Average: 4.9 (436 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

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

Life changing. Life affirming. Transcendent. Tight but Loose.

Like Mrs. Holloway wrote below, It was an amazing event. Just to be under the same roof as my idols, the titans of all that I hold dear in the world of rock and roll (and rock and roll is my world) is something I'll never forget. I went with a friend Tommy Yow and we snuck up the side of the building and squatted out of sight of the cops that were pushing interlopers and gate crashers back. At 6:30 the doors opened and we bee-lined it into the Coliseum for the best possible seating. By the time we got in the arena the floor was about a quarter full and filling up fast. People were already pushing up front and so Tommy and I decided to get the best seats on the side we could.

What great seats they were too... on Page's side just a couple rows up from the floor. A perfect view.

Then the wait began. We waited. And waited. The crowd was restless and the pushing at the front became so bad that several people had the to be lifted up over the barricade at stage right and onto to the stage. I heard later there were broken ribs and a couple people had to be hospitalized. There were no seats on the floor at rock concerts in those days, kiddies.

This was a rowdy crowd. Not out of control but openly guzzling cheap booze out of milk cartons and smoking literally tons of weed with the lights on and not a cop in sight. The Greensboro Coliseum belonged to the freaks. The arena was like one huge bong.

Finally at around 9:30 the lights flickered off and though the roar came the giant fanfare "D" note to signal the beginning of "The Song Remains The Same". Sudden flashes of light and there was Plant's golden locks at the front of the stage dressed in as the band teased him in "grandma's old knickers". And there was THE Jimmy Page, resplendent in his white dragon outfit twisting and bopping with his doubleneck while peeling off astounding runs from the 12-string neck. The lockstep rhythm section of Jones and Bonham was indeed clicking into overdrive from the start.

I had already known what the setlist was going to be through Hit Parader leaking it in the current issue. I knew that they were going to do either "Over The Hills and Far Away" or "In My Time of Dying", but not both. During "Nobody's Fault But Mine" Page broke a string and his guitar tech did an amazing mid-song guitar switch from his #1 '59 Les Paul to his #2 '60 Les Paul, the one Joe Walsh gave him a few years before. It was also around this in the show that Jimmy rather elegantly vomited over his left shoulder onto the stage. Knowing what I know now it was probably a reaction to a certain substance that Mr. Page enjoyed in those days.

Plants first words to the audience after "Sick Again" were an apology for their lateness and he owed it to the fact they left someone in New York. I suppose it was someone in their entourage - a groupie? a publicist? a photographer? A connection? Ah, the '70's.

As Page strapped on the Danelectro I knew it was gonna be "In My Time of Dying" and Plant described it as having its roots in American Delta Blues. Shortly thereafter when he introduced "Since I've Been Loving You" he said it was more of an "English Blues" not unlike vintage Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall and Alexis Korner.

"No Quarter" lasted what seemed like a half hour with lasers dancing throughout the arena as well as on top of John Paul Jones' piano. The acoustic set had a slight snippet of "Dancing Days". The sudden segue from "Black Mountain Side" into Kashmir was perfectly executed and the highlight of the night. Page's solo section with violin bow, more lasers, smoke and a ring modulator was essentially a shorter part of the mid-section of "Dazed and Confused".

Before "Moby Dick" it was announced that it was Bonzo's Birthday and everyone sang "Happy Birthday" led by Plant. The home stretch of the show was"Moby Dick" (longer than one could imagine), "Achilles Last Stand" & the finale "Stairway".

They took a pretty long break before returning with "Whole Lotta Love" and then "Rock and Roll". Maybe someone else can confirm, but I swear they did "Black Dog" during the encore. I could be wrong.

I still regard this as the best thing I have ever seen even though technically Queen was probably a little more on their game when I saw them a couple years later and it's damned hard to walk away from an NRBQ show without having your butt kicked.

To my knowledge no recording of this show has ever surfaced. I have heard the night before in Landover and I own the excellent bootleg of the July 17th Seattle show on DVD. I probably own every show on this tour in some form or another be it a CD, LP or cassette. You can plainly hear they are not at their live peak owing mainly to Page's sloppy playing due to his lifestyle and Plant's voice was not in top form for most of the tour either. Still, if you can find a copy of "Listen to This Eddie" (LA Forum 1st show) you can hear the old magic. Page is ON FIRE. Bonham is barely contained. Pure insanity.

I am kind of glad that no recording of this show has ever surfaced as I'd hate to have my bubble burst. I was only 14 but I was beyond impressed. I had already seen Kiss, Nugent and Chuck Berry by this time and they didn't rate anywhere close. Over the next couple years I saw all the usual stadium acts (Kiss again, Rush, Alice, Foghat, ELO, etc.) but they all paled. AC/DC with Bon in 1979 was pretty cool but not in the same league.

I did see Jimmy Page on the Outrider tour of 1988 in Landover, MD and many things about that show were holdovers from this show. A guy named Bonham on drums, a blond lead singer and THE EXACT SAME STAGE SET. He did some Zeppelin faves and even ended with an instrumental version of "Stairway".

In some ways I hope they don't tour again. I pain $9 to see them and that was high in the day. I think Kiss was $5.50 the year before. I know I'll get a nosebleed seat for $300 and love it, but it'll never be the same.

Mike Nicholson