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Ottawa Civic Centre - April 14, 1970

  • includes: We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 9:50am
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.7 (43 votes)
April 14, 1970
Ottawa
Canada
ca
Setlist: 

includes: We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love.

Note: 

Press Reviews: Not since the glorious, glamorous, heyday of the Beatles had there been anything like it.

An opening night audience of 19,000 people in Vancouver, surpassing the Beatles’ house record by more than 2,000. In Los Angeles, more than 20,000 fans, and a cheque for $71,000, topping Cream’s one-night record fee of $70,000 at Madison Square Garden.

In Montreal the night before last, a crowd of almost 18,000 – smashing the house record. And then last night, amidst exams and Ottawa’s traditionally small turnouts on weekdays about 8,000 crammed into the civic centre.

Who was causing all the fuss? Who else but Led Zeppelin, steamrollling its way across North America on its fifth tour in 18 months. This jaunt will earn the group in excess of $1.2 million for 26 concerts.

Toronto missed out this tour, and it was our loss. But to be fair, Toronto has seen the Zepp three times previously, while Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa missed out.

The Ottawa gig was not the best the group has ever done, but they were at considerable psychological disadvantage in playing a massive stark concrete arena such as the civic centre. It may be the ideal spot for a hockey game, but it was too artistically cold for a musical event such as this.
 
Billed as an evening with Led Zeppelin, the concert was just that. There were no supporting acts, no intermission. Just two solid hours of smashing, splattering rock music. The sound ripped out of six massive speakers, infiltrating anything which stood, sat or lay in its way.

The repertoire was almost all well-know, which added to the impact. Culled from both the Led Zeppelin albums, it was delivered with style because of the sheer waves of volume with finesse.

POTENT

Of course, there is nothing wrong with volume in rock. Contrary to what most critics claim, volume is used in rock not to cover up lack of expertise but to add sting to the message.

In this area, there has never been a more potent group than Led Zeppelin. Perhaps this is why no other group since the Beatles, or before for that matter, has been able to generate the sort of excitement and energy which Led Zeppelin is offering right now.

Backstage, after the show, it resembled the winners’ dressing room after a Grey Cup final. There were TV cameras and radio microphones, autograph hunters thrusting forth posters and hot dog wrappers, and businessmen tossing in business cards.

Amidst the chaos, I managed to learn from Jimmy Page that a third Led Zeppelin album to be called Zeppelin III, will be released in July.

“It will have more variety than the other two albums,” Page said, “and there’ll be more emphasis on acoustic guitar.

Robert Plant cut in, through the clatter, “and there’ll be some nice vocal harmony things.”

Then the group got into the limousines and headed back to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, where they are occupying the same suite used by John and Yoko.  [4.15.70 / Ottawa Journal / by Ritchie Yorke]

------------------------------------------------------------

Thousands Thrill to Rock Band

Led Zeppelin, one of the world's most foremost rock bands, presented a concert April 14, in the Ottawa Civic Centre, Ottawa, Ont. The concert was sponsored by one of the local music stores, the Treble Cleft. The concert was an immeasurable success and attended by nearly 8,000 young people.

The Zeppelin presented themselves not only as splended musicians but as true showmen. Although the group arrived late, they performed a thrilling show with a highlight of John Bonham's drum solo without drum sticks. Bonham formed such a rapore with the audience it seemed that you and he were alone. Everyone was aware of this & it gave added reason for the standing ovation given him.

Jimmy Page also had a solo on lead guitar. Jimmy showed that he not only a master on lead with his fingers but also with a violin bow. Page's presentation of "Heartbreaker" was completely unbelievable. It was like listening to the song for the first time. Page also received a standing ovation.

John Paul Jones remained somewhat subdued as usual. But his bass was as heavy and as great as always. John Paul,
also spent some time on the electric piano as did Robert Plant.

The showman himself, Bob Plant, seemed to have cut his vocals somewhat but still thrilled the crowd with "Dazed and Confused". Plant's bodymotions set the whole audience loose and relaxed. Robert's harmonica sounded as sweet and mellow as always. The group left the stage with the crowd begging for more.

Love, music, freedom, and peace.

[M.Sanford/Journal 1970]

Notes: 

Press Reviews: Not since the glorious, glamorous, heyday of the Beatles had there been anything like it.

An opening night audience of 19,000 people in Vancouver, surpassing the Beatles’ house record by more than 2,000. In Los Angeles, more than 20,000 fans, and a cheque for $71,000, topping Cream’s one-night record fee of $70,000 at Madison Square Garden.

