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Showground - February 27, 1972

  • Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Let's Have a Party, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Going Down Slow), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo ~ Thank You.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 4:53pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.8 (225 votes)
February 27, 1972
Sydney
Australia
au
Setlist: 

Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Let's Have a Party, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Going Down Slow), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo ~ Thank You.

Note: 

While in town, the band attends a press party and conducts interviews for radio and television. Footage from this concert and the press party is featured on the official dvd, released in 2003.

Click here to view the 1972 Australian tour programme
(flipbook)

Sound System:
Showco Sound System
Jands (Additional) System
2 x RCA W Bin c/w 2 x JBL K140
2 x JBL 4550 c/w 2 x JBL K130
2 x JBL 2350 Horn + 2480 Driver
2 x JBL 2355 Horn + 2440 Driver
2 x JBL 2356 Horn + 2480 Driver
8 x JBL 2402
12 x Jands 150w Power Amplifiers


Press Report: The Led Zeppelin concert at the showgrounds last Sunday must rate as one of the best ever held in Sydney - but, if the crowd had not stormed the fences, it could have been the worst.

The official attendence figure was 27,000 but senior police officers at the concert estimated the crowd at "at least 30,000". According to showground officials the three stands used last Sunday have a maximum capacity of 25,000 - so whatever way you look at it the ground was dangerously overcrowded.

Despite the fact that there were no seats left at mid-day and no standing room by 1.30pm., people were still coming through the gates at 2.30pm. The overcrowding that existed before the fences were stormed must never be allowed to occur again because next time someone could be killed in the crush. Once capacity is reached the gates should be closed. David D. Bryant The Sun-Herald, 5 March 1972, p. 109.

 

Notes: 

While in town, the band attends a press party and conducts interviews for radio and television. Footage from this concert and the press party is featured on the official dvd, released in 2003.

Click here to view the 1972 Australian tour programme
(flipbook)

Sound System:
Showco Sound System
Jands (Additional) System
2 x RCA W Bin c/w 2 x JBL K140
2 x JBL 4550 c/w 2 x JBL K130
2 x JBL 2350 Horn + 2480 Driver
2 x JBL 2355 Horn + 2440 Driver
2 x JBL 2356 Horn + 2480 Driver
8 x JBL 2402
12 x Jands 150w Power Amplifiers


Press Report: The Led Zeppelin concert at the showgrounds last Sunday must rate as one of the best ever held in Sydney - but, if the crowd had not stormed the fences, it could have been the worst.

The official attendence figure was 27,000 but senior police officers at the concert estimated the crowd at "at least 30,000". According to showground officials the three stands used last Sunday have a maximum capacity of 25,000 - so whatever way you look at it the ground was dangerously overcrowded.

Despite the fact that there were no seats left at mid-day and no standing room by 1.30pm., people were still coming through the gates at 2.30pm. The overcrowding that existed before the fences were stormed must never be allowed to occur again because next time someone could be killed in the crush. Once capacity is reached the gates should be closed. David D. Bryant The Sun-Herald, 5 March 1972, p. 109.

 

Setlists: 

Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Rock and Roll, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Let's Have a Party, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Going Down Slow), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo ~ Thank You.

Comments

Shayne Hannah's picture

One of the most memorable concerts I have been to firstly because of the fantastic set & absolute professionalism of the band's performance on very hot & steamy summer afternoon. Secondly, I met my girlfriend there (she's now my wife - married 36 years!!) - she jumped a fence with several hundred others to get entry as there were no tickets left ! She was simply walking past me & my mates in the crowd 50,000 when I spotted her !! Thanks Led Zep !!

Name Phil Anderson's picture

What a day! sitting in the upper deck in the grandstand pleasantly buzzed,the weather was stormy and at one point an hour before the start it looked like it could have been cancelled.The Buzz was so electric of anticipation,you could feel chills running through your body just waiting for them to start.
Finally they blasted onstage to the strains of 'the Immigrant Song' and the view of the stage with a few people sitting on the grass in front of them to be suddenly swamped by a tsunami wave of fans who had jumped the fence and the few security guards to surround the stage and eyeball Led Zeps.It is still fresh in my mind for that and the sound was so clear and defined.and musically satisfying.As if the energy of it all blew the clouds and the rain away by the end of the first song everything was just fine.
What a concert, I wish the whole world could have been there.

Garry Feeney's picture

It certainly was a fantastic concert. As I recall Jeff St. John & The Copperwine was the support act, although my memory is getting a bit hazy, but it was just a great concert. Dazed & Confused did it for me.

