April 15, 1977
St. Louis, MO US
The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven. (no encore)
Click here to view the US '77 Tour Programme (flipbook)
Press Review: St Louis: “we aren’t going to mess around – we’re just going to play,” a serious Robert Plant promised the capacity house who’d gathered in the 20,000 seat arena to witness the phoenix-like return of Led Zeppelin to the stage from what Plant euphemized as their “physical interlude” – the forced hiatus that resulted from the critical injuries he suffered in an auto accident during the summer of 1975.
It was obvious from his comment, made two songs into the programme, that Zeppelin weren’t interested in tea and sympathy, but rather in defending their supergroup status which, as they well knew, was sorely in need of it in St Louis after their sorry past performances in this city.
Indeed, while they had been, as usual, nearly an hour late in starting, the openers, The Song Remains the Same and a tough, angry version of Sick Again, had offered considerable proof that they meant to keep their lead singer’s word. And as if to further confirm it, there already a broken string hanging down from Jimmy Page’s tortured double-neck.
But it was not until they were successfully done with the metallic blues of their next song, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, that Plant himself (whose stint on harmonica had been Fault’s special treat) seemed fully satisfied they would live up to his commitment.
“It looks like it’s going to be a good one, he righty, if cautiously surmised, and they quickly moved ahead to In My Time of Dying – It’s challenging breaks, and Page’s bottleneck leads and Plant’s woeful wails all most impressively executed. But should there happen to have been any yet-remaining doubts in anyone’s mind as to Zeppelin’s fitness, the soul wrenching dealt by Since I’ve Been Loving You could not help but have dispelled them completely.
Plant’s purgative, bleeding cries – so reminiscent of Janis Joplin – and the taunting, almost brutal exchange between his voice and the instruments brought the concert to its first of several climaxes. That there had been a deep-down change in this group was now impossible not to recognize; one could only presume the vicarious effects of Plant’s ordeal had served to turn Led Zeppelin inside out. More than making statements, their music was asking questions, to such an extent that most of the songs sounded as if they were ended on the interrogative (as opposed to carelessly open ended).
There was absolutely nothing to deny their purposefulness – no smugness, no sloppiness, and no more holding back. Just an apparent all-out effort on the part of each man to make Led Zeppelin the best and most significant rock band in the world. (MM/ P. Dewing | April 1977)