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Olympia Stadium - August 28, 1970

  • includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, That's Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 10:56am
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.4 (29 votes)
August 28, 1970
Detroit
MI
United States
us
Setlist: 

includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, That's Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Communication Breakdown.

Note: 

Press Review: So Led Zeppelin know all the heavy tricks a freak psychedelic rock group has to know. Jimmy Page & Co. wowed the audience at Detroit’s Olympia with their expertise in the heavy idiom: Page in particular has a way of turning down his volume to a whisper, (but only for a moment at a time), that puts the crowd right on the edge of their seats. (P. Cain, Rock 10/70)

Notes: 

Press Review: Zeppelin’s Fine Musicians Make An Ordinary Group

The Led Zeppelin concert at Olympia Friday may not have been the largest gathering of the summer, but it certainly was the most enthusiastic. The show was the standard half-hour late starting, and Olympia’s ushers didn’t become concerned about who was sitting in whose seat until mid-way through the third number, but eventually things settled down to music.

Although Zeppelin is made of some of the most outstanding artists in rock today, the ensemble work of the group is not that great; individually the players are unsurpassed.

Jimmy page, guitar, has to be up there with Clapton and Townshend. Consummate musician, building up the audience more and more each chorus and then suddenly dropping off to simple quiet little lines which bring people to the edge of their chairs. The electronic effects he gets are always interesting, and sometime exciting. He’s the first guitarist I’ve seen use a violin bow, but that effect can still use quite a bit of work.

Working out an organ and bass was John Paul Jones, who is just as impressive as his name. Great bacchanalian organ counter melodies and huge chords. His bass work was equally fine.

The major disappointments of the evening were the two acoustical numbers. On the first one, Jones played mandolin and Page played guitar with Robert Plant on vocal. Jones’ mandolin solo was impossible to hear and even if it could be heard, Page’s chords couldn’t be. The next tune was all Page, and in the volume battle with the Olympia fans (electric) Page was the loser and bounced a mike over to show his displeasure. But then they turned the amps on again and things went fine from there on out.

Highlight of the evening was a mammoth solo by John Bonham. The most impressive thing about his work is its cleanliness. His figures aren’t just a muddle of sound like so many drummers, but very distinct, crisp, audible musical parts. Starting with a three-note pattern, and stretching and expanding it until it’s full-blown and time to start another pattern. He also does some of the finest hard drumming since Joe Morello first dropped his sticks.

The most together thing of the evening was the set closing blues medley (there was such a screaming, shouting, standing ovation they had to do an encore).  Many times the lyrics were as blue as the music, but this seemed to suit the audience fine. For those who couldn’t make it, Zeppelin has a new album coming out next week to tide you over until their next visit. [-Harry Taylor / Detroit News]


Press Review: So Led Zeppelin know all the heavy tricks a freak psychedelic rock group has to know. Jimmy Page & Co. wowed the audience at Detroit’s Olympia with their expertise in the heavy idiom: Page in particular has a way of turning down his volume to a whisper, (but only for a moment at a time), that puts the crowd right on the edge of their seats. (P. Cain, Rock 10/70)

Setlists: 

includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, Bring It On Home, That's Way, Bron-Yr-Aur, Since I've Been Loving You, Organ solo / Thank You, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley),

Comments

Gary Walker's picture

I believe this was the night Grand Funk opened for them.And the managers of the bands got into a big brawl.

Dr. H's picture

The show started a couple of hours late. Not surprisingly (if you know Detroiters) the mood was getting surly. Then, Zeppelin opened their set with a song we had never heard before--"The Immigrant Song." I still remember how Robert's wail went like a jolt of electricity through the crowd in the old barn (Olympia Stadium). Everyone snapped out of their sullen funk and really got into it.
There were two problems with this concert--the venue and the crowd. I was in the far end of the stadium and the sound mix was lousy, with Jimmy's guitar poorly heard. I jumped to the conclusion that Zep was just a great studio band. How wrong I was! When the Led Zeppelin DVD was released, I was blown away by how great they were in concert. In that footage, you can hear Zeppelin as they deserve to be heard, not handicapped by an acoustically inferior arena.
The second problem on Aug. 28, 1970, was that the Detroit crowd (half of them stoned) were so hyped up--so deliriously craving Zeppelin's high-energy, pulse-quickening power music that they were rude and noisy when the boys tried to play a couple of the acoustic tunes on their third album. Jimmy, in great frustration, finally stomped off the stage partway through a song. I wasn't sure they'd ever return to Detroit, but they did. On behalf of my fellow Motown denizens, I am sorry that you didn't receive better treatment that night, Jimmy.
Oh, one final point. "Thank you" was the number that the band played for its encore that night. It ended with Bonzo tossing his drumsticks high in the air for a couple of lucky fans to grab as souvenirs of having seen rock's greatest band.

