July 20, 1973
Boston, MA US
Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, (Bring It On Home intro) Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Let That Boy Boogie).
Press Review: Zeps slap Huh with plenty of inertia
It's like a two-ton truck kind of leaden and slow, and very heavy - but given enough momentum it's difficult to ignore. Led Zeppelin had rumbled in and out of Boston last Friday night in fourth gear.
Five years ago, after the group released its first album everybody was saying Jimmy Page and ex-yardbird in the same breath. They played the miniscule Tea Party then, but it wasn’t long before they graduated to the Garden, and nobody remembered the Yardbirds anymore. They've hit the big time now, and some say the biggest. Attendance records have fallen in some of the cities on their current tour - records held by people such as the Beatles and, yes, even Grand Funk Railroad.
They started at 8:30, a half-hour late, and proceeded to do a lackluster medley of old material, seemingly laying back (allowing the familiarity of the songs to lend the rendition credence) to give more sparkle by comparison lo the new material.
Anyway, they followed with four numbers from "Houses of the Holy," their latest, including the aptly named "'The Song Remains the Same."
Returning to the past, they did a creditable, if overblown rendition of "Dazed and Confused," a number Page wrote while with the Yardbirds. His traditional, self-indulgent, violin-bowed guitar solo is somewhat boring and the song lasts so long you can actually forget what they're playing; but it is, as a whole, passable.
There are a few rare songs, such as "Layla," that are every bit as good as the frenzied masses think they are. Another one is "Stairway to Heaven,'' Led Zeppelin's most popular, to judge by the ovation given its mere announcement. It was ended to the visual accompaniment of a rainbow of lights arching to the ceiling and a star-speckling light projector. (the "stairway" and the "heaven," get it?) A spectacular effect and psychedelic circus at its finest.
It then became time for the closing set (another medley), climaxed by their blockbuster from the second album, "Whole Lotta Love." Three or four times during the concert synchronized flames had exploded, giving visualization to Zep's musical flashness, and I was somewhat prepared for some more
instances of playing with fire. So it seemed almost anticlimactic when drummer John Bonham ended the whole thing at 10:30 by beating a flaming gong with a flaming mullet.
That was that. But even after it was announced that Led Zeppelin had indeed fled the sweltering Garden and wasn't coming back, most of the crowd stuck to their seals for 10 minutes or more, hoping and screaming for another glimpse.
And in the distance, a receding rumble, one more truckstop a memory. [Globe / M. Nicholson / 7-23-73]