing them twice in two days, on the first two nights of their UK tour, when they played in Newcastle and Sunderland. The concerts took place in the week that the classic Led Zeppelin IV album was released. Zeppelin were at the peak of their powers at this time, and were simply an awesome, electric live act.

I had a ticket for the Led Zeppelin concert at Sunderland on the Friday night, and just couldn’t wait! So I decided to try and see them at Newcastle the night before. The City Hall gig has been sold out for weeks, with people queuing all night for tickets; but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I got home quickly after school on the Thursday night, had something to eat, and then set off on the train to Newcastle to try and blag a ticket outside of the venue. I managed to buy a ticket for a pretty ropey seat up in the circle, paying £1; which was twice the 50p face value. This may sound cheap now, but it seemed quite expensive at the time. But hey I was in, and although my view wasn’t great; I was going to see Led Zeppelin for the first time! I took my seat and waited for Zeppelin to take the stage. zepposter There was no support act; soon the lights went down and the guys stormed out, Robert Plant greeting us with a simple “Good evening! Here we are again”; and then it was straight into Immigrant Song, with Plant’s screaming wails roaring above Jimmy Page’s guitar. Page was wearing his guitar low, down around his knees, prowling around the stage while Prant posed, and played the rock god at the front. John Paul Jones stood quiet, and calm, providing the bass rhythms while John Bonham pounded and bashed away at his massive drum kit. For the next couple of hours I sat completely mesmerised by this band. I couldn’t take my eyes off Page and Plant. The set unfolded; featuring old favourites and tracks from the new lp.

There were so many highlights: the opening “Hey hey mama said the way you move, Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove” lines of Black Dog; the mystical beauty of Stairway to Heaven; the back to their roots rhythms of Rock and Roll; the exquisite blues guitar and blood-tingling vocals of Dazed and Confused; the acoustic guitar interlude for Thats the Way, Going to California and Tangerine. And Jimmy Page did play his guitar with a violin bow, and he has this strange aerial which he waved his hands at and, as if by magic, made weird spacey, spooky sounds (I later learned that this was called a theremin).

A crowd recording exists, on which you can apparently hear Robert Plant talking about the release of the new album: “Now then, today’s the day of the Teddy Bear’s picnic, and to go with it, the new album came out. I know what they say about the lenght of time between the two, and I’m sure you can read all sorts of reports and toss a coin!” The concert was quite long, over two hours, and LOUD (which was good; for me the louder the better), even up in the circle where I was sitting. Just perfection; the greatest rock’n'roll band in the world. I caught the late train, the music still ringing in my ears, still buzzing and knowing that I’d experienced something very special. I couldn’t wait to see them again the next night, and bored everyone at school with how great they were.

There seems to be a little debate as to the setlist that night. Most sites show the set as: Immigrant Song; Heartbreaker; Black Dog; Since I’ve Been Loving You; Rock and Roll; Stairway to Heaven; That’s the Way; Going to California; Tangerine; Dazed and Confused; What Is and What Should Never Be; Celebration Day; Whole Lotta Love. Encore: Communication Breakdown. However, I’ve also read that they played Moby Dick, but I am assured that this was not the case. They did however also play Bron-y-aur Stomp.