February 20, 1972
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Let's Have a Party).
Review: MELBOURNE – A SLOW START BUT, A WILD FINISH
Before the Sunday of the Melbourne Zeppelin concert, everyone was thinking that per¬haps outdoor venues weren't that good — mainly because there was a possibility of a repeat performance of the three inches of rain in half an hour.
The day itself was good, relatively clear skies and even sun. The promoter’s sigh of relief could be heard all over Melbourne.
By 2 o'clock, over half the stadium was full and there was a steady stream of cars and people arriving. By 3 o'clock the place was packed, and the crowd was wondering what was going to happen, because no one was announcing anything - where the hell was Zeppelin. Five minutes past three and on they walked, it took the crowd a second or two to realise they were coming on to play unannounced.
"Good afternoon" said Plant, and the crowd roared back "I can't hear you", so 'the reply came louder, and then Jimmy Page started into the first number. They started off with recent album numbers like Black Dog, trying to get instant build-up. Unfortunately, the acoustics of the stadium were against them and the wind blowing over the stage threw a lot of the sound out into the street to the crowd ("Why don't you come in?' — Plant)
Towards the end of their acoustic set. Zeppelin had the sound licked, and from then there was nothing but buildup. Page's guitar work became fault less, as he strutted and walked around the stage and for some reason, reminded me of Chuck Berry, when he used to goose walk across stage, with his guitar slung low.
Jimmy Page also changed guitars regularly for almost every number, now electric, now acoustic and for one number a double necked job with one neck six string, and one neck twelve string. John Bonham and John Paul Jones must also rate mentions as far as the music goes, because they were an integral part of the sound. Page and Plant, however, dominate the visual thing, so it's these two you remember when you leave. I must mention the groups acoustic set, which is unlike the Zeppelin I expected to hear and therefore came as a pleasant surprise.
By the time the acoustic set was finished, the place was packed, at least 13,000 to 14,000 people, with all the aisles packed with people who couldn't get a seat. Until the sound problem was overcome, the crowd was inatten¬tive, and along with the acoustics echo there was a general murmur from people talking In fact, Plant told the crowd twice to shut up.
By halfway through the two hours the group played, the audience was hooked, and by the end of the concert when you looked around all you saw was a moving sea of bodies, and bodies lumping up and down against the sky. Plant kept up a continual banter between numbers. commenting on everything from the weather to what individual people were doing in the audience (yeah, you).
The group stopped playing for about ten minutes towards the end of the concert when it started to rain lightly, but they came back on promising to go off again at the first shock (or up in smoke more like it).
The last two numbers after this break were probably the best of the day, with the wind coming up adding another aspect to Zeppelin's driving music and to Plant's antics in his skin-tight jeans.
A great concert that ended with the crowd going wild.
- SALLY AURISCH