Joe Augustyn's picture

was there.. Sydney Fairgrounds 1972, went with the crowd as fence crashed down. The push continued right up to the stage... then stopped. The band was freaking. Just 20 at that time, and a new immigrant from USA. Best memories ever. 58 now and still playing Zeppelin.
Joe Augustyn

Peter Thompson's picture

My first rock concert and the best of all I have seen since. Insired and inspiring beyond belief for a 15 year old snare drummer in a school bagpipe band learning his rock 'n roll/swing chops. Bonham has taught me more than any other drummer. Zeppelin are legendary.

Reggie29's picture

Led Zeppelin – Sydney Showground

February 27 1972 2.00pm

It was a balmy summer's Sunday afternoon, rain clouds had threatened all morning but thankfully never eventuated.

My good mate Muzza and I jumped on the train and headed into the city.
We arrived at Central Station and walked the couple of miles to The Sydney Showground, more accustomed to holding Rodeos and such rather than rock concerts.

Thousands of people had gathered estimated at somewhere between 26 and 38 thousand.
They threw the gates open about 15 minutes before it started.

The stage was set back about 50 yards from the boundary fence, the stands were full except for a handful of VIP's sitting on the grassed area.
Several fans tried to join them but were tackled by the cops and escorted back to the stands.

The band ripped into the Immigrant Song and pandemonium broke out when we charged on to the field and the cops didn't know what had hit them and gave up the chase.

As fast as it started it ended with everybody just stopped and sat down all at once for a few seconds then started going off.

After a couple of songs Robert said "Hello Sydney, I hope it doesn't rain and we have to stop, if we don’t we'll all blow up!" and the throng erupted.

We were about 10 yards from them centre stage
One of the many highlights was when they played Bron-yr-aur Stomp he whole crowd clapped along with the chorus in perfect time, a real "you had to be there moment".

I left there with a feeling that I was part of something special that day and it only seems like yesterday, even though it will be 36 years ago at the end of the month that The Mighty Led Zeppelin landed in Oz.

Michael Platt's picture

I was 18 years of age when I went to the concert& could not believe that anyone could be as cool as Robert Plant when I saw him on stage. The concert is far and away the greatest concert I have ever seen and it was truly a defining moment for me. I grew my hair & became a surfie/hippy introducing the look into Maroubra Beach scene.They are truly the greatest Band ever & my son who is 2 months away from turning 18 is into Led Zeppellin in a big way.

Michael

Dale Chatwin's picture

I remember the concert came not long after the release of Led Zeppelin IV and the tickets were just over $4 I think. My mates and I were in the upstairs front row of the big stand to the left of the stage (Jimmy Page side) and when Zeppelin came on the concrete floor in the stand just shook as they launched into Immigrant Song. Still the best start to any concert I've ever been too and like others have said the sound was amazing for the time. I also remember the "If it rains we'll have to stop or we'll blow up" comment by Plant. Concert was unbelievable, double necked guitar for Stairway to Heaven, terrific acoustic set and I'm sure Bonham was hitting the cymbals with his knuckles in Moby Dick. There was extensive coverage including some great photographs in the Sydney papers a few days later. I've never seen another band so on top of their game. Absolutely, the best concert I've ever been too.

Steven Green's picture

I remember this show very well & consider it one of the greatest concerts I ever attended (& I went to a LOT). The crowd climbed over the fence just as the band came on stage & it looked like there might be a riot for a few moments. The police tried to move people back behind the barracades but Rober Plant sorted things out by saying " You can sit there but remember this is our spot & that's yours". Everyone settled down & the band put on a hell of a show. There was a terrific thunderstorm (how approprite) just after the first number & the band left the stage as it was raining & dangerous.

They finally returned & played for almost 3 hours. I seem to remember one of the encores was "all shook up". I know I certainly was. The guitar in "heartbreaker" made my stomach rumble & although the sound was LOUD it was clear & quite simply awesome. Robert & Jimmy were quoted later saying this was the 2nd best gig of their career (Vancouver was the best). I hope if the reunion works out they return to OZ. These young whippersnappers need to see a REAL heavy rock group in action.

