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Riverfront Coliseum - April 20, 1977

  • 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, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 7:55pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.9 (111 votes)
April 20, 1977
Cincinnati
OH
United States
us
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, 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, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.

Note: 
77 programme

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


Press Reports: ‘Brilliance, confusion’ mark Zeppelin show

 As Led Zeppelin neared the end of its three-hour set Wednesday night, lead vocalist Robert Plant dedicated a song to “the atmosphere we’ve reached here tonight.” He was referring to the fact that no plate glass windows had been smashed and only ,one firecracker had exploded up to that point at the Coliseum concert.

All too often, the same fans that come to hear Plant and Zeppelin sing about lovely ladies with flowers in their hair and the pleasures of a walk down a country lane, end up throwing rocks at windows and policemen and tossing bottles and fireworks among their “brothers” in the audience. But Wednesday’s capacity crowd was fairly well-behaved and appreciative of this English band that is approaching a decade in existence. It even allowed the Zep to sit down and perform a tasteful acoustic set, unmolested by the usual burnt-out screams of “rock n’ roll!!” and “play ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ man!!”

Jimmy Page, master of any instrument that has strings on it, donned a mandolin; John Paul Jones handled acoustic guitar, John Bonham banged on a tambourine; and Plant, whose voice is a formidable instrument in itself, sang with a piercing clarity and confidence reminiscent of years gone by.

The acoustic set included admirable versions of “Going to California,” “Black Country Woman,” “The Battle of Evermore” and “Bron-y-aur Stomp.” In the midst of it all, Plant remarked, “This is beginning to feel good, man.”
This veteran of four Led Zeppelin tours was glad to see the group abandon the greatest hits concert format of 1973 and 1975, in favor of a well-rounded display of both commercially successful and fairly obscure selections.
Plant told the-audience, “We’ve been looking at some of the stuff that we didn’t feel we could do on stage in the past and have decided to have a go at it this time.”

Unfortunately, a muddy, blaring sound system ruined many of the electric rockers of the evening. The band opened the concert with a perfectly dreadful version of “The Song Remains the Same,” which was sabotaged by a distorted mechanical delivery.

Zeppelin later beat “Achilles Last Stand,” a driving piece from “Presence,” into the ground. However a powerful rendition of “Kashmire,” perhaps the best executed song of the night, and Page’s masterful slide on “In My Time of Dying” balanced the band’s performance.
 
Other rockers that stood out where “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” and “Sick Again,” which featured some classic Plant sexual gyrations and lusting vocals about “L.A. queens” and 16-year-olds with “lips like cherries...locked up in the hotel room every night.”  

Later, as an eerie cloudlike fog encompassed the stage, “No Quarter” showcased the keyboard and synthesizer expertise of Jones. The laser show which featured during “No Quarter” proved to be one of the more advanced displays on the rock stage today.

“Bonzo” Bonham also delivered a driving freight train type of drum solo, running his skins and tympanies through a synthesizer. It climaxed with an attack on a gong standing behind Bonham’s drooglike body. Overall, Zeppelin’s performance alternated between periods of brillance and confusion. The group’s unique concert format did illustrate that the Zep epitomizes a dying breed in the world of rock n’ roll for large audiences— a band that can sit down and play sweet acoustic music and then stand up to hit you in the face with blistering rock n’ roll.  [By L.RODGERS / Stater]

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

Zeppelin fans cause 2nd Cincy riot
For the second time in three days police had to battle fans of the British rock group "Led Zeppelin," but police doubled their manpower and kept trouble at a minimum here yesterday.

An 18-year-old Dayton fan plunged 20 feet to a concrete ramp while trying to scale a wall, police said. Stanley Blair was reported in fair condition at Cincinnati hospital. Asst City Manager Henry Sandman told the Cincinnati City Council that 80 police officers, paid for by the Cincinnati Coliseum, will be used hereafter to prevent outbreaks of trouble. (The Telegram, April 21, 1977)

Notes: 
77 programme

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


Press Report: Zeppelin fans cause 2nd Cincy riot

For the second time in three days police had to battle fans of the British rock group "Led Zeppelin," but police doubled their manpower and kept trouble at a minimum here yesterday.

An 18-year-old Dayton fan plunged 20 feet to a concrete ramp while trying to scale a wall, police said. Stanley Blair was reported in fair condition at Cincinnati hospital. Asst City Manager Henry Sandman told the Cincinnati City Council that 80 police officers, paid for by the Cincinnati Coliseum, will be used hereafter to prevent outbreaks of trouble. (The Telegram, April 21, 1977)

 

Setlists: 

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, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.

