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Chicago Stadium - April 6, 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 - 7:22pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.6 (151 votes)
April 6, 1977
Chicago
IL
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)

Review excerpt: Led Zeppelin’s sheer power, ability and show of integrity delight 20,000 fans in Stadium concert

For their last few tours, spaced at two-year intervals, their concerts have become  events, a phenomenon which no doubt strikes some as incomprehensible. But I’d bet the 20,000 or so people who turned up at the Chicago Stadium Wednesday night for the first of four shows the band is doing there would find their popularity as credible as the group is incredible in its steamroller approach to rock and blues.

This is a band, for instance, that plays for three hours straight, with few dull moments once it gets rolling. Wednesday, it took a couple of songs; the band tends to build to a cumulative effect rather than launching all of its firepower at once.

Part way into the show lead singer Robert Plant, ace guitarist Jimmy Page, keyboard and bass player John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham sat in a peaceful row across the front of the stage, doing a segment of quieter ballads in a folky, medieval mood. It was a striking change of pace from what had gone before and would come after, which was the sort of power-rock, extremely loud with a blues base, that Zeppelin handles so well.

It was, in short, the usual Led Zeppelin show – a lot of music handled well, and very little bull. Plant in fact was the only member of the group who spoke at all, and then only briefly, though the group’s ambience is far from aloof. But it’s clear that they’re there for one main purpose: to create fireworks. And speaking of that, Plant would just as soon the audience left that sort of thing to Led Zeppelin. (ChicagoTribune, April ’77)

Notes: 

77 programme

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

Review excerpt: Led Zeppelin’s sheer power, ability and show of integrity delight 20,000 fans in Stadium concert

For their last few tours, spaced at two-year intervals, their concerts have become  events, a phenomenon which no doubt strikes some as incomprehensible. But I’d bet the 20,000 or so people who turned up at the Chicago Stadium Wednesday night for the first of four shows the band is doing there would find their popularity as credible as the group is incredible in its steamroller approach to rock and blues.

This is a band, for instance, that plays for three hours straight, with few dull moments once it gets rolling. Wednesday, it took a couple of songs; the band tends to build to a cumulative effect rather than launching all of its firepower at once.

Part way into the show lead singer Robert Plant, ace guitarist Jimmy Page, keyboard and bass player John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham sat in a peaceful row across the front of the stage, doing a segment of quieter ballads in a folky, medieval mood. It was a striking change of pace from what had gone before and would come after, which was the sort of power-rock, extremely loud with a blues base, that Zeppelin handles so well.

It was, in short, the usual Led Zeppelin show – a lot of music handled well, and very little bull. Plant in fact was the only member of the group who spoke at all, and then only briefly, though the group’s ambience is far from aloof. But it’s clear that they’re there for one main purpose: to create fireworks. And speaking of that, Plant would just as soon the audience left that sort of thing to Led Zeppelin. (ChicagoTribune, April ’77)

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

Don (Bud) Davito's picture

I was there, it was awesome, April 6th, 1977 Chicago Stadium.......Don (Bud) Davito....My friends know me as Bud. Huge Zep fan and always will be. I,m posting this message because some people only know me as "Bud" and I didn't want there to be any confusion if they read my first message and were wondering, is that "Bud" ? Yes it was me "Bud" or "Don" whatever name you know me by. Some people asked me about it so I am explaining it to all who may have been wondering in this message. LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mick Thomas's picture

I was at this show. What I remember most was the lights coming up from the floor, it was mesmerizing....

Al Moran's picture

Well I was a Civilan at my last show . Now I am stationed at Great Lakes Naval Base or as we called it Great Mistakes. I was at the Venue a Week before to see Boston but this is a far better Band . .Robert was of course displeased with certain Idiots throwing Firecrackers The Bands Way.Well after Earls Court can this show meet the hype / expectations I had set for it.Well I have to say no but it is Zeppelin and every show is pretty damn good and after a Boston show well I like Boston but they are not even a good opening act for Led Zeppelin. They did go into one of my favorites with the Rover , and of course Sick Again which I love.Nobody's Fault but mine kicks butt tonight.Jimmy is on fire as always maybe a little more than usual.I even really enjoyed the acoustic Set tonight.There were a few issues but it was good. I thought Trampled Underfoot was superb super awesome etc great way to end a perfect night. Guess what now its take my 75 blue Camero back to Great Mistakes have a test in the AM .War is Hell People.