Alan Hodge's picture

With a few mates, in our last years at school, attended and were blown away. What sticks in the memory after 36 years:- the beautiful emerald green drum set that JB belted with such power, the voice that just pierces the air when it hits high notes, and the greatest guitar player I've ever seen - and he even played it with a violin in the scaffolding!!! Never before - Never again!!!

garry nelson's picture

Hi. I was there sitting on the fence line at the showground where the animal yard was for the sydney easter show. I remember the rush onto the grass and I got about 10 or so yards from centre stage. I was 15 and the crowd around me were somewhat older. I still have the ticket butt somewhere. $4.20. Probably the bargain of the century in retrospect. Anyway Led Zep were amazing and it inspired me to take up guitar to which I still play today. Been in numerous working bands with moderate success over the years, and I can directly attribute a lot of this to being exposed to such an amazing band and incredible event way back then. I consider myself very blessed to say the least that I was there on that sensational day. I went on to see many Australian and o/s acts since then.Only a few have matched Led Zep. ....Midnight Oil at the death to double J concert at Parramatta park. Queen at The Hordern Pav. And The Who (2009) Acer Arena..........Long Live Rock!

Deborah Steggles's picture

I was 16 and a mad led zeppelin fan . My friend Michelle had a ticket to the Led zeppelin concert and assured me that it wouldn't be a problem buying a ticket for me at the front gate . Luckily I did find a ticket seller and we were in .We thought we looked the part amongst all the cool hippies there, I was wearing,a tight white midriff top , deep purple hipster flares and white clogs ,long brown hair parted in the middle....so 70's! There were no allocated seats, so we sat in the side grand stand . When everyone ran down onto the grass in front of the stage, we followed. We climbed onto the scaffolding around the left front side of the stage ,right in front of the huge speakers. I was so close to the stage , so close to the band, I couldn't believe it. It was totally deafening, but so fantastic at the same time.The whole concert was totally awesome. When Jimmy Page played his electric guitar with the violin bow, I was wishing for ear plugs, but he was so mesmerizing to watch, it was unbelievable! .I remember the next week at school, my ears were still ringing,.I had never experienced anything like it before or after.The concert was fabulous , and the crowd was a seething mass of young long haired bodies... 25,000 -30,000 of them! I am 56 now, and will never forget it.

Malcolm's picture

I was there as a 17 yo and can remember being excited as the time drew near and the cars then appeared through the gates at the other side of the arena. I had been there all day in the heat and rain in turn. I remember one guy behind me passing out after drinking a bottle of red wine and being passed over the crowd to the ambos on the track. I'd bet he's regretted it since. I don't recall rain during the performance (as someone else has mentioned) but it may have happened. I was against the wall of the track and remember being in the first wave "out of the trenches" as it were. The fear and excitement as I bolted through the line of cops (I think they were AFP, not NSW) and was chased across the grass was a real rush. By the time I got to the stage there were so many others coming that the police just gave up!

Can't see myself in that grainy footage on the DVD. I recall gazing up and Jimmy was looking me right in the eye as he played. Some guys from my school were actually sitting in the front of some of the big speaker cabinets. I was half deaf for the rest of the day so I don't know how they went. It was a great concert and a fantastic experience for a young fan...

Macca's picture

It' been 40 years and my memories are a little hazy but didn't Daddy Cool open for Led Zeppelin at this concert. I remember the heat, the noise, the crowd. I can still hear Robert Plant starting off with The Immigrant Song. Jimmy Page and the violin bow and double neck guitar. All this for about 4 bucks! I seem to recall hearing Daddy Cool play Eagle Rock and the crowd went nuts. Absolutely fantastic!

ac124's picture

The press party conducted in Sydney and featured in "DVD" took place on Tuesday 22nd February between the Melbourne and NZ shows. It was originally presented on ABC television's GTK (Get to Know) programme which aired on Monday 28th Feb 1972, the day after the Sydney Showground performance which also featured in the episode.

Bruce's picture

IT WAS THE GREATEST LIVE CONCERT I HAVE EVER SEEN. I AM NOW 57 YEARS OLD AND STILL REMEMBER IT. MYSELF AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS SCALED A TWELVE FOOT WALL TO SNEAK IN FOR FREE. WE COULDN'T AFFORD TICKETS. LED ZEPPELIN
ARE THE GODS OF ROCK AND NO BAND WILL EVER EQUAL OR BE BETTER.