Comments

Kerry Onyett's picture

We attended this performance as high school seniors. Aware of the "riots" the night before during the sound check, we were well aware of the potential for danger. Plus the Reds were playing the Dodgers next door in a sold out doubleheader so it was a madhouse on the riverfront. I remember after the band burst onto stage wearing sunglasses, Robert Plant asked the standing room only crowd to settle down and not move around saying the concert would go better if we did so. As he walked to the side of the stage, we could hear him say somewhat under his breath, "I bet you won't." The audience took his advice and after 2 more songs, he said with a smile, "See, I told you the show would go better!" Zeppelin proceeded to play 3 hours non stop. Plant said this was their acoustical set and I remember them sitting on stools 4 in a row performing their slower stuff. Also remember during "Moby Dick" how amazing it was seeing John Bonham playing and slapping the crash symbols with his bear hands. That was 30 years ago and I've yet to see a better concert. Thank you gentlemen!

Name's picture

I was 15 years old that night as a concert attendee and am writing memoirs of that night. I have always wanted to write about that incredible first night, and especially now in light of their reunion concert in London. I love Led Zep and have newfound appreciation of their influence world wide after decades; but then; I already knew. I and my friends who had the opportunity to attend that show all have our own incredible stories to share while we participated in history in the making. I am now a 40 plus year old with a degree in art; and there is no doubt in my mind that centuries from now, rock and roll will be noted as a significant movement in world culture, and Led Zep will be the ones mentioned as the forerunners as the greatest rock band of all time. So much so, that perhaps they don't even realize it. Perhaps in light of the frenzy of their undying popularity they will. I have much more to say about this and would like to hear any feedback. L.M.

r brown's picture

i was there the night before it was really wild people who didnt have a ticket was throwing anything at the police to try to get in we left had tickets for the second show what a great show it was 3 hours of rock n roll had to stand on my seat hafe the show because everyone else was standing the and it was great me and my buddy was listing to wtue and the said zep was coming to chicago we was going to get tickets when they said bonham died. rip zepplin#1

Argenteum Astrum's picture

This is all that exists from this show that remembered the worst incident in the band's whole career - due to rowdy audience a young boy was pushed from stadium's level straight into the street, where he was stuck by a car accidentally and died. Robert's voice is very powerful and Kashmir rocks really hard, and the entrance into it is explosive. Jimmy also plays the riff from Royal Orleans but unfortunetally this is taken no further.

Ava's picture

I remember that day like it was yesterday-and woe because the last chance I would have to see them like that, with John. It was the last night of only two nights. My mother still advised against my going with my friend Kim to see our favorite band. 15. Didn't even have tickets but yes, she got in-blond with big blue eyes. Drugs. yes. music, yes. Page and Plant-YES. We were grown up little girls. I was not encouraged to go. I am sure it was a night Kim never forgot. It was like a ticking time bomb watching the clock strike each hour I knew they were playing. that music was my heart beat. But the Who had played Riverfront recently and there was a tragedy. Everyone believed it was The Colliseum's fault that the emergency exits were chained or something. With Zeppelin more crowd trouble was expected, but with the exception of the climber it turned out okay. After this concerts changed. No other generation could expect crowds and freedom for intimacy again. Real partying. Everafter it was reserved seats and metal detectors. The Dayton man who fell I didn't know but we heard about it and Kim saw it happen. At first everyone thought he was dead. Zeppelin was King. I always get wry faces when I tell people that its funny but in England, Erik Clapton is God but in The States, Jimmy Page is God. Dayton, Ohio, mostly factory kids and freaks, but Zeppelin was our music the way the Beatles were for the previous generation and Chubby Checker, etc, my mom's generation before that. With two arenas, Dayton and Hara, Dayton was made to rock! A way out without having to leave home. Every dime saved or stolen was used for a concert tickets or merchandise. But Zeppelin was too big for Dayton. One of the first records my mother gave me was Stairway to Heaven. Kim didn't have to give me a blow by blow I knew the music by heart and I counted the concert hour to hour. I really only regretted not being able to see John. I have seen the others since. Still the best but not the same. I would have gone anyway if I had known that Led Zeppelin was going to be the last great rock band. The greatest and last.