Argenteum Astrum's picture

Opening night for the four night stand in Chicago and beginning of the problems with firecrackers that disorganised the band. Plant said before any note was played: "Listen! Before we start, can we ask you one thing? Can you stop throwing those firecrackers? We want to give you a lot of music, but we're not going to fight with firecrackers? Ok?! Cool it with the explosives." After some scary firecracker blasts and shouts of protest from Robert, the show begins. It is quite good. Jimmy's solo in Since I've Been Loving You is excellent. He really tortures his guitar, making it scream and moan. Jimmy actually speaks during the acoustic section ("Better to live one day as a king, than a thousand years as a peasant."), and the ending of the show is kind of sloppy. Jimmy massacres Ten Years Gone, has problems with his instrument during White Summer/Black Mountain Side and the solo and Achilles Last Stand are rushed and violent. Fairly strong show for the 2nd or 3rd one of the tour, and a strong opening nonetheless for Chicago, although disaster is around the corner three nights late.

Joe Schmidt's picture

I write this to commemorate the 1977 Led Zeppelin U.S. Tour. To honor the Zeppelin legacy, and give an insight into the shows I experienced.
 The date is Wednesday, April 6th, 1977. Led Zeppelin are to open tonight at the Chicago Stadium, in the first of a series of four shows. To give reference, I had just turned 17 a week prior and was a devout and rabid Zeppelin freak. My Zeppelin collection was rapidly building, including several bootlegs. The film The Song Remains The Same had just popped in October 1976. So I was very aware of their live capabilities.
 Purchasing tickets for the shows was a story in itself. My friends and I decided to sleep overnight at the local Flipside, which was the Ticketron outlet. It was extreme. It was the 1970's. When the tickets went on sale, it became a literal war! Broken doors, shattered glass, fighting and fainting girls! I used my football skills to emerge 10th in line at the ticket dispenser. I was rewarded with Box Seats - Club Circle. The seats I possessed provided a total and unobstructed view of the complete stage. Raised seats just above the main floor. Yes, there is a God!
  It was a cold evening the night of the April 6th show. The Chicago Stadium was in a very rough part of town and you had to be on your toes. The t-shirt hawkers were out in full force so I nabbed two real fine Zeppelin shirts. As I entered the facility, I could barely contain myself. There was Jimmy's speaker cabinet with the ZoSo symbol! Bonham had a new and beautiful gold metallic kit, waiting in ready, high atop his riser. The stage appeared sharp and clean with banks of lights and the P.A. hung aerially.
 I found my seats and then wandered up the main floor aisle where the lighting man sat. This guy greatly resembled Keith Emerson. His eyes were red, glazed and glassy.  I asked him about the set. He informed me Rock + Roll would not be the opener. It's going to be The Song Remains The Same. He added that Page was doing a wild version of Dazed and Confused with special lighting effects. As I walked back to my seat, toilet paper rolls flew off the balconies amid a blue-grey haze from the sweet smoke. Just as I sat in my seat the lights were cut. 
  Showtime! Pandemonium ensued. It's fucking Zeppelin!  I added my own banshee wail to the moment. The spotlight hits Robert Plant. The firecrackers ignite  prompting Robert to exclaim " Woa! Woa! Woa! Before we start can you please stop the firecrackers!" Just then Jimmy Page appears, turned toward Bonham . He's in white satin with a dragon design on his shirt's back. No design on his satin pants. Those were added later in the tour. As Page faces the audience I see him with a cigarette dangling from his mouth. He's pacing with nervous energy. Up until that point I had never seen a photo of Jimmy smoking. I was surprised.
 Page is strapped up with his doubleneck. The opening D- note is struck, the full spotlight hits Jimmy and it's off to the races.  On one knee, Jimmy slides over to Jonesy and JPJ  bows his bass toward Pagey. Robert's throwing moves and shapes in front of Page's Marshalls as Bonzo unleashes his percussive fury. This rendition is very solid. Robert's voice sounds very clear and strong. Jimmy's a little sticky on some notes and Bonham plays on too long at the end bit. Which did mess up the segue to The Rover. It came off somewhat disjointed.  Colored light changes punctuate the four opening chord strikes of Sick Again. As the song kicks in, I notice their doing it in a slower and funkier arrangement. Page's solo crawls out of the stew. Short and fiery. The ending is on the money.  The strong ending elicits a wild audience response. Robert then reiterates to the crowd- " Cool the explosives!" Adding that the last time they played Chicago was 1973. I thought to myself. That isn't correct. It was 1975.
 The harmonized opening lick of Nobody's Fault But Mine soars across the Stadium. Now on the Les Paul, Page's E7 th chord overhang and arm sweep captivating the masses. As Page and Plant play in unison. Bonham and Jones are backlit with spotlights as they play their counterpoint rhythm. Hot Stuff!  But, Robert's harmonica solo is indecipherable and Jimmy's lead bears no relation to the studio version.The solos sound very early tour. Damn.
   In My Time Of Dying slithers out of Page's Danelectro as the concert progresses. There are some real problems with this one tonight. The missed breaks are glaringly obvious. During the fast part they kept trying to find a way out of it. Slop. Robert then goes into a homily about Chicago Blues legends Buddy Guy, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters.
  Blue light solely envelopes Page as he picks out the intro of Since I've Been Loving You. Crystalline notes that were chilling! Robert sounding much better than 1975. Fuck it! I'm going to the front! I start my trudge up to the stage. I was evasive and agile, my adrenaline surging as I approached the stage barrier. There were people shooting photos , so I nestled in with them. Right in front of me is Jimmy Page blasting out the climactic solo of SIBLY . High register notes to discordant low bends.  John Bonham kicking it in his tuxedo t- shirt. My chest cavity being pummeled by the force of the band. Plant hollers out- " Jimmy Page! Guitar!"
