Average: 4.9 (377 votes)

June 19, 1977

San Diego, CA US

Sports Arena

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, Mystery Train, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll.

Notes:

77 programme
 

Click here to view the USA '77 Tour Programme
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Press Review: Led Zeppelin Puts Extra Rock In Its Roll

An amber galaxy of match flames cast a dim glow over the crammed Sports Arena as Led Zeppelin took possession of the stage last night. It was a salute from 14,210 ecstatic fans, a sign of their affection and a symbol of their expectations of a superb rock show.

Then, as guitarist Jimmy Page bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham thundered out the opening chords of The Song Remains the Same, golden-dressed singer Robert Plant threw back his head and grinned broadly, reveling in the crowd’s jubilant welcome and the power of the music. They were opening a concert that would last nearly three hours of wide-ranging often exhilarating, sometimes boring rock and three hours of vividly imaginative visual effects.

At its best, the show captured what is best about rock-n-roll, its power to stir the human juices and inspire feelings of joyous abandon. At other times though, particularly during the several extended, pointless solos indulged in by Page, it dragged and sagged and let its momentum wheeze to a halt.

Plant did much to keep the fire burning, however, strutting like a pouter pigeon about the stage in his shiny white trousers, his burgundy shirt-jacket, open to reveal his chest, his long shaggy hair tossing about like a tree caught in a hurricane. He sang rock and the blues passionately, freely and skillfully. By reaching further into his chest for his voice than he has in the past, he brought increased power to his performance.

Oddly, a high moment in the evening came during a quitter time when Plant and Page performed a blues duo, seated side by side in the middle of the stage,  Plant singing (for him) softly, Page strumming a right bluesy acoustic guitar. They opened the set with Mystery Train, Plant pointedly imitating the classic Elvis Presley version of the song.

But what made Led Zep special? Why was it that this group of Englishmen sold out the Sports Arena, indeed their entire tour, the first day tickets went on sale? Why them and not some other rock group?

Yes, they play louder than the rest but the explanation involves more than volume. Led Zeppelin puts on a better show. It presents the string-haired Page bent low over his guitar, glancing a violin bow off its strings, a green pyramid of laser light shining down on him from above, a red light bathing his lower body from below, smoke swirling all about. It has a sense of dramatic pacing, Page dancing rhythmically from the drum stand to the foot of the stage and back again during a brief lull, then signaling a thunderous resurgence.

It has Jones bathed in green and iridescent red light during a long Elton John-ish piano solo in No Quarter, the green laser swirling through the rafters. Led Zep blasts its audience with a multitude of explosions and storms of glaring white light. Then, Led Zeppelin encores, after a six-minute standing ovation with Whole Lotta Love and plays Rock & Roll at its stirring best. [S.D.U.|6/20/77]

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Comments

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Concert description

This show is wonderful. Jimmy Page is playing some of the best guitar I have ever heard, and despite his back problems during this show, Jonesy is amazing on bass and keyboards. Robert's voice is in very good shape, and the only problem comes from Bonham. He sounds fine sometimes, but other times, his fills are measures behind the rest of the group and his playing is erratic ... it still sounds fine with the songs and makes for some new arrangements, but sometimes he seems lost ... they drop Moby Dick because of this. ("He's got trouble with his back. He's been lying in bed all day. It's about time we had some sordid press. It should be noted that he doesn't just play backgammon!" Plant stated somewhere in the show.) Anyhow, this show is great, and No Quarter, Ten Years Gone and Achilles Last Stand rock! Jimmy is on; this is his show.