April 27, 1977
Richfield, OH 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, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.
Click here to view the US '77 Tour Programme (flipbook)
Review: LED ZEPPELIN – The Coliseum – April 27
It took those over two years to do it, but Led Zeppelin finally reached a Cleveland area stage once again last Wednesday night at the Coliseum. This show in particular, as well as their current tour in general, is nothing less than a re-assertion of their status among the Rolling Stones, Who and any other acknowledged deities of rock. It presents a challenge – as well as a set of standards to equal – to new wave heroes such as Aerosmith, Frampton and Blue Oyster Cult.
Zeppelin’s three-hour set passed with flying colors my personal shorthand estimation of a concert’s quality. It didn’t seem that long. The amount of material played, the musicianship involved, and the internal and external (special effects) manifestations of their music merged into an impressive, at time awe-inspiring, whole. The width of styles, moods and atmosphere, paired with consistent authenticity, crossed one of the widest spectrums of which any current combo seems capable.
Zeppelin’s show, considerably revamped since their ’75 appearance in the same arena, was in general an effective mix of blues-ended structures such as In My Time of Dying, Nobody’s Fault But Mine and Since I’ve Been Loving You. The maximum amount of instrumental stretching-out however came on No Quarter. Working from both electric and acoustic pianos, John Paul Jones again impressed with his general versatility. Jimmy Page later joined in for what to me was his apogee of an evening’s worth of standout soloing. It was one of the best rock jams I’ve ever witnessed.
About midway through, Zep revived something they haven’t done in concert since the early 70s – an acoustic set. The founders and main perpetrators of the heavy metal music form sat themselves down and ran through delightful versions of Battle of Evermore, Going to California and Black Country Woman, even reviving the rockabilly Bron-Y-Aur Stomp from Led Zeppelin III (with Jones on stand-up bass).
Some more electrically oriented playing led into the visual highlight of the evening; a rotating, smoke-filled laser light cone surrounded Page as he spun out his famed violin bow work, with lasers behind him shooting arrow-straight beams at the ceiling at well-timed intervals. The show wound up with more conventional crowd-pleasers such as Kashmir and the Zeppelin signature song, Stairway to Heaven (with the biggest mirrored ball in rockdom used to wind it up.
John Bonham consistently kicked ass on drums, Robert Plant was 100 percent improved in voice and stage demeanor since their last time here, and a warm, lucid in-group chemistry projected even across the Coliseum’s vast terrains. A surprisingly sedate and mature crowd did their part to create something I had previously thought was unique to small-hall presentations – a general warmness and intimacy of feeling emanating from the band and its reception by the listeners. It’s an attitude much more difficult to project over 20,000 seats than it is over 3,000. Such was the strength of Led Zeppelin’s performance, an in-person proof of why they still rank as one of the top viewing experiences in rock.
(C. Michalski / Scene April 1977)