February 8, 1975
Philadelphia, PA US
Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Heartbreaker.
Press Review:Led Zeppelin Bring on the Light and Sound
LED ZEPPELIN brought its unprecedented sound-light spectacle to the Spectrum Saturday night, overwhelming a sell-out audience of some 20,000, with close to three hours of "heavy-metal" rock'n’roll.
The four-man British band - in the midst of an Ameri¬can tour, which will reportedly gross in excess of $5 million – has been preeminent among rock’s high-energy supergroups for almost six years. Now, augmented by a system of lighting and amplification higher in wattage than any mounted previously. Led Zeppelin seems to have outdone itself in sheer mind-zapping gut-wrenching intensity.
The keystone of that intensity – and of Zeppelin’s music in general - has always been the protean guitar playing and consummate blues-rock songwriting of leader Jimmy Page. Apparently recovered from an injury sustained before leaving Britain, when a train compartment door slammed on his left ring finger, Page is extraordinary as ever, and Saturday night he pulled off his virtuoso repertoire of searing, pinpointed licks, and apocalyptic chordings and classic guitar-hero postures with undaunted elan.
Lead singer Robert Plant, he of the sensual swagger and honey-blond charisma, provides the visual and musical offset to Page’s dominance. As usual, his singing – a trademark blend of shriekwail and heartbroken crooning – grew more commending as the night progressed (and in his customary note-for-note sparrings with Page’s guitar), while the steady throb-and-pound of drummer John Bonham and bassist – occasional keyboardist – John Paul Jones anchored the music’s unsettling modulations.
Performing a cross-section of new, recent and old material, Zeppelin assaulted its audience with such destructo-anthems as Dazed and Confused, Rock and Roll, the softly lyrical set-ups and explosive resolutions of Stairway to Heaven and No Quarter, the unfamiliar yet engaging dynamism of several songs from their upcoming Physical Graffiti LP. A highlight of the concert was Bonham’s masterly fifteen minute drum solo – worthy of the standing ovation it received – with its other-worldly synthesizer effects.
As for the unprecedented staging, the mammoth sound system, as promised, provided superb separation, mitigating the nitro-volume with compelling clarity, the lighting – an awesome network of stagebound and remote spots – evoked startling, vividly hued, richly varied visual atmospheres, although the much-heralded laser beam played (from where we sat) an indeterminate role. (M. Damsker / The Bulletin)