Phil's picture

It was two weeks before my 15th birthday...me and my best friend Jim Graham found ourselves on the floor of the colisium about 10 yards from the stage eyeball to eyeball with Page and Plant...as the laser lights danced on the ceiling of the colisium during John Paul Jone's extended piano solo I recall having an out-of-body-experience where I forgot where I was or that I was even in a body for a moment or so... Jim and I saw The Song Remains the Same movie at the Piqua Cinema about 3 times the previous fall...we knew all 8 LZ albums inside and out..and now we were actually face to face with Led Zeppelin...(my brother Pat was then a student at Xavier University and he scored us tickets)...April 20th, 1977 still rates as one of the 10 best days of my entire life...it was like a divine revelation and influenced me to become a lifetime student of music and mastering the guitar...in the glow of our first Led Zeppelin concert we could never have imagined that this would be their last US tour and that tragedy was in their future.

phil's picture

I wasn't smoking dope yet so I trust my memory of this Zep conncert...standing tightly packed on the plaza waiting for the doors to open noticing a spot where no one was standing and making our way over to discover a large patch of fresh vomit that looked like dinner and smelled like alcohol...approaching the turnstyle and watching a guy without a ticket shove the security person taking tickets out of his way and quickly disappearing inside...quickly making our way down the steps onto the floor of the colisium and not stopping until we were about 20 ft from the stagefront...seeing Jimmy in a white suit in the dim light grabbing a D chord on the 12 string neck before the lights blazed on to open the show with The Song Remains the Same...noticing that Jimmy, Robert, John Paul and Bonzo were all wearing sunglasses on that opening song...picking my feet up off the floor once the show started and not falling as we were so tightly packed...feeling a nice pair of breast being pressed into my back as were so tightly packed...John Paul Jones' grand piano solo in No Quarter including a few phrases of the Nutrocker from ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition album...a wet T-shirt from the crowd landing on Jimmy Page's Telecaster during Ten Years Gone with Jimmy casually tossing it aside...In My Time of Dying as loud, piercing and painful...surprised as Jimmy jumped up off his chair and we were suddenly into the onslaught of Kashmir...thinking the show had already peaked, Achille's Last Stand took us over the top...for the Trampled Underfoot encore it appeared to me that as the roadie handed Jimmy the cable to plug into his Les Paul the roadie neglected to take the Marshall amp off of standbye and all I could hear was keys, drums and vocals...no guitar...when the song ended I thought it looked like Pagey was glaring angrily as he handed his guitar to the roadie and the roadie giving a sheepish apologetic shrug back...my friend Jim's parents picking us up after the show and then breaking down on the freeway on our way out of Cincinnati...Cincinnati police officer bringing us a few bottles of transmission fluid to get us on our way...the cop throwing the empty plastic bottles over a barrier wall next to the freeway...getting back to Piqua and waking my little brother Chuck up to tell him about the show until I woke my mom up and she yelled at us to go to sleep!

cinci91H's picture

"But the Who had played Riverfront recently and there was a tragedy. Everyone believed it was The Colliseum's fault that the emergency exits were chained or something."

^^

Ugh, the fateful Who concert happened on Dec 3, 1979, 2 years and 8 months later Not just before this April 20, 1977 Led Zeppelin concert.
Prior to that Who Concert in 1979, the Who had not played near or in Cincinnati in four years.

Perry LaSpina's picture

420, this concert was "AWESOME"... I just turned 18, just got married, and worked by day at Don Kremer Lincoln/Mercury in Dayton and a student at night and lived in nearby Kettering at 820 Big Hill Road. My wife and her family were wealthy and I had to BEG her for us to attend this concert!!! Since her family owned the local ROCK & ROLL radio station, we were able to attend the front row posing as "MEDIA" for the station, which was all arranged in advance. At 5:00pm we were off to the concert in the family limosine with 2 "BODYGUARDS" in tow, as we knew it would be PANDEMONIUM at the colliseum with a small RIOT there the previous night, as well as a Reds/Dodger game at the stadium next-door. After dinner across the Ohio River in Covington Ky, we arrived at the concert at 7:20 and was able to get special access to the colliseum before the general public. We could see local Cincy cops dressed in full "RIOT GEAR", with helmets, shields, and batons READY for ANYTHING to happen. After getting some refreshments before heading to our seats, we saw them open the doors for the general public, after doing so, we could see people CRAWLING on top of people standing in line to get in!!! We, with bodybodyguards in tow, quickly headed to our seats just off to the right-side of center-stage. As soon as the concert started off with "The Song Remains The Same" and the lights went out, the colliseum reaked of Marijuana, Hashish, and Thai-Stick... Luckily, we did smoke at a young age, or we would have had NO other choice but to INHALE the SMOKE and get HIGH anyway. Plant's vocals were INCREDABLE, Bonzo played the drums soo fast with his "BARE HANDS" that it was all a BLUR, Jone's on the keyboards was "FANTASTIC", Page playing the double-neck was simply "AMAZING", but his playing was NOT flawless, as we ALL know he was experimenting with "HEROIN" at the time and it showed!!! Little did we know that this would be the LAST ZEP tour in the U.S.A. and fortunately for us we were part of it. It was on this night, that we realized Led Zeppelin was and will ALWAYS be NUMERO UNO (#1) in the world of Rock & Roll!!! They were just given Kennedy Center HONOR AWARDS the other night in Washington D.C., along with Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, and David Letterman, which was long overdue!!! HAIL to the KINGS of Rock & Roll 4-EVER!!! This evening was 1 of the BEST-TIMES of my LIFE and I will CHERISH that 3-hours 4-ever!!! I suffered a HEARING LOSS that NIGHT and am still partially DEAF in 1 ear, but I don't REGRET it 1 bit and would do it again at 55-yrs old!!! I am NO longer married, but I will NEVER forget this CONCERT and have told THOUSANDS of PEOPLE about this concert my WHOLE-LIFE!!!