 Directly in front of me, Jimmy acknowledges the crowd as he sits on Bonham's drum riser drinking a Heineken. Robert introduces Jonesy as " The most debonair member of the band. He can speak two languages. Featuring John Paul Jones on keyboard.. No Quarter!" Page stands up and walks over to his theramin. He throws a karate chop in front of it emitting a sonic Woop! Woop! The dry ice filters in, shrouding the first 15 rows. Jonesy in emerald light plays the opening theme. Page and Bonham fall in powerfully. Jimmy's wah wah piercing through it all. Jones hints at Rachmaninov, as green lasers flutter behind him. As JPJ  does his solo, Jimmy and Robert are 20 feet from me. They were having a drink and chatting near Page's theramin. They seem to be laughing about something. Then it's on to the main improv guitar solo. Jones plays the transition as Bonzo lays into a mid tempo feel.  Seeing Pagey so close, jabbing at chords as his body reflected every note he emitted. Switching pick ups to emphasize tone shifts and dynamics. He was dancing, slashing and hypnotizing. At the solo's finale, I'm shooed out of the front and return to my seat. As I walk back, the last notes of No Quarter expire. What an experience!
   Robert admits to some band rustiness when he introduces Ten Years Gone - " This is a thing that we never did until 3 weeks ago. And we're still running through it. As we are through everything." Out comes the now famous Telecaster B- Bender. Page twangs out a few notes.  JPJ plays 12- string acoustic. Not yet in ownership of his triple- neck. Bass pedals at his feet. Jimmy and Jonesy are loud and full, crashing out the melodic riff.  Even more powerful as Bonham enters. Page's middle solo is a mess. Missed and clanging notes. Robert sounds fantastic on this song!  Great choice Guys!
  Bonham strolls out from behind his kit. Plant announces - " To the front of the stage for the 1st time. John Bonham. Looking very suave. In his 2- piece tuxedo."  Four chairs are set up as the Zeppelin take their seats. But the monitors are feeding back and JPJ's guitar is out of tune. There'a a lull in the action to fix matters, and the crowd does become restless. Jimmy , now on mandolin, strums out the opening notes of Battle of Evermore. It was a riveting performance, especially the swirling jam.
The monitor system from hell continues to plague the acoustic set. Robert is now clearly agitated - " We have an acoustic guitar on this number gents. So turn the bloody thing up! Last time we played here I remember the night very well, cause I'd got the flu and nearly died. And, the monitors were so bad they were doing just what they're doing now. Get it Right!!!"
 Going To California is superlative. Conjuring images of tranquil and beautiful hillsides. The Minstrels at play. A magic moment.
  Robert teases with a bit of Elvis' Surrender. He then spiels about the Black Country describing it as - "The land where men are men and sheep are nervous!' Page then provides a classic moment as he leans into his microphone and drolly states - "  It's better to live one day as a king than a 1,000 as a peasant." JPJ brings out a bizarre looking stand- up bass for the Black Country Woman / Bron- Yr Aur Stomp combination. Bonzo's back on skins and Jimmy displays some fine fingerpicking during his solo turn.
  More equipment woes precede White Summer/ Black Mt. Side. And, the song itself is an utter shambles. Audibly out of tune, Jimmy makes a game of it.  He chases himself trying to retune as the song progresses! Able to regroup, the seated Page plucks out a few more notes, kicks out of his wooden chair and then....
   Kashmir! From one spotlight on Page to every light in the rig, the Stadium exploded in heat and light. Huge spinning globes above the stage showering light shards over us. Robert confidently projecting as the Golden God! Page as the Whirling Dervish propelled by Bonham's cannon shots. I will never forget during the coda, on one of Bonzo's final flurries, Jimmy stutter- stepping his way across the length of the stage. From JPJ's side to his side. Arms outstretched and his mouth agape in some euphoric state. Indelible.
   A beach ball bounces above the main floor. Playfully, Robert comments - " A soccer match!"
 Plants ominously introduces Over The Top: " We've been here 3 or 4 days and he hasn't been to jail yet." It's the Out On The Tiles riff and into Bonzo's Barrage! I had a straight shot at him as I looked through my binoculars. The cat would not let up! His drum kit motored out to the front of the stage for the Hands solo and Phased Tympani segment. During his big build up before the band returns, I saw Jimmy standing by his amp watching in amazement. Bonzo turned and looked at Pagey. You could literally feel the head of steam that Bonham was generating! I can still see it. You must hear this version! The crowd went nuts as Bonzo soaked it in. He had big smile and gave a hand wave.
  Onto Jimmy's Noise Symphony. What can I say? What I did say was ' Where the fuck is Dazed and Confused?" It was a big disappointment for me. I thought, Dazed and Confused represented so much of their power, fluidity and mystery. I was shocked they didn't play it! Between the harmonizer solo and the violin bow it was like a white noise experiment. The laser pyramid was visually spectacular. Bonham rumbles around his phased tympani and a wash of sound leads into the first tentative notes of Achilles Last Stand. This song did not come off well at all this evening. Sloppy playing that gets worse as the song progresses. An atrocious solo by Mr. Page. It's as though he forgot how to play the song!
  Now the set closer, Stairway To Heaven begins and is performed faithfully. Just as Bonzo joins in, Jimmy's guitar strap breaks. Ray Thomas dashes out and attends to Jimmy. The solo kicks into gear as golden light shimmers off Page's white suit and Robert grooves with his tambourine. The compact lead gives way to Robert's pleading vocal lines and the final title lyric. Brilliant white light hits a huge spinning globe as the band head off stage. A several minute wait at least before they return.
    Encore time. The band reappear and Bonzo begins Rock + Roll. Major explosions ignited onstage give off tangible heat. Jimmy's lead is loud and errant. A big bang ending. Rah! Offstage once again for several minutes before one more.
 Push! Push! It's Trampled Under Foot! The fucking loudest song of the evening. Page had his amp on 11. Jones and Bonham were slamming . Jimmy's solo was absolutely blistering. Peeling off licks with conviction. Robert and Jimmy as one doing their Push Push bit had everyone rocking. A great finale!
   So concludes the first show in Chicago. It was beautiful, inconsistent, mind blowing , sloppy and sublime all in one show. I'd love to see them again. That's right! There's tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow...........................

