Average: 4.9 (438 votes)

May 31, 1977

Greensboro, NC US

Coliseum (NC)

Setlist:

Setlists for this tour include: 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, Black Dog (?)

Notes:

77 programme

Click here to view the US '77 Tour Programme (flipbook)


News Report: On May 31, Led Zeppelin made its first Greensboro appearance in over three years. We weaved through the flow of people and worked our way to the very top of the coliseum's second level.

Seated, we began a nervous anticipation of the appearance of Led Zeppelin, but were told via the supersonic loudspeakers that Led Zeppelin had been delayed. I had expected that, really. I've never been to a concert that started on time, and my string wouldn't be broken. The wait continued, dragging on while everyone sweltered in the heat of the coliseum and wondered if the air conditioning had been cut off.

The 17,000-plus crowd became impatient. Some were soothed by recorded music blaring from the loudspeakers; others wandered around trying to find decent seating; sought out friends for shout conversations; smoked; drank; and tossed Frisbees across the floor. And, some overly enthusiastic fans shot firecrackers periodically, the shots reverberating throughout the coliseum and sounding like an afternoon on the firing range.

Those fans on the floor pushed toward the stage in surges, crushing those on the front row to the point that security people, dressed in black T-shirts with Led Zeppelin printed in white across the chest, lifted those who were overcome by the crunch over the unsturdy fence. A concerned announcer kept asking those on the floor to move back and finally wound up playing a game of Simon Says, getting most everyone to take two giant steps backwards to relieve the pressure on the front stage area.

Finally, at 9:17, the house lights dimmed and the roar of the crowd was almost deafening. And when the multi-colored spotlight beams fell upon the stage, there stood John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with John Bonham sitting behind his drums.

Above the din of cheers, screams, whistles and applause, Led Zeppelin opened with "The Song Remains The Same," and the animosity harbored because of the long wait was flushed and the concert spirit returned.

As soon as the group finished their opening number, Plant the lead singer, strutted to center stage and shouted, "Hello Greensboro," sending a ripple of cheers and applause through the coliseum that gave Led Zeppelin a hearty North Carolina welcome. Plant apologized for the lateness, explaining that they had lost some people in New York and had to wait for them before departing for Greensboro — thus the hour-plus delay.

Forgiven, Led Zeppelin launched into what was to be a three-hour and 27-minute concert — a show of sight and sound that left the Greensboro crowd dazed at their charismatic showmanship.

The special effects and lighting were unbelievable. Blue green, red, yellow and white spotlights from above the stage bathed the sweating performers in an eerie aura, blending in with the heavy metal sounds that emanated from the loudspeakers so forcefully that any position in the coliseum was ideal to enjoy the music and bear the words sum by Plant.

While John Paul Jones warmed up for "No Quarter," the fog machine covered the stage with a heavy white cloud'. During his solo bit, laser beams shot upwards and bounced off the high coliseum ceiling.

Jimmy Page had his moments also, performing almost non-stop with his assortment of guitars and showing off his expertise with the electric instruments. And, drummer John Bonham launched into his solo to allow the others a needed break. To add to the effect, Bonham's stage was mechanically thrust from the rear to center stage where fans were able to see him perform.

At 12:10 a.m, Led Zeppelin closed with "Stairway To Heaven" amidst cheers as loud as those at the outlet of the concert. Suddenly the concert was over. But a steady chant mixed with a rhythmic hand-clapping brought the foursome from the wings for an encore.

Here it's been 12 days since seeing and hearing Led Zeppelin, and the ears still ringing, but it was worth it! (E. Marshall, The Journal, June 12, 1977)

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Comments

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what a night

What a night that was. Me and a buddie got there early to party outside and nearly got trampled. The Coliseum didn't have much crowd control and it was the last of the "festival seating" events. So many people lined up outside that the gate gave way and people stormed the front doors. When they were finally open it was shoulder to shoulder. We were so packed together you could pick up your feet and be carried by the crowd. We finally made it in but it was a scary experience.

We managed to get great seats just off the orchestra level maybe 40 feet from the band. Before the show we were laughing at the guys who strung belts together to shimmey down to the lower level. The last one down was a large girl who caused the belt to break and wow she landed hard. Years later she worked as a nurse in my home when the subject of the concert came up. When she said was the one who fell we had a good laugh.

The show was incredible despite the late start. Hard to believe they played as long as they did. I'd seen them in '75 but didn't remember it being anything like this show. I stopped going to concerts after that night, I didn't think it could be topped.