Average: 4.9 (330 votes)

May 4, 1973

Atlanta, GA US

Atlanta Stadium

Setlist:

Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, (Bring It On Home intro) Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

Notes:

The opening show of the U.S. tour sets a record for the largest concert crowd in Georgia's history. Led Zeppelin drew nearly 40,000 fans to the Fulton County Stadium, earning a reported $246,000 in ticket sales. 

View 16mm archive footage from WSB-TV Atlanta.
[another clip here.]

Review: Stadium Rocks – Led Zeppelin Plays to 50,000
The manicured grassy field at Atlanta Stadium may never be the same after a Friday night rock concert that attracted a record crowd of almost 50,000.
What was once the domain of athletes and hot dog chewing baseball fans became center stage for Led Zeppelin, a British group wired for sound and worshipped by the teen-age legions.

To get to the stadium, rock fans had to battle radio-blaring traffic of mini vans chock full of long hair and bare feet.

Police towed away an estimated 100 cars left on the side of the interstate highway next to the stadium. Conspicuous among the youngsters, some gray-haired, all apparently enjoying themselves.

The stadium for the first time opened its field to an audience and the concert’s promoters promised to repair any damage to outfields and base paths.

Many of the teenagers camped out in front of the stadium since 9 a.m. and they left what was described as “a pile of stanching garbage”.

Stadium officials estimated that of the 49,233 people in attendance, about 16,000 of them sat on the field. A stadium spokesman said it was the largest single musical performance in the history of the state. A rock festival in middle Georgia a couple of years ago drew large numbers over two days.

In contrast, the Beatles drew a crowd of 33,000 in 1965 at the stadium. Sgt. L.W. Ramsey who had charge of traffic control around the stadium said the situation was “the worse I’ve ever seen, anywhere. We had to shut off all the exit ramps from the South Expressway and just run everybody by.

The rock fans seated in the stands had problems seeing the musicians, but they could view the group’s image reflected in 60-foot video screens provided by the concert promoters, Concerts West.

The music was loud Friday but not intolerable. “It was a pleasant way to listen to music without having your ears hurt”, a fan said.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the music while walking through the packed multitudes walking with friends and meeting new ones.

“It was like a caged Woodstock”, one person said.

During the 30-minute delay while the group prepped its instruments, members of the audience blew bubbles, tossed Frisbees and balloons and lit firecrackers.

Led Zeppelin left after the concert for Tampa, Fla., the second stop of a 33-city tour.

[-C. Yarbrough & B. Henderson, AtlantaConstitution)

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Press Review (2) - LED ZEPPELIN: On May 4, Led Zeppelin drew the largest crowd ever in the Atlanta area.

It was however, a disappointment to most of those who attended. Because it was nearly impossible to see the group, large movie screens had been erected on either side of the stage where a projector was filming the performance for live viewing. So in actuality one was watching a live movie with a really good atmosphere and live music to accompany it all. Even despite the 43,000 people there were some who were fortunate enough (mostly tall persons who were able to see above the crowd) to see the performance directly from the stage.

Page put on his usual fantastic performance playing a solo in the middle of "Dazed and Confused" with a violin bow. The audio equipment that was on hand was unbelievable and had a good deal to do with Plant's voice being as similar to his voice on the albums. The last time I had seen Zeppelin, Plant didn't come close to the high pitched shrills heard in Atlanta. Bonham's solo in "Moby Dick" was not at all as drawn out as I have seen many drummers do.

The concert in Atlanta was one stop in their nation-wide tour promoting their newest album "Houses of the Holy." Zeppelin's poorest performances were done on their older songs like "Communication Breakdown", "Dazed and Confused", "Whole Lotta Love", and various other cuts from II. The songs performed from their new album were done beautifully.

"No Quarter" was definitely the most well remembered song of the evening. The stage was set pitch black when the eerie moog was first heard. As the lights slowly rose, smoke began pouring in from the sides of the stage. Plant's silhouette was seen over the night fog effect. The majestic moog sound grew stronger until the lights had grown bright which began "No Quarter".

Their performance of "Stairway to Heaven" was also done exceptionally well. Preceeding the number doves had been set loose from the stage and throughout the song they circled over the group. Stars flashed over the top of the stage as a light brightened behind Plant illuminating his silhouette.

For those who witnessed the performance directly from the stage rather than the movie screen the concert might be described as nearly breathtaking. For those with a growth impediment the concert can be described as a disaster.  [5/73 / 'Music Reviews' / Monk]

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Atlanta Georgia Concert 5/4/73

I was on my way to be a judge in the South Carolina State Battle Of The Bands with the trumpet player in my band. We had won 1st place in the National Battle Of The Bands the year before in 1972 which were held in Greenville. It worked out perfect for us to see the concert in Atlanta on the 4th on the way to Greenville for the Battle of the Bands the next night. We got to Fulton County Stadium from my home town of Columbus Ga. in time for the show but way too late to even find one square inch of grass sit on in the ball field. The stadium lights were on the entire concert and there was a large screen next to the stage, I think on both sides which was the only way we could really see what the band looked like or what kind of gear they were using. It seemed almost like a dream. I think my friend and I were the only two people there not stoned completely out of our mind or tripping. We may have got somewhat high from the second hand smoke. There was a cream colored mushroom shaped cloud of pot smoke that domed the open air stadium from the time we got there until it was over. The band sounded great. I could be wrong, but I think they dropped the key a step on the end of " Stairway To Heaven" maybe to help Robert sing the very high part at the end of the song at the close of a long hard night. When they left the stage after the last song, which may have been "Stairway", we walked up the steps looking out over the sea of cars in the parking lot while the crowd was still wanting to hear another song holding up their lighters and screaming MORE, I saw three long black limo's with their bright red tail lights leaving the stadium lot all in a row heading toward the interstate and disappearing into the night. I remember thinking how cool would it be to have been in one of those limo's as a member of a band like that.