Robert "Lefty" Townsend's picture

I had the pleasure of attending this concert with co-workers Phil Grieg and Paul Quanchie. None of us had ever seen a PA system that big before. The show started with the Imigrant Song and the memory of that riff and Page's scream through that PA still gives me goosebumps today 27 years later.
Although the mix wasn't the best for about 24 bars, when it kicked in, it was like listening to a brand new Zeppelin album through a brand new stereo.
The musicianship of all four was amazing. We'd waited for what seemed like an enternity to see them live, after becoming Zep fans from the first album. They'd just released album 4 and were at the height of their powers. Robert Plant was still very toned in the stomach (unlike the later movie which showed quite a paunch) but Jimmy Page looked quite frail/pale. Still it didn't stop him playing like the virtuoso that he is.
To this day, still the best concert I've ever attended.
Cheers
Bob "Lefty" Townsend

Linda Walker's picture

Thankyou: so good to revisit that day. The Immigrant song was first. We waited an extra hour to get into the showground. For the first tme since the war years we gained an extra hour of sunlight that Sunday back in '72. Unlike Led Zep, daylight saving has returned to Sydney each year. I was 15. My girlfriend and I would have been ring-side without the extra hour. We'd left home at dawn. When the band started up and the audience cascaded over the boundary I was awestruck at the visible vibration of coke cans on the asphalt. Why would I want to move any closer to those thumpin great decibels... I could see a lot better in those days and I can still hear. In truth I carried regret for resisting the urge to join in the cascade: that passed. The pleasure of seeing and joy of soaring with Led Zeppelin remains. The best live act I've been to was also the first.

Ted Harvey's picture

I was at the press conference Tuesday 22nd February and the concert Sunday 27th February 1972
and I took my camera.
The photographs will be on show H R Ervin Gallery Sydney 19 January 2008 finishes 2 March 2008
a very limited number of photos will be for sale with all profits going to help children living in extreme poverty in Brazil thru RockPhotoAid.com

Anthony Downes's picture

Best concert I've ever been to. I still have the ticket stub in my wallet and still wow my friends with it. I noticed you don't have a Sydney ticked stub in your ticked section. Would you like a scan of my Sydney ticket?

Reggie West's picture

This was the first concert I ever attended and from what I've read on the web and magazine articlesit was one of their most memorable.
One song that is always omitted from the setlist is Celebration Day.
The band also played part of The Rover during Dazed and Confused.

Andy Thomson's picture

I was a college student in those days in Paddington. (Saw Stones in same period) LZ was just the best. They began with all their old stuff and took a break. They came back and sat on stools and played Stairway to Heaven. It is a memory I will have for ever.

Baxter de Wahl's picture

I  remember the set included "Celebration Day" for which Page whipped out a double necked SG - one of them a 12 string. 

stefan's picture

Interesting to see what the ticket actually looks like ....I was like most of those there that climbed over the fence from the RAS showground. Best concert I ever saw ....and the loudest ,closely followed by AC/DC with Bon Scott at Bondi Lifesaver in 1974? 1975? Had to pay to get into see that one .... the princely sum of $5 if my fading memory serves me right.

Argenteum Astrum's picture

Plant laid down some ground rules: "Now listen! We've already come across the one problem we were told about. Now, there's been a lot of mistakes about this thing, but we don';t want to make any mistakes and neither do you, alright? So don't come past this barrier, otherwise ythere's gonna be some shit. And why don't you sit down ... and if it rains, we're gonna have to stop. That's a fact, it'll blow up! Take a seat!" Black Dog is played with fury and impact and is one of the greatest versions I've ever heard. The bowing solo in Dazed And Confused, warmly received, is a delightful novelty to the provincial punters and this is another great version of this song. Rock And Roll is delivered with swaggering fury. Plant reaches the notes the ear expects. Whole Lotta Love and its rock medley, including a fully-realized, instrumental version of The Rover, heard years before its official release, is a truly awesome!

Richard Sheehan's picture

I was there, like a lot of others, and it was a totally amazing experience. I remember running down to get to the front when a gate was opened. We made it right up close to the stage near Jimmy Page, who had recently shaved off his beard. They were really slick and cool. As teenagers, we thought they were really stylish; but it was the impact of the music that was the real experience. It seemed incredibly loud then ands , even though we had listened to the albums, it sounded new. The drums and bass hit you physically- a sensation we would get used to in the future. Page was just a virtuoso-he was so confident and together. It was 1972. I can still remember that concert.
cheers, Rick Sheehan

Steve Kelly's picture

I was 17 years old when I attended this concert and it was probably the first concert where I saw an 'overseas' act. The kids of today would squirm with the knowledge that I had only just started employment so the ticket price of $4 for seeing these legends play for 3 hours would put ticket prices today of hundreds of dollars with concerts generally limited to 2 hours or less in true perspective for the rip-off that they are. I have a strong memory of a huge police presence as there were 28000 fans there and Robert Plant cynically dedicating the song 'Black Dog" to the police ringing the stadium. Unlike Bob's post here I seem to remember the opening song was 'Black Dog', followed by "Rock and Roll" but I could be mistaken.