In Montreal the night before last, a crowd of almost 18,000 – smashing the house record. And then last night, amidst exams and Ottawa’s traditionally small turnouts on weekdays about 8,000 crammed into the civic centre.

Who was causing all the fuss? Who else but Led Zeppelin, steamrollling its way across North America on its fifth tour in 18 months. This jaunt will earn the group in excess of $1.2 million for 26 concerts.

Toronto missed out this tour, and it was our loss. But to be fair, Toronto has seen the Zepp three times previously, while Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa missed out.

The Ottawa gig was not the best the group has ever done, but they were at considerable psychological disadvantage in playing a massive stark concrete arena such as the civic centre. It may be the ideal spot for a hockey game, but it was too artistically cold for a musical event such as this.
 
Billed as an evening with Led Zeppelin, the concert was just that. There were no supporting acts, no intermission. Just two solid hours of smashing, splattering rock music. The sound ripped out of six massive speakers, infiltrating anything which stood, sat or lay in its way.

The repertoire was almost all well-know, which added to the impact. Culled from both the Led Zeppelin albums, it was delivered with style because of the sheer waves of volume with finesse.

POTENT

Of course, there is nothing wrong with volume in rock. Contrary to what most critics claim, volume is used in rock not to cover up lack of expertise but to add sting to the message.

In this area, there has never been a more potent group than Led Zeppelin. Perhaps this is why no other group since the Beatles, or before for that matter, has been able to generate the sort of excitement and energy which Led Zeppelin is offering right now.

Backstage, after the show, it resembled the winners’ dressing room after a Grey Cup final. There were TV cameras and radio microphones, autograph hunters thrusting forth posters and hot dog wrappers, and businessmen tossing in business cards.

Amidst the chaos, I managed to learn from Jimmy Page that a third Led Zeppelin album to be called Zeppelin III, will be released in July.

“It will have more variety than the other two albums,” Page said, “and there’ll be more emphasis on acoustic guitar.

Robert Plant cut in, through the clatter, “and there’ll be some nice vocal harmony things.”

Then the group got into the limousines and headed back to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, where they are occupying the same suite used by John and Yoko.  [4.15.70 / Ottawa Journal / by Ritchie Yorke]

------------------------------------------------------------

Thousands Thrill to Rock Band

Led Zeppelin, one of the world's most foremost rock bands, presented a concert April 14, in the Ottawa Civic Centre, Ottawa, Ont. The concert was sponsored by one of the local music stores, the Treble Cleft. The concert was an immeasurable success and attended by nearly 8,000 young people.

The Zeppelin presented themselves not only as splended musicians but as true showmen. Although the group arrived late, they performed a thrilling show with a highlight of John Bonham's drum solo without drum sticks. Bonham formed such a rapore with the audience it seemed that you and he were alone. Everyone was aware of this & it gave added reason for the standing ovation given him.

Jimmy Page also had a solo on lead guitar. Jimmy showed that he not only a master on lead with his fingers but also with a violin bow. Page's presentation of "Heartbreaker" was completely unbelievable. It was like listening to the song for the first time. Page also received a standing ovation.

John Paul Jones remained somewhat subdued as usual. But his bass was as heavy and as great as always. John Paul,
also spent some time on the electric piano as did Robert Plant.

The showman himself, Bob Plant, seemed to have cut his vocals somewhat but still thrilled the crowd with "Dazed and Confused". Plant's bodymotions set the whole audience loose and relaxed. Robert's harmonica sounded as sweet and mellow as always. The group left the stage with the crowd begging for more.

Love, music, freedom, and peace.

[M.Sanford/Journal 1970]

Setlists: 

includes: We're Gonna Groove, Dazed and Confused, Heartbreaker, Bring It On Home, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love.

Comments

Mike Andrews's picture

I was at a showing of Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day last evening (October 17, 2012) in Ottawa Canada and was blown away by the performance. I decided to look up some of the online reviews, and was stunned to find a web page dedicated to Led Zeppelin's performance in Ottawa back in 1970.

I was at that concert in Ottawa in 1970. It was my 15th birthday and my very first rock concert. Needless to say I have never forgotten that concert and was pleasantly surprised that the review here provided an account of the show just as I remembered it. What I find amazing is that was now over 42 years ago, and last evening I realized just how much of an influence Led Zeppelin has had over the last 4 decades.

An iconic group of superb musicians - and the addition of Jason Bonham for the 2007 London performance was brilliant. I really do hope they tour... even just a little. The world needs to hear more of Led Zeppelin while they still have the chops - and boy do they still have the chops!