Paul D.'s picture

I was 12 years old that year and was already a huge fan. I still have my yearbook photo from that year in which I wore a Zeppelin t-shirt. I had three older brothers and one of them had a killer stereo that I vividly remember cranking out Physical Graffiti that year as it was my favorite album at the time. I had asked my parents(not exactly the rock and roll types) if I could go to the first show and they had said no but I was still nagging at them that night to go to the second show. Unfortunately the fans made the news by breaking the glass doors trying to crash their way in thus crushing any chance I may have had. I remember someone telling me a story that the crowd had thrown a three-wheeled motorcycle off the bridge onto Fort Washington Way. Does anyone know if this is true? Anyway, I had a teacher the next year in 8th grade who also worked as an usher for the Coliseum and the Stadium and ran into him like 15 years later at a Bengals game and asked him who he thought was the best artist he had ever seen while working as an usher and he said by far it was Led Zeppelin and he didnt even like rock music. Hearing that just made it hurt all over again that I had to miss that tour. I did get to see The Who two years later and what a story that was. Oh well I did see the Page/Plant Tour so I guess that will have to do for my Zepp memories but Ohh what a set list I missed in '77 that week.

Stevil's picture

I was at the Coliseum for The Who on Dec. 3rd 1979. Was waiting outside in the crowd, actually pulled my feet up off of the ground and never fell, twice. The whole incident could have been avoided if the would ha d more doors opend ! They started doing sound checks, and everyone thought the band was going on, then the pandimonium ensued.
Pleas say a prayer for the 11 lives lost that night,and for their survivors.
It took a long time to have another concert at that site. The next show was ZZ Top, there were almost as many cops there as fans. The days of buying anything you wanted in the john was over.
Thanks !

Name John's picture

L.M.
I am glad I found this web-site, and read your article. I didn't "discover" Led until 1985, and when I got hooked, it was hook, line and sinker! When I got into 80's hard-rock and loved it, I liked Motley Crue, Wasp, and Whitesnake. also Van-Halen, and Kiss. I knew something was lacking. I dug deeper, found Deep-purple, still wasn't "it". Found Aerosmith, nice comeback, great band, still looking for more! To me, i was still looking for someone to fill that void after Elvis and the Beatles. When I found Zep, to me, they are Elvis and The Beatles in one awesome hard-rocking package! I am too young to have ever seen them live. I was born Dec, 8 1968. Pretty much when Zep was born. I saw P/P in Philly/2nd show 1995, and P/P in Portland Or. 1998. My journey w/ Zep started w/ TSRTS soundtrack. then IV, I and II and III, and the rest followed. Physical graffiti killed me, and Presence had Achilles, and Nobody's Fault. Once I wore out all the studio stuff, and TSRTS soundtrack and Video, and read Hammer of the Gods several times, I finally found Bootlegs. I don't listen to studio Zep anymore even though most of it is "inpeccable", and I won't watch or listen to TSRTS. I only watch or listen to Boots. The 2 most Awesome concerts I watched in my days were Whitesnake,87 and 88, and Guns and Roses 1990? Right before Use your Illusions came out. I was in Germany in the ARMY. Outdoors at some Airfield, W/ over 70,000 people in attendance. And we were close to the stage! I have seen Van-Halen video's, Rush video's, Black Sabbath video's, Ozzy live, and NOTHING touches LED ZEPPELIN! They have the most awesome catalog of music(timeless), There shows were awesome even when they were bad, and the "Best one's" can't be touched by any other band! And nobody could ever improvise like them. I guess that's why there is such a demand for their bootlegs. Every "era" has something so completely different and awe-inspiring about them. in my opinion TSRTS didn't represent Led Zeppelin very well at all. Seeing and hearing all of these wonderful boots and video's/DVD's, previous and subsequent to TSRTS really show what Zep was all about! This may have seemed "lengthy" or "obsessive", but I don't have anybody to talk to about this stuff. Just my bootleg source, and people on this web-site! My wife loves country(Garth Brooks), and my daughters 11, 9, and 2 aren't impressed! Hope to hear back from you!

