June 7, 1977
New York, NY 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, Whole Lotta Love ~ Rock and Roll.
Click here to view the US '77 Tour Programme (flipbook)
Press Reviews: MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, NYC [6/7/77]- The cheers and fireworks were deafening as Led Zeppelin's sold-out six-concert engagement got off to an explosive start here. Newer "heavy metal" rock bands have been racking up impressive attendances and grosses in recent years, but few in operation today can match the crowd impact of these nine-year veterans of the large scale concert tour. Zeppelin's main strength is still the skill of its individual musicians, notably lead guitarist and mentor Jimmy Page. His versatility was demonstrated by facile fingerpicking on the twelve-stringed electric for "The Song Remains The Same," as well as tasteful acoustic backing of Robert Plant's lead vocal on "Going To California," part of an acoustical set that included the very unusual "Battle of Evermore" from the band's [fourth] album.
John Paul Jones is a jack of all trades, playing a solid, reserved bass in addition to various keyboards, strings and bass pedals. His feature of the evening was the dreamy "No Quarter," for which he played synthesized piano in the midst of the effective dry-ice fog.
The concert's major energy contributor was drummer John Bonham, who specialized in imaginative embellishment and occasional telepathic explosions of rhythmic chaos with Page.
Special lighting effects included a pyramid of green lasers surrounding 'a solitary Page, and directed spots which gave Plant the look of a blue elf with flaming I golden hair at the outset of the three-hour set's close, "Stairway To Heaven." The show was not without its weak points, however. The sound was completely unbalanced for the first twenty minutes, creating a very disturbing distortion at high volume. Once the mix was clear, there were additional slow spots, especially lengthy, self-indulgent solos by Page and Bonham.
The group sometimes seemed to be going through its paces rather than giving itself to the audience. Led Zeppelin is bent on becoming one of the world's longest-lived rock groups. However, they conspicuously avoided older material, in even leaving out the classic "Dazed And Confused." Sticking to the current albums will keep Zeppelin fresh with the younger crowd, even at the risk of losing the "grandparents," as Plant humorously referred to us. [by p. dumauro, 6/77]
Press Review: Some rock bands have fans, others have admirers and still others have followers. But Led Zeppelin is the last great rock band who’s minions can be considered true believers.
Believing in Led Zeppelin makes its audience a unified community, which is rare in rock these days. The decline of rock as a social phenomenon and its development as big business has made the likelihood of such sentiment obsolete. Led Zeppelin is the only exception. The nearly 20,000 believers who filled Madison Square Garden light night (June 7th) for the first of six sold-out shows were part of rock’s largest fraternity. A passion for Led Zeppelin is enough to establish communications, if not necessarily friendship, among a large segment of today’s teenagers.
The audience displayed restraint that bordered on saintliness during the one-hour delay before the concert started. No announcement or explanation was offered. But a substantial number of people did show stupidity bordering on sadism in greeting the band with an assault of fireworks that made the Garden seem like Da Nang, The explosions faded after a few songs when singer Robert Plant exerted his moral authority by requesting that those offenders “cool the firecrackers – no more of those exploding things.”
After that, most of the explosions were from the stage, where Led Zeppelin proved that it was worthy of the adoration bestowed upon it. The 8-year old band virtually invented what has become known as heavy-metal rock, an English combination of blues structures and ear-splitting volume. But the band has grown with the times. Rather than relying on its earlier style of rock-to-break-your-kneecaps-with once represented by songs like Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin performed a nearly three-hour set notable for its variety, sophistication and depth.
Each member of this quartet added something special to the band’s sound. Singer Robert Plant, a tall, muscular, golden-haired man whose unbutton shirt proudly revealed the best developed pectoral muscles in rock, sand with his usually effective rasp. He maintained pitch and melody well and exuded by a gregariousness and intensity. Lead guitarist Jimmy Page is one of rock’s legends. His playing was busy, wiry, sometimes scattershot. On In My Time of Dying, he continually shifted the emphasis of the dynamics until he built to an attention-riveting, machine gun-like finish.
No Quarter was the vehicle for versatile John Paul Jones. On that tune, he performed on keyboards, alternating between spacey abstraction and kinetic surges of energy. His performance blended the styles of Keith Jarrett, Huey Smith, Beethoven, and B. Bumble and the Stingers. Drummer John Bonham, meanwhile, played with deceptive subtlety. His cannonball approach made use of empty space on In My Time of Dying, that propelled the other musicians without overpowering them.
So while many in the audience enjoyed the show simply because being there conferred status on the high school ladder, Zeppelin pleased its older fans by playing with both complexity and poignance. (D. Marsh, Newsday- June 1977)