Average: 4.5 (63 votes)

May 28, 1977

Landover, MD US

Capital Centre

Setlist:

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, Whole Lotta Love ~ Rock and Roll.

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Comments

Submit your personal review of a particular show you attended, updates, corrections, etc., which will be considered for addition to the official online archive.You may also contact the webmaster at: webmaster@ledzeppelin.com

I want to provide balance to

I want to provide balance to some of the one-off glowing comments about this show and perhaps the other Landover dates. I was there –– a devoted and knowledgeable, 18-year-old Zep fan, looking for real professionalism and musicianship by this band. What we got, though, was a mixture of amazing performance and music combined with overwrought sloppiness.

The primary problem with this show was the sound system and, to some extent, the guitar playing. The engineering was terrible. The guitar was constantly overamped and the sound system pushed way past any ability to project clarity in this cavernous, concrete venue. As alluded to here in some of the other comments (and as widely acknowledged for this tour), Mr. Page was also not in top shape. The combination of his often ragged playing and the overcranked sound system made for a terribly distorted and muddy auditory experience. It was literally difficult to tell what song the band was playing sometimes.

That said, though, the performance was otherwise quite good. Plant and Jones were excellent. Bonham was pretty solid, if a bit bombastic. The light show was fantastic. The set list, of course, staggering.

IMHO, the highlight of the evening were the times when the band departed from album track and jammed and improv’ed to songs. I believe I finally fell into a life-long love affair with the blues that night. Since then, I’ve seen many of the greatest blues players in the world, from the South, from Chicago, and I’ve never seen a blues performance as good as Zep’s. When Plant pulled out his harp and leaned over Jones’ piano and the band just cooked off on a blues groove, it was like nothing I’ve ever heard.

Again though, sadly, the show needed to be tighter across its playing and especially production to give respectful value to ticket holders. Zep, like all bands, gave some shows that were better than others. It was the sound men who should have been roasted for this one, though. I was studying music theory and playing at the time, and I knew Zep’s catalogue intricately. I had no problem with a head-banging, ear-drum rattling experience but I guess I expected something a bit more disciplined and polished and listenable sonically/acoustically.

I believe that a lot of Jimmy’s playing was good, but it was sometimes difficult to tell because, again, the mixing and engineering was so bad. His solo and his use of feedback in it was quite amazing. However, he seemed lost in his own world for much of the show.

I know that there are a lot of old Zep fans who want to wax gloriously about seeing this last-ever Zep U.S. tour. But we’ve got to be honest. This was by broad critical consensus the most problematic tour the band did, because of issues going on, and so again IMHO this particular concert was one of their worst gigs on their worst tour. And yet with all that, it was still great and historic and unforgettable and full of energy and virtuosity and showmanship and artristry. I remember coming away from the show both disappointed and blow away at the same time. I’ve become an increasingly huger fan of the band and all four guys during every one of the many years that have passed by since.

On a global scale, yes, this show was still a 4 or a 5.
Against Zep’s own standards, though, it was maybe a 1.5.