Average: 5 (240 votes)

June 14, 1977

New York, NY US

Madison Square Garden

Setlist:

The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, Over the Hills and Far Away, 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.

Notes:

77 programme

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

Press Review: Led Zeppelin's British rock quartet shows sell-out at Madison Square Gardens

NEW YORK — Even though millions of young people have  managed to acquire it, Led Zeppelin remains an acquired taste. The British rock quartet, which this week opened a run of six long-since sold- out shows at Madison Square Gardens, makes a monstrously loud, deliberately abrasive kind of music far removed not only from the sweet rustlings of classical music, jazz and Tin Pan Alley, but even from the tuneful, rhythmically enlivening rock songs of the 1960s.

That said, this was the best Led Zeppelin show this observer has ever heard, and that includes the sound track from the group's recent concert film. It was certainly superior to the 1975 Garden shows, the last the band had given in New York. That time the guitarist, Jimmy Page, had an injured finger. Since then Led Zeppelin has been off the road, waiting for the singer, Robert Plant, to recover from first an auto accident and then a throat infection.

This tour amounts to a re-assertion of the band's preeminence in the fickle youth market of America, and on its own terms the opening show was certainly a triumphant reassertion. It lasted three hours and  included some 18  songs, depending on how you count — a Led Zeppelin "song" is often an excuse for a meandering instrumental that sucks in all sorts of extraneous material as it goes along and sometimes segues subtly into something altogether different.

The repertory included  much that was predictable, from "The Song Remains the Same" to "Stairway to Heaven" by way of "In My Time of Dying" (dedicated somewhat wickedly to Queen Elizabeth n and her Silver Jubilee): "The Battle of Evermore" (was also dedicated to the British monarch). "No Quarter," "Kashmir," "Achilles Last Stand" and others, But there was also an acoustic set that lightened the heavy-metal load.

The mood of the Garden concert, offstage and on, seemed fresher and less hostile than some Led Zeppelin concerts and crowds of yore. The audience waited more or less docilely for 70 minutes past the scheduled starting time before the band appeared. When it did so, the mood of the musicians was good-natured and almost puckish. And Plant laudably and earnestly attempted to discourage the hurling of firecrackers and cherry bombs.

Quite apart from its sheer massiveness and its mood, this was a first-class Led Zeppelin performance on several objective criteria. Plant's voice sounded fresh throughout, but especially during the acoustic portion, in "Going to California." And it was aided by a whole battery of echo and filter effects.  

Similarly Page's guitar playing, always concerned with coloristic exploration was positively kaleidoscopic in that respect. And his work along with everybody else's was projected forcefully and clearly by the sound system. The other two held up their ends, too. (J. Rockwell, 7.2.77)

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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

What I remember about the firecracker incident and this show.

I was one of the lucky ones who got tickets at face value through the lottery for this show. I went with my friend Billy K. and his sister's boyfriend (Billy and I were fourteen years old and he was our chaperone). We had seats up in the nosebleed section and the four members of Led Zeppelin appeared like tiny figures in the distance.

I remember waiting forever for the show to begin and hearing later that it was due to Plant looking for exactly the right jeans to wear - who the hell knows. I know I was going out of my mind seeing my favorite band tearing through their "hits". My favorite highlight was seeing Jimmy in a triangle of light formed by lasers for his solo "violin bow" moment. Each time he hit the strings with the bow he'd point to a different section of Madison Square Garden and the triangle of light would shift! It was an amazing effect.

When the show was "over" we braced ourselves for another hour (at least) of encores, as we heard about from friends who attended one or more of the six nights previous. From my memory, the band had just gotten back on stage when some asshole threw a firecracker near Jimmy Page (who knows if it was an M-80 or cherry bomb?), which either bounced off the bass drum skin or hit Jimmy Page directly on his right hand, making a very loud report and bright flash when it blew up. Their was a collective OH MY GOD! througout the place as we all thought we were seeing Jimmy's career end before our eyes. Honestly, I thought "They blew his hand OFF!" Moments later, Jimmy was hustled offstage and I watched through binoculars as someone - a doctor? - examined his hand.

After an interminable amount of time Robert Plant walked onstage and stood fuming at the main microphone. I've committed his words to memory: "We've had six nights of peace and music and now some joker has to go and spoil it. I hope whoever is sitting next to that person takes care of him. We're going to do an encore but you people don't deserve it." The rest of the band came out and limped their way through half of "Whole Lotta Love" and then LEFT. We got cheated out of God-knows-what by one asshole with a firecracker. And I hope whoever WAS sitting next to him DID take care of him.