John

Richard Johnson's picture

I was there that night and saw a group of people pick up a police motorcycle and throw it over the side of the walkway onto the highway below. It was a three wheeler that had been left unattended. I also saw someone climbing up a downspout on the side of the Collisium building. He fell 20 feet or so and was injured.
I went to the concert with a friend and we got there only 20 minutes before the scheduled opening of the Collisium doors. I noticed as we walked closer to the stadium that the crowd outside was enormous and I thought there was no way that many people could to fit inside. As it turned out the timing of our arrival was perfect. As we walked towards the building I could see attendants and security people gathering just inside the glass doors. We were only about 100 feet away when the doors were opened and the crowd began funneling through several pairs of glass doors. The crowd was pushing us towards the entrances and it was so tight it was uncomfortable trying to breathe. After we made it past security we ran down the corridor to the right hoping to find a less crowded set of stairs down to the arena floor. I heard breaking glass ahead and saw several security guards rush to stop someone from coming in through the smashed glass in a door not intended as an entrance that night. The guards pulled out their clubs and stood beside the broken glass door. As someone tried to duck inside under the door's push bar they were greeted with whacks from the security guards' clubs. The guards grabbed two people and drug them off while other security guards stood sentry at the broken door. They placed a trash barrel in front of the door as an obstacle to anyone else trying to get in. Several tried but they were repelled by the guards and their clubs. All his transpired in but a few seconds as we rushed down the corridor to find our way into the concert hall.

The concert itself was the best I've ever been to. From the opening number it was such a sight and sound feast. When they first started to play they couldn't be seen in the dry ice fog. The first person that appeared through the fog was Bonzo with his entire drum kit moving on a pod. As the fog dispersed the others in the band appeared. The set could not have been better. Everything they played that night brought the house down. Their stage presense was beyond superlatives. The lasar lights writing Zeppelin on the ceiling, the grand piano, the violin bow, the moving drum pod. And pot smoking was everywhere and everyone shared and passed joints along.

billy's picture

Yes you are correct. The ill fated Cinci Who concert was in 1979 after Keith Moon had passed & Kenney Jones took over drum duties. I was surprised to read that people were trying to play with history here & "crowbarring" the Who incident back 2 years in time to somehow influence the Zep show in 77. Oh well. People do funny things with their "memory" or lack thereof.

Mark's picture

Jim Graham, went to Boone Co High?

scott jarrell's picture

I knew the man who fell off the wall. His name was steve blair not stanley. The reason he was not killed or dead was he was drinking old grand whiskey and on Roher 714,s., He rode down with 13 people from dayton. But only four of us had tickets for the show. ticket went for 8.50. Bottom line led zepplin greatest rock and roll band hands down...........................................

Jeff E's picture

I saw them on the 2nd Night and it was the highlight of my illustrious rock concert career.  I was 14 and these guys were Gods to me.  The Song Remains the Same (movie) had come out the previous fall and from that point forward there was no other band that compared to Zeppelin for me.  There are so many memories that I have from that night that are still crystal clear in my head...... The opening notes of TSRTS, Page kicking his chair backstage before Kashmir, the violin bow..... the crowd on the floor looking like the "Ocean" during Rock and Roll......, I still get chills.

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Comments

Hammer of the Gods by Jeff E (not verified)
Jim Graham, went to Boone Co by Mark (not verified)
dayton man by scott jarrell (not verified)
"The Last Hurrah" by Perry LaSpina (not verified)
i was there the night before by r brown (not verified)
The Who Tragedy by Stevil (not verified)
"But the Who had played by cinci91H (not verified)
Dayton man down by Ava (not verified)
Zeppelin 1977 by Paul D. (not verified)
The Mighty Zep! by Name John (not verified)
Cincinnati Show #2 by Kerry Onyett (not verified)
the concert that night by Name (not verified)