I remember a lone security guard trying to prevent the fans from charging the stage which they did after the first number and being engulfed by the swarm never to surface again. The sound was amazing and it sounded as good as being performed in a studio. I have been to many concerts since seeing some of the greatest bands of all time (nothing since early 90's as it is a complete rip off now) and this concert was the best I have ever seen.

There will never be another band like Led Zeppelin. When they played their last benefit in London and a million people were trying to get tickets that shows you the pulling power of this legendary band. I hope that Robert can hook up with Jimmy again and bring the band down under. I would pay just about any price to see these icons again!

Ted Harvey's picture

Jeff St. John didn't play only Zeppelin for 3 solid hours!

Alexandra Milne's picture

Hi there,

Saw the Four Corners program with you and your photos In It of the Led Zeppelin concert in Sydney 1972.

I also unfortunately missed the exhibition you had showing in sydney a couple of months ago which I would have loved to attend as It would have brought back lots of good memories.

The program triggered in my mind that my father was also at the 1972 concert, and we have photos that he took himself that day.

It's awesome because some of the photographs are so very similar. You must have been standing pretty close.

I'm thinking of dusting them all off and re-framing, framing them all.

If I manage to get It all sorted would you be interested In having a look?

Cheers

Alex Milne

Linda Aspinall's picture

I was there too! When the 2-5 guys jumped the fence way over the other side from us we saw the cops run out to try to stop them...lost cause because everyone with bad seats followed right around the semi-circle. We didnt waste anytime either. It was hot (temperature and the scene). I was just in fron of one huge speaker and yes...it was loud! So unreal. I  was 16 now 57yrs. What a fantastic afternoon.

 

Hori's picture

My friends and i were over the moon to have tickets to see Led Zeppelin at the sydney showgroundsThe only seats we could get were in a stand to the side of the stagewhich sucked.when zep started playing the people in front of us jumped the fence so we joined them.

Amazingly the crowd was there to enjoy our heroe's and not cause trouble.I have never forgotten the guy lying inside one of the speaker stacks (i wonder if he's deaf now)At one stage the band stopped playing and Robert Plant asked the dudes at the top of the grand stand to stop throwing cans into the crowd below,his annoubcement had the desired affect and Zep carried on with their performance.

 

I seem to recall a news item regarding the volume saying ti has been the loudest concert ever in Sydney and Led Zeppelin could be heard at the Harbour bridge.I enjoyed the concert the crowds and the Asian cigarettes.I worked for Avis rental cars in Kings cross,i remember preping cars for Credence Clearwater Revival-Manfred Mans Earth bandfor concerts in Sydney.They were exciting times.

 

Colleen's picture

We jumped the barbed wire to get in; no regrets; EVER.

 

George Waerea's picture

Was the best concert i had been to..even if i jumped the fence with the othere's,so good to see the photo's from the day..Thank you,this site has rekindled old memories... 

Steve's picture

The previous year I'd been at the Racecourse to see Free, Manfred Manns Earth Band and Deep Purple, so was primed for another momentous afternoon. Will never forget the opening bars of the Immigrant Song and the set that followed. Just a great pity that someone didn't have the foresight to have arranged a video of this performance, so little of it exists

Greg Hughes's picture

I was 15 and went with school friends. We were in the mid grandstand level and it was just so overcrowded. We spotted an ajoining building that we could step onto the roof of - so we did and on the Immigrant Song DVD clip, as the cars come into the arena, you can see us to the left of the main grandstand. Just before the show started, the Police made us move back into the grandstand - which was horrendiously overcrowded by this time - in fact we often had to slither over peoples shoulders to get anywhere. We eventually got to the back of the mid level grandstand just before Led Zep started. I really thought we were so far back that it wouldn't be very loud, and the simply announcement 'Ladies and Gentlemen Led Zeppelin' seemed to confirm this. It took all or 2 seconds into Immigrant Song to realise we were experiencing something very loud and more than special- and to date, this was simply the best concert I ever attended.

Ed Carragher's picture

I was 15yrs old, miserable day weather wise. They kept announcing the concert may have to be postponed & the next thing we knew Zep ran on stage ! and lept into the Immigrant song... absolutely amazing band.

I bragg about being there to this day

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