July 6, 1973
Chicago, IL US
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.
Review: Only the Fans could mar Led Zeppelin's performance
Led Zeppelin, the four-man British rock group that has become a household word in Chicago during the last month, is quite possibly the best rock group in the world.
In a sellout concert Friday night at the Chicago Stadium (18,000 occupied seats, and another 18,000 sold for tonight), they dispelled every bad word ever written about them, came through sparingly over the rotten acoustics in the Stadium, and in general, overcame every conceivable obstacle that might have marred their music.
Except for the audience Robert Plant, the energetic lead singer, paused at the start of several numbers to remark, pleasantly enough, that he'd never seen so many fights at a concert, and, please, cool it.
We looked harmless enough. The only visible disturbance was the exercise we got standing on our chairs, then sitting down again, then standing up again, and then sitting down again.
BUT THE AURAL disturbance was a little harder to take. Zeppelin has a sound system more powerful than the one used at Woodstock. Thing is, they don't turn it up all the way. And throughout two hours of music, the rejoinder from the audience was louder than the band: "SID-DOWNN!!!"
Zeppelin takes no glee in ringside chaos, and as they've developed their music, they've learned that it takes three hours of nonstop playing to get all their ideas across. Crowd antics to them are like the drunk asking George Shearing to play "Melancholy Baby."
They certainly warrant our undivided attention. They are far more musically educated, more sensitive and more interesting than their records would lead you to believe. They seemed to try to get their heavy stuff out of the way during the opening numbers so they could stretch out during the rest of the evening.
One number, (off their new album, which I haven't heard) has something to do with Coltrane in the title, and is a very pretty jazz-oriented song. John Bonham, bass player and keyboard man, opened with a lovely electric piano motif, and continued the jazz feel with his well-placed chords throughout.
He was joined by lead guitarist Jimmy Page with a thoughtful and sophisticated solo.
THEIR MOST dazzling number was a lengthy rendition of "Dazed and Confused," a slow song in a minor key, which they took in a relaxed, pointed manner. Amazingly, the acoustics in the hall only enhanced the feel to it. It was during this number that Jimmy Page brought forth his legendary bow, which he used to stroke and beat the strings of his guitar. The general effect was of being in the bowels of a giant psychedelic cicada... Whew!
Drummer John Bonham demonstrated his talents in a 15-minute drum solo that was never dull. And, for the record, Robert Plant sings. Doesn't scream. Sings. There is a quality to their music, most apparent in "Stairway to Heaven," that leaves a poignant, lump-in-the throat feeling that only Jimi Hendrix was able to inspire in not-so-recent memory.
IT WAS, all told, utterly enchanting, stirring, fascinating music. And in case you're interested in seeing them Saturday night, you'd better be wealthy. An ad in The Sun-Times' classified section Friday read like this: "2 ZEP tickets, Saturday, 20th row. $70 ea. or best offer."
If everybody sits down, it will be worth it. [published 7-8-73]
Review: Friday and Saturday, Led Zeppelin landed at the Chicago Stadium, with nearly 20,000 turning out for each night’s show. Apparently anticipating possible problems, someone had seen to it that the place was crawling with security as well. Friday night, at least, things were peaceful enough – in fact, by current concert standards, the whole evening proceeded according to script.
For a band that attracts such an eager-for-action audience, Led Zeppelin is curiously controlled. They are not the type to urge the audience to surge forward; in fact, they play with barricades in front of the stage and Plant expressed distaste more than once for the pushing confrontations going on practically at his feet.
For a band that once relied so much on sheer musicianship, augmented by the stage sexuality of lead singer and vocal gymnast Plant, Led Zep’s picked up a lot of theatrical trappings since their last tour. A stage setting with complete lighting system, mirrored panels and silver balls, plus puffs of smoke and enveloping fogs, represents some borrowings from Pink Floyd, though it works well with Zeppelin’s style too. So does the weird electronic music of the theremin which guitarist Jimmy Page doubled on during Whole Lotta Love.
Page took a couple of solos with some flashy guitar work, and drummer John Bonham managed to make a 15 minute or so drum solo in Moby Dick, not only powerful but incredibly engrossing. (ChicagoTribune, July 1973)