March 17, 1975
Seattle, WA 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. Woodstock), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (incl. The Crunge), Black Dog.
Press Review: Led Zeppelin - Worth the Wait
The event Seattle rock ‘n’ rollers have been waiting for, for at least two years - and have been holding tickets since before Christmas - finally happened last night at the Seattle Center Coliseum. And the Led Zeppelin didn't let their 15,000 fans down. For three solid hours the band churned out their heavy metal rock 'n' roll – a lot of it stunningly good, some of it plain tedious - and also provided the most spectacular show any rock group has ever done here.
Not only did they have an unbelievable sound system and more lights, explosions and smoke than any ten groups combined, they also had laser beams
During "Dazed and Con fused," when Jimmy Page was playing his guitar with a violin bow, creating eerie sounds, three beams shot across the Coliseum; from the stage to the ceiling on the opposite side. The three solid streams of light, which looked like you could walk on them, changed colors with the music. Absolutely fascinating.
But the big news of the night was that Page’s left ring finger, the tip of which was smashed in a railway car in England just before the start of the tour in January, was okay. He played "Dazed," which had been cut out of early• shows, and seemed in fine form.
So many bands have been said to be the most popular and so many tours have been called the biggest, it’s hard to know what to believe - but I think Led Zep tops them all. Their six albums are all platinum (over a million units sold) and tickets for their concerts are at a high premium - did you notice all those ads in the Personals offering tickets for $25 to $50 each? The reason isn't hype (the band hasn't gotten much press and most of it has been negative) or hit singles (very few) but the fact that Led Zep is one damn good rock band.
Their first album is a classic and everyone, including the new "Physical Graffiti," has some great things on it. And they always give a good performance. Anyone who saw them at the Seattle Pop Festival in July of 1969 or their first show here at the Arena in December of 1968, or the shows in '70, '72 and '73 will attest to that.
The band hasn't changed all that much since then. The skinny scrawny Page has the same mass of black curly hair and attacks the guitar as savagely as ever. Robert Plant has a mass of blond curly hair and was wearing his usual tight, low-slung jeans and open shirt.
There were some changes among the others, however John Paul Jones had a short, 1950-ish hair style and played more keyboards than bass. (with good results mostly, though the long, jazzy, classical-influenced solo on grand piano in "No Quarter" wasn't appreciated.)
Only John Bonham showed any signs of age. The drummer must have put on a good 30 pounds since he was here last in 1973 and his hair is getting gray. (All of them are over 30 now.) Plant is the focus of most of the attention on stage. He strutted and posed and used the microphone in a way that could only be called obscene. One became quite familiar with the lines on his stomach as the night wore on because he was constantly thrusting his pelvis to the audience while throwing back his head.
Plant used to have the finest scream in rock outside of Little Richard, but there wasn't much evidence of that last night. He still got his point across in the strongest terms, mind you, but his screams were amplified beyond recognition by the sound system.
The system did other tricks as well, like playing bass notes so low that they shook your insides. (Sen-surround, perhaps?) and adding echo to Plant's voice and Page's guitar.
The band played a lot from their new album, particularly in the first part of the show. The best of them, to me, was "Kashmir", a long, involved piece that often shifted in mood. Jones played a synthesizer that sounded like violins and Plant's voice was haunting.
One of the boring parts of the show was "Moby Dick," the drum solo. Parts of "Dazed and Confused" got pretty tedious, too, but a lot of it was great, as when Plant worked in a little of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" and when he and Page did their guitar and voice exchange.
Every tune in the concert was inordinately long, which is why it went on three hours. "Stairway to Heaven" never seemed to end, though it gave Page a chance to so some of his best solos.
The applause was excessive, too. They let the audience go on a good ten minutes before they came back for an encore, a medley of their heavier rock numbers, beginning with "Whole Lotta Love." Surprisingly. the band didn't look all that exhausted at the end of the three-hour marathon but most of the audience, especially those on the main floor who had to stand, did.
The Led Zeppelin return Friday night for another sold out show at the Coliseum. [-P Macdonald, Times 3-18-75]
Squeeze all the air out of a three-hour Led Zeppelin concert at the Coliseum and you might have an hour of music and visual effects worth your attention.
Nevertheless, a sellout crowd that broke four plate-glass doors and brought a two-feet-deep stack of counterfeit tickets gust to get into the place, sat spellbound, despite the fact that ushers and police relieved them of the equivalent of a green garbage dumpster full of booze.
Led Zeppelin's appeal might be explained by the fact that they're known in the trade as a "street band," meaning that their following precedes critical attention by about two years.
Credit for such audience appeal belongs in large part to the band's singer, Robert Plant. Plant's ability to sing and play with, rather than to, a crowd is rare in this business.
Several years ago, when it was the custom to have chairs at rock concerts, people at the rear of the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, B.C., began chanting "Please sit down!" to those blocking their view. Plant picked up on the chant, the band improvised a song, and a perennial concert hassle was thus resolved.
Supporting Plant's howling vocal S were lead guitarist Jimmy Page, on Les Paul and double-necked 12-and-six-stringed guitars, John Paul Jones on bass guitar, mellotron, and piano, and John Bonham on drums.
The band introduced four songs from its new double album, titled "Physical Graffiti". These included "Sick Again," a rocker, "In My Time of Dying," a spooky tune called "Kashmir" and the album's new single "Trampled Underfoot"
A better chunk of the hour that makes LZ worth the price of admission was occupied by "Dazed and Confused," one of the band's earliest songs, and the rock classic "Stairway to Heaven."
In between these two was a medley rendition of "Woodstock" which featured Page playing his guitar with a violin bow and dynamic visual effects capped by three laser beams emanating from the stage and, terminating high above the opposite end of the Coliseum.
As the band went onto its encore, Plant remarked to the audience, "You were fantastic, so were we". (BY D. P. BOND, March 1975)