Average: 4.6 (102 votes)

June 2, 1973

San Francisco, CA US

Kezar 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 (incl. Let That Boy Boogie), Communication Breakdown, The Ocean.

Notes:

News Report: 50,000 See Led Zeppelin in Bay City

The British rock group Led Zeppelin drew 50,000 rock fans who paid $320,000 at Kezar Stadium last weekend.

Although the 2 ½ hour show Saturday was 6,000 short of capacity, listeners blanketed the football field and stands. Hundreds of others heard the music for free from rooftops in the surrounding neighborhood.

A month ago, Led Zeppelin grossed $309,000 to shatter the Beatles’ mark in 1965.

Organizers said the group netted better than $1,000 per minute during the show here. It was the second large rock concert in a week at Kezar.

The only casualties reported were some bad drug trips, a broken leg and a security guard accidentally wounded with his own revolver.

More than 250 cars were towed away from illegal parking areas around the stadium, police reported.

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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

June 2, 1973: Led Zeppelin plays in my neighborhood

In June 1973 I was 15, living at 827 Shrader St., a block from Kezar Stadium. I was a guitar player in a rock band that played in a bar a couple of times on Haight Street, and the idea that I was going to see the Gods of Rock play at a slightly larger venue in the neighborhood made me feel like one of the luckiest people on the planet.

I still feel that lucky, having seen this show. Me, my brother, Paul, and a couple of friends left home at about 9:30 that morning and walked over to Kezar. We were among the first couple of thousand people there and were able to stake a claim to a spot about 100 feet from center stage.

It was a beautiful, warm morning and as people filled the stadium, the Zeppelin-anticipation was already electrifying the crowd, that rare and wonderful "I-can't-believe-I'm-actually-here-look" beaming on everybody's face. We smoked the first of about ten joints we had that day as the Tubes started their set with "The Theme from Rawhide." It was fantastic -- such a surprise -- and funny as hell. I recall them wearing huge cowboy hats, chaps, and maybe one of them was even twirling a lasso? It was a good set and it set the tone for the day -- lighthearted, fun, violence-free; everybody happy. Somebody else wrote here about how cool the people were that day and I agree. There was absolutely no negative vibe or tension anywhere. As far as the rest of the opening acts go, I have to say that I didn't give a damn about seeing any of them. I was such a huge Zeppelin fan (and still am), that the Stones could have played that day and I would still have been comparatively indifferent.

That said, Lee Michaels did a good set, eating up an hour or so, and then Roy Harper sang for a while and nobody paid much attention. With Zeppelin on everybody's mind, especially at that point, he didn't stand much of a chance. There are huge gaps in my memory from that day (not surprisingly), but I do remember that there was about a two or two and a half hour delay before Led Zeppelin took the stage. (I read somewhere a few years ago that they'd been stuck in a plane on the tarmac at LAX and had hauled ass to the stadium straight from the airport.) There was nothing to do but get more stoned.

Finally, Jimmy Page walked out on stage in his white suit, a roady brought out his sunburst Les Paul and handed it to him, Robert Plant walked up, looking like the Platonic ideal of the Rock Star, and grabbed the mike, John Paul Jones unobtrusively took his place to Plant's right, and John Bonham sat down and a minute later started pounding out the opening to "Rock and Roll." His drum set lit up in beams of colored light that shot out from his huge bass drum like lasers. That may or may not have actually happened, but I saw it that way and I remember it that way. For the next three hours -- three hours of the loudest, most kick-ass, awe-inspiring concert ever -- the whole crowd was on its feet.

To this day this concert ranks, by far, as the most amazing performance by musicians I've ever seen. I remember standing there absolutely mesmerized by just how fucking amazingly good they were. The best concert I'd seen before this had been fantastic -- The Who on the Who's Next tour, at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. But Zeppelin totally blew them away. A few scattered memories: somebody passed a gigantic joint, maybe two feet long, up to Robert Plant. He took it, showed it to the crowd, and said "We're gonna save this one for after the show." Everybody wildly cheered. I remember being completely stunned when Jimmy Page brought out his violin bow during Dazed and Confused. I had never heard of this, never seen it, and watching him play guitar with it bended my mind around in new, uncharted ways. I also remember white doves being released from cages atop the speaker towers on both sides of the stage during the opening bars of Stairway to Heaven. They flew out over the crowd, blowing everybody's mind. I have no idea if that actually happened, but for the last 36 years that's the way I've described it to people and that's the way I recall those magic moments when Page began playing it on his double-neck Gibson SG. I've seen the photo of Robert Plant holding the white dove -- maybe that's where I'm getting this idea. Or maybe it really was that way....

After the concert I was unable to speak coherently for a long time. I was overwhelmed, stoned out of my head, and thoroughly awestruck. My brother and my friends walked with me back to my place, and I remember all of us hanging out, being mostly quiet, in a state something akin to suspended animation. What could anyone really say, especially with our ears ringing like that? Long live Led Zeppelin.




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