Average: 4.9 (41 votes)

July 7, 1973

Chicago, IL US

Chicago Stadium


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: 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)

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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

My first concert

My first concert, on July 7th., 1973 changed my life forever. I managed to get my hands on a ticket for the second night in Chicago at the old Madhouse on Madison, the Chicago Stadium. I had just turned 16 and nothing could have prepared me for what I was to witness that summer night in July.

We were big hockey fans in those days, and I'd been to the Stadium dozens of times for Blackhawk games, but I never saw it look like it did that night! The hippies and freaks came out of the woodwork, and it was just the coolest scene you could imagine.... Long haired rockers and flower children, bikers, you name it, as far as the eye could see, and to a fairly sheltered 16 year old, it looked like the second coming of Woodstock! Someone had managed to drop the fire escapes on the outside of the building, and they were packed with people climbing onto them and getting into the building through the balcony fire escape doors. More than likely they were without tickets and couldn't resist the chance to get in.

Once inside and the show began, I was floored by the class, power, and majesty of this band, as well as the lights, the sounds, and the smells! Since it was just a few days removed from the 4th of July, the building was filled with the flash and blasts of fireworks going off during the show. Several times the blast were so loud, it felt like the building shook. At one point Robert stopped and asked the crowd to "Please, cool it with the 'works!" Of course it would slow down, and then the firecrackers, bottle rockets, and even M-80's would start up again.... The air was filled with crushing, hypnotizing blues rock, a mystical aura mixed with a haze of pot smoke and gunpowder, and the whole scene was absolutely surreal.

Our seats were first row in the first balcony, almost straight across from the stage, and I had a panoramic view of the show and all of the craziness surrounding it. The aisles and stairs were filled with the people who had gotten in without seats, and just about every light under the balcony was either broken or removed to darken the building and better facilitate the mood.

To be honest, it wouldn't have mattered if Jimmy was on, or if Robert had hit every note, THEY BLEW THE PLACE AWAY. It remains, to this day, the greatest single spectacle I have ever seen, anywhere. I would never be the same after that show.

I went on to see every show they did in Chicago from that day on. Three shows in January of 1975, and four more in April of '77, including Jimmy's abbreviated Saturday night sick show, and culminating with 2nd row seats for the Easter Sunday "Stormtrooper show". I only wish I'd seen the first tours, including stops at (As Robert called it one night) "the old dancing Kinetic Playground."

I'm 50 now, and I sometimes feel like a wise old wizard talking to a group of hobbits when young kids ask what Zep was like back in the day. I recount the stories, and they sit with their eyes wide and their mouths open, and it only reminds me of how fortunate I really was...

My life is richer for having been there...