November 25, 1971
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, What Is and What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Going Down, Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Rave On, Mess of Blues), Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown.
Press Review: Led Zeppelin – Best For Hard ‘n Heavy
Playing with a power and aggression that the last three years have clearly done little to diminish, Led Zeppelin demonstrated at Leicester University last night why they have remained supreme exponents of heavy music, in the face of increasing competition.
The efforts of fellow travelers like Black Sabbath, Uriah Heap, and Grand Funk seem puny when compared to the sledgehammer sound of Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones erupting into their version of Communication Breakdown.
To a great extent, Zeppelin are the innovators of hard ‘n heavy and they’re still the best. They themselves are derivative of earlier bands, like Jeff Beck and of course, The Cream.
But only Zeppelin have succeeded in perfecting the technique of riff-rock. Their attack is basic enough, but deadly effective.
Jimmy Page usually opens up the numbers by picking out a biting guitar line, or a sharp chord, and then after a few bars bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham – who work as one – contribute the drive and depth.
Finally, the anguished blues shouting of Robert Plant cuts in through the instrumentation.
It’s certainly not music for the faint-hearted. Zeppelin emanates such force and intensity that it can be physically painful at times. But the generated energy consumes the audience. The group plays real gut music that grips the bowels and involuntarily twitches the muscles.
Zeppelin played most of their best known numbers, including Whole Lotta Love, Since I’ve Been Loving You, a 15-minute version of Dazed and Confused, featuring a brilliant solo from Page, and tracks from the fourth album which is shaping up to be another mammoth seller.
Their appeal is heightened by the fact that even after three years on the road, and a couple of world tours, the four members obviously still enjoy making music.
They were on stage for two-and-a-half hours last night and the pace hardly slackened.
As an indication of Zeppelin’s incredible popularity at the moment I’d just add that this concert sold out within hours of the campus box-office opening. I’m certain the same thing would happen if the group came back next week. (P.B.)