Name's picture

excellent concert as usual a little rowdy but it was Detroit

Ron 's picture

This concert was terrible! They just went through the motions. They attempted to play an acoustic set and were drowned out by the ceiling fans. As a young man at the time with huge expectations and a big Jimmy Page fan I was very disapointed.

Steve's picture

backup band was John Mayall and USA Union

DynamiteFromSaginaw's picture

My friend Vindog and I attended this show at Olympia. We were enrolled at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and were waiting for Fall classes to start. We made the drive to Detroit so we could hang out downtown and attend the show.

We bought our tickets the day of the show at Hudsons. After scoring the tickets and taking in the latest Russ Meyer film at the Michigan, we drove to the Olympia for the show. Our seats were in an upper level behind the stage. This made for good viewing of the drum kit, but little else. As soon as the music started we left our seats and headed for the main floor and the stage. Nobody stopped us and we approached the stage from the right. There was a stoner curled up inside the front of a PA speaker cabinet - not a good idea. We stood in the aisle and took it all in. The Zep had the big full sound that you would expect.

The audience was rowdy (anyone from Detroit will understand) and did not quiet down to appreciate an acoustic number that Page played while sitting. He knocked a mic stand over at the end of the number to express his displeasure. Page was bearded and wearing a wide brimmed fishing hat. Guess he was tired of the glitzy aspects of the entertainment business at that point. Plant was bare-chested, maybe wearing a vest and had the full big hair thing going on. The band rocked. As the band was leaving the stage a few females attached themselves to Plant. LZ III was released a few weeks later. That disc rarely left my turntable.

Steve's picture

Robert Plant was annoyed by the noise from the giant fan in the stadium roof.

art's picture

If you listen on Youtube to Behind the Music, Grand Funk, this Detroit show was where Grand Funk blew Zep off the stage, and the Zep manager pulled the plug off Grand Funk because they were playing so well and the crowd was going nuts. The crowd rioted after the power went out. Grand Funk was kicked off the tour.

airshipone's picture

thats because Mark Farner is from flint and a bunch of rowdie mf's came down to see him

Billy's picture

No Grand Funk nope. Impossible. LZ did not have any opening acts on their 1970 tour. They did not need them. Ads were for "An Evening With LZ" meaning no other bands. Any Grand Funk stories are just myth OR they occurred in 1968 or 1969.

billy's picture

Not possible. Led Zeppelin did not have opening acts as of 1970 American Tours (this does not count festivals with multiple bands). The show with Grand Funk would most likely be in 1969. 1970 was a major turning point for LZ where the shows in the US were even advertised as being "Over 2 1/2 hours" etc & no opening acts.

Ricardo's picture

 Tuve la gran dicha y fortuna de estar en este gran concierto !

Killer's picture

it was a great show mc5 lee michaels grand funk zep at the time there was a curfew in detroit where the bands had to quit playing by midnight well because there were 4 acts on the bill zep didn't come on till 11:30 well at midnight they turned on the house lights and the place went nuts cups chairs started flying in the direction of the cops who were trying to clear the olympia out until they gave up and turn the lights back off meanwhile zep never stopped playing and the ordinace was never used again

Rick's picture

I was only eleven when Bill & Betty H asked my mom & pops if it was OK to take me to a concert. I took Donna N (neighborhood girl). The music I was listening to at that time was CKLW (pop station) and this was not CKLW. I was also listening to some of my older sisters 8 track tapes (without permission, of course) These included: Deep Purple, Credence, Traffic and others I can't remember. Nothing prepared me for the raw, live sound  Zep put into my head that night & I will always be profoundly gratefull to my chaperones for the evening I can't forget. 

By the way, absolutely no other bands that night...hey, I was eleven & likely the only one in the barn who wasn't stoned.  

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Comments

My intro to R&R by Rick (not verified)
it was a great show mc5 lee by Killer (not verified)
Concert by Ricardo (not verified)
No opening acts on 1970 tour! by Billy (not verified)
farner by airshipone (not verified)
Eyewitness - August 28, 1970 by DynamiteFromSaginaw (not verified)
Not possible. Led Zeppelin by billy (not verified)
excellent concert as usual a by Name (not verified)
Robert Plant was annoyed by by Steve (not verified)
The show started a couple of by Dr. H (not verified)
This concert was terrible! by Ron (not verified)