jeff de los monteros's picture

i too was at this show i was in 8th grade still have t-shirt and ticket stub. this was my first concert and to say it was special i never knew just how much. ive seen plant live the firm and page too. as well as unleded. nothing compares to this show even slow at times it was unbelieveable. i waited all night outside of sears to buy this ticket and i remember being mad. but looking back on it wow. i am truly blessed.

Don Davito's picture

I WAS THERE..... IT WAS AWESOME.....my late gramma Evelyn god bless her, got the tickets. I told her I was going sleep outside at the jefferson square mall in Joliet Illinois to get tickets and I would have to skip school that morning. I was 17, a junior in high school and she would not allow that, as she was my legal guardian. Here is the good part, she goes to the mall and sees the ticket line of rock-n-rollers that wraps half way around the mall. The ticketron entrance was on the back side of the mall, that was the front off the line, seeing this gram went around to the front main entrance to the mall and got there just as they opened the doors. She then cut through the mall to the ticketron counter just as they opened the back doors to the to the mall, All the tired, sleepy ZEP fans could not believe that a white haired 62 year old gramma was getting tickets so they let her get in FRONT of the line and she got four tickets, 20th row main floor. Thats the kind of gramma I was blessed with, Thats the story of how I got to see the greatest band of all-time at the Chicago Stadium on April 6th 1977, one week after my 17th birthday, thanks for the birthday present gram.

John's picture

I was there too. I still have my ticket. What a great show!

Lala's picture

I think that is one of the most awesomesnt stories ever!
If i could go back in time just once, I would most definatly go back just to see ZEP. I think they are amazing. And I dont think that ANYONE can EVER beat them out!

Tony George's picture

It was literally my first Rock n Roll concert and my best friend at the time Chris S.  asked me if I wanted to go I said yeah ...We were in the mezzanine area on the left side of the stage in chicago stadium ,Jimmy Page came out with the Double neck and started off with song remains the same ..amazing show ..they were enigmated and truly the hammer of the gods .. a moment in time ....

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