January 18, 1975
Bloomington, MN US
includes: Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills & Far Away, When the Levee Breaks, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog.
Newspaper review: Led Zeppelin descended upon Minneapolis this past weekend and proved to a jam-packed crowd of more than 20,000 devotees that it is still the world's premiere heavy-metal rock and roll band.
The concert, which kicked off the band's 1975 North American tour in fine fashion, marked Led Zeppelin's first appearance on this side of the Atlantic Ocean in almost 18 months. Few groups are capable of approaching the energy level that Jimmy Page and company maintained from start to finish during the Zep's 2 1/2-hour performance. Still intact after almost seven years together as a tight, cohesive musical unit, Led Zeppelin has evolved from its beginnings as a heavy blues outfit, which specialized in long meandering hams into a sophisticated professional high energy rock band, capable of selling out one 50,000-seat football stadium after another all by itself, without the benefit of a warm-up act.
The group appeared onstage almost precisely at its scheduled 8 p.m. starting time to a thunderous roar from the crowd and broke right into Rock and Roll, led by Jimmy Page's hard, slashing guitar lines. With the exception of Moby Dick, the band's standard showcase for drummer John Bonham, and a brief, 30-second excerpt from Whole Lotta Love during the encore, the group confined its attention to its most recent albums, Led Zeppelin 4 and Houses Of The Holy, along with a number of selections from its coming Physical Grafitti LP. The new material was a particular highlight, most notably Kashmir, an ominously moody number featuring some intrigiung synthesizer work from John Paul Jones and Trampled Underfoot, a surging rocker whose title is most self-explanitory. A tremendous A tremendous version of Stairway To Heaven, sparked by Robert Plant's emotion-charged vocals, elicited the most enthusiastic reception of the evening.
It was the group's dynamic stage presence which impressed me above all else. These guys are totally in charge of the situation at all times, with Plant's rousing vocal histrionics and lanky, blond-maned frame (extremely sexy, according to most of the young ladies I spoke with before and after the show) commanding the attention of all. Page has developed into an energetic, exciting performer, prancing about and exchanging knowing smiles with Plant while he tosses out a succession of stupendous solos, each more incredible than the one before.
Other goodies for the evening included overwhelmingly powerful arrangements of When The Levee Breaks and The Song Remains The Same, which, along with the Physical Graffiti material were being performed for the first time, according to Plant. Near the end, Plant apologized to the crowd for the band being "rusty." He needn't have bothered — if Led Zeppelin was operating at only half-speed, I would be hard-pressed to imagine how sensational this band would be on a good night!
During its long tenure at the top of the heavy-metal rock pile, Led Zeppelin has met and defeated the challenges of untold numbers of pretenders to its throne, and if this past Saturday's performance is any indication of what's to come, I seriously doubt whether a band exists capable of equalling, much less surpassing, what Led Zeppelin could do in its sleep. The group's superb sound system and colorful lighting effects, which bathed the performers in a Avide variety of intense colors; added considerably to the over-all effect. In this highly inflationary age, Led Zeppelin gives its fans their money's worth and then more. Five years ago I willingly paid $10 for an 18th row ticket to the group's show in the same Bloomington Sports Centre (1970), the home of the Minnesota North Stars hockey club, yet this past week my 11th row seat cost just $8.50, a paltry sum for what this group delivers.
I would have liked to see the group play longer, and I doubt if there were more than a handful of people who would have left the building if the group played 15 encores into the small hours of the morning. - Free Press, Jan. 23, 1975.