January 20, 1975
Chicago, IL US
Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, When the Levee Breaks, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir, The Wanton Song, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown.
Review excerpt: For a band that’s been around since 1968, Led Zeppelin has done an astounding job of remaining one of the weightiest of the heavies. Their five albums have sold more than a million each; their last tour broke box-office records for a single act.
Judicious touring may have a bit to do with their drawing power. Their last appearance here was in the heat of summer ’73; a year and a half later they came back to Chicago for a sold-out show in the Chicago Stadium, with repeats to follow Tuesday and Wednesday.
They are not, however, immortals. Lead singer Robert Plant, for instance, is just as susceptible as the rest of us to such mundane things as flu, which is what he repeatedly complained of last night. “Keep your fingers crossed,” he asked the audience before starting out on Stairway to Heaven, a Led Zep staple and one of their most impressive numbers. “We’re having some problems. I’m having an inability to come to grips with this climate.”
Despite the difficulties and Plant’s obvious dissatisfaction with his voice, the show could be termed a success – a blend of Led Zep’s strong, pounding sound, with drummer John Bonham knocking out the rhythm, interspersed with slightly softer, sweeter guitar work by Page and John Paul Jones on mellotron.
Led Zeppelin always has been a band into giving people their money’s worth, and Monday night was no exception – a two and-a-half hour show with no warm-up act and no intermission. The repertoire drew from the old – such as Stairway to Heaven and No Quarter – and the new, selections from their forthcoming Physical Graffiti album, with an occasional bow to the theatrical with smoke screens, superb lighting effects, a sound system that was nearly a match for the Stadium acoustics, and “Led Zeppelin” spelled out in lights come encore time.
Led Zeppelin has a reputation for drawing a rowdy crowd. Last time they played here, Plant professed amazement at the “violence” – people trying to scrabble their way onstage and such, hardly anything new. Though “riots” had been reported in various places among restless crowds waiting for tickets, their show here Tuesday night was practically a model of decorum. With a wooden barricade separating crowd and performers by several feet and a strong security system, things remained calm, no view-blocking morons made it to the stage, and it was easy to see – a shamefully unusual please these days.
All in all, it was a good enough evening for music, if not for Plant’s health. If he can get rid of the flu for succeeding shows, none of the apologies he kept making will be necessary. Even with Plant not up to par, Led Zeppelin still manages to make most of their competitors look sick. (ChicagoTribune, Jan. ’75)