Michael LeBlanc's picture

I attended this concert even though I was only 10 years old, yep, I was hooked. I was amazed by Pages guitar skills and Bonhams solo. The group as a whole and individuals stirred me, I was mezzmarized. D&C was amazing especially when he started playing with the bow. I was them three times after that moment once in Montreal and twice back to back in New York. To this day the songs still get to me. My kids love them too.

mike's picture

hi; Still have a picture of Al, Bruce, Rod, Cathey and myself in front of the 98 Olds that my Mom and Al and Cathey's Mom, Audrey used to give us a ride to Ottawa from Cornwall. The Moms went to a movie and we went to see the show of our lives. Rod, Al, Bruce and I were 16 and Cathey was 17. It was first to the seats and we got great seats, towering sets of speakers on either side of the stage. No back up band but they did play the whole Moody Blues album, but I can't remember which one. Most amazing show of their first 2 albums, boy did it rock that night!!! Then the drive back home there was a full moon to top it off and yes, just alittle of 25 or 624 did enhance that wonderful evening, some 37 odd years ago. I heard that tickets (some) went for over 1000.00 for the show the other nite. To think it only cost 4.50 then. Have a great day Mike

Argenteum Astrum's picture

All that remains from this excellent, Pagey dominated show. Robert's voice is crystal clear and the band is slick and fluid, especially Page who pushes it all to the limits, especially in a frenzied Heartbreaker compete with the 1970 Theremin introduction.

Piers Hemmingsen's picture

Really like your web site.

There was also a black and white poster for the Ottawa show in 1970.

Thanks,

Piers Hemmingsen
Toronto

Colin MacDonald (alias Muddhead)'s picture

Awesome to see this website. I just googled the date (which I have always remembered).
Myself and around 8 others travelled up from Cornwall that night. The sounds were great, the atmosphere charged. I remember a police dog (or two) being up at the promenade level behind the stage, as people without tickets tried to get in.

I have to look up some of the folks I went with, we've lost touch.....Colin

bill crozier's picture

Wow, unbelievable, magical, to here the new tracks from Zepplin 3 has made the album my favorite of all time. No other concert has even come close to that night. The night started off ominously though, when we had to walk through a gauntlet of cops holding German Shephard drug dogs. They obivously were family pets because, damn... we made it through. Next year it will be 40 years since that night and I wish there was like, a reunion of sorts in Ottawa. Just to celebrate the fact that some of us are still alive and kicking. I showed my old ticket stub to a new friend of mine, a hardcore Zepplin fan, and he said he would have paid $4000 for a ticket to see the band. I paid $4.50 in 1970. Yes, I still have my ticket, and in perfect shape to, I might add. Hey, thanks for listening or reading. Just wanted to let the guys know that I can't listen to one of their songs without thinking of that night. Bye for now.

P.Robb's picture

Recordings: Led Zeppelin defies the passage of time
Ottawa Citizen

Celebration Day — 3 ½ stars. Led Zeppelin (Warner Music)

April 14, 1970 was the date of the first rock concert I attended. It still may be the best ever on my list, but at my age there’s no point in being too cut and dried. That was day Led Zeppelin blew into town and rocked, I mean ROCKED, the Civic Centre with a selection of songs from their first (and in my opinion still their best) album. Good times, no bad times that night. The boys also showcased material from Led Zeppelin II. Songs like Whole Lotta Love were the driving heart of one of the best bands in the world.

On Dec. 10, 2007, they recreated that feeling in a reunion concert performed before 18,000 fans at the O2 Arena in London. The audience was picked by lottery draw from some 20 million entrants. The night featured the surviving members of the original group, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page. Julian Bonham ably replaced his late dad John on the drum kit. They showed then that they hadn’t lost a step, Plant’s voice still soaring to the stratosphere and Jones delivering a powerful bass line. But the master, as he always has been and still is, judging by the film documentary It Might Get Loud, was Jimmy Page. There are lots of guitar gods but Page, his quiet, calm, enigmatic self on stage, was/is the smoothest in my uneducated opinion. The music just seems to flow through him — on that night so long ago and on this latest disc. There are Blu-ray discs and a DVD to remind you what they looked like five years ago. But the music helps you remember what was and always will be.

— Peter Robb
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Recordings+Zeppelin+defies+pa...

bing's picture

hi colin; remember what record they played for the pre-show? Truly a great show!!! Bing

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