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Olympia Stadium - January 31, 1975

  • Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 5:00pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.4 (80 votes)
January 31, 1975
Detroit
MI
United States
us
Setlist: 

Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown.

Note: 
'75 North American Tour Programme

Click here to view the North American '75 Tour Programme (flipbook)

Press Review: Zeppelin Are Sexy

Rock and roll is powered by sex, just like the moms and dads feared two decades ago — and no band is sexier than Led Zeppelin.

For 2 1/2 hours at Olympia Friday night—no intermission, no warns-up, no relief — Zeppelin surged with a basic, erotic power.

I don't mean the sexy tease of Tina Turner, or the machismo aggressiveness of the Rolling Stones, or the layful perversity of the glitter bands, and certainly not the straightforward lyrics of some folk-rockers. Tins Buckley for example.

No, this was something more instinctive — a primal energy stored in the gut, and spilled out in a visceral surge by Zeppelin's muse. Even without lyrics they would be erotically disturbing, a meat-grinder for your baser urges. They were shooting from the groin, not the hip, through Showco speakers that poured 300,000 watts of power over the jam-packed audience. Zeppelin used every ounce of that juice. Their heaving, rhythmically jagged music set Jimmy Page's heavy-metal guitar against Robert Plant's heavy-breathing voice. John Paul Jones on mellotron (looking much happier than on the numbers where he played bass) net up a languid contrast; John Bonham's drums laid down an immovable bottom.

Page would slash an attack, twisting across the stage with his face in asthmatic contortions; Plant re-established the tension with eerie swoops and slides — he's done more for gasps and squeals than anyone outside dirty movies. They constantly pushed for ecstatic surrounder as they spread their choices from their earliest material to the newest, on the long-awaited Physical Graffiti, their first in two years and evidently a ferocious continuance of their trend.

The performance was a long way from studio perfection; Plant was flat on the opening numbers, not even trying for the high notes, and Page's guitar runs careened 'way off-track. But momentum quickly gathered into an orgasmic torrent where delicacies were not heeded.

Plant and Page held the front of the stage, androgynous in the bare-chested English manner, curls cascading as they strutted hip-jarring challenges. Stairway to Heaven near the end, was exhaustingly good; and when, earlier, Plant sang the line in How Many More Times about a lemon-squeezer, the old song was a reminder that this band has been at its peak for a good half-dozen years.

Like any long-lasting love, their endurance hasn't been accidental. No other band could go two, years without an album and still instantly sell out its concerts — but Zeppelin is wise enough to visit each city on its tours only once in two years instead of annually as other big acts do. And the concert was hardly spur-of-the-moment, either. That show seas planned with all the expense and bother of one of Cleopatra's seductions.

They brought in enough lights to set all downtown Windsor shining. The stage gimmicks were precisely timed — fog machines, smoke bombs, five giant ballroom globes to send globules of light flitting around the stadium; weirdly fascinating amplification for John Bonham's kettledrum solo; flashing lights spelling out the band's name; Jimmy Page attacking his guitar with a violin bow he wielded like a magic wand.

It was exhausting; it was exhilarating; it shook up the gut just as planned. Six years ago, when Zeppelin made its debut in the clammy old Grande Ballroom, I cautiously passed the opinion that they had potential. Nice call, pal. [The Windsor Star.  February 1, 1975, John Laycock]

* * * *
 

 

Notes: 
'75 North American Tour Programme

Click here to view the North American '75 Tour Programme (flipbook)

Press Review: Zeppelin Are Sexy

Rock and roll is powered by sex, just like the moms and dads feared two decades ago — and no band is sexier than Led Zeppelin.

For 2 1/2 hours at Olympia Friday night—no intermission, no warns-up, no relief — Zeppelin surged with a basic, erotic power.

I don't mean the sexy tease of Tina Turner, or the machismo aggressiveness of the Rolling Stones, or the layful perversity of the glitter bands, and certainly not the straightforward lyrics of some folk-rockers. Tins Buckley for example.

No, this was something more instinctive — a primal energy stored in the gut, and spilled out in a visceral surge by Zeppelin's muse. Even without lyrics they would be erotically disturbing, a meat-grinder for your baser urges. They were shooting from the groin, not the hip, through Showco speakers that poured 300,000 watts of power over the jam-packed audience. Zeppelin used every ounce of that juice. Their heaving, rhythmically jagged music set Jimmy Page's heavy-metal guitar against Robert Plant's heavy-breathing voice. John Paul Jones on mellotron (looking much happier than on the numbers where he played bass) net up a languid contrast; John Bonham's drums laid down an immovable bottom.

Page would slash an attack, twisting across the stage with his face in asthmatic contortions; Plant re-established the tension with eerie swoops and slides — he's done more for gasps and squeals than anyone outside dirty movies. They constantly pushed for ecstatic surrounder as they spread their choices from their earliest material to the newest, on the long-awaited Physical Graffiti, their first in two years and evidently a ferocious continuance of their trend.

The performance was a long way from studio perfection; Plant was flat on the opening numbers, not even trying for the high notes, and Page's guitar runs careened 'way off-track. But momentum quickly gathered into an orgasmic torrent where delicacies were not heeded.

Plant and Page held the front of the stage, androgynous in the bare-chested English manner, curls cascading as they strutted hip-jarring challenges. Stairway to Heaven near the end, was exhaustingly good; and when, earlier, Plant sang the line in How Many More Times about a lemon-squeezer, the old song was a reminder that this band has been at its peak for a good half-dozen years.

Like any long-lasting love, their endurance hasn't been accidental. No other band could go two, years without an album and still instantly sell out its concerts — but Zeppelin is wise enough to visit each city on its tours only once in two years instead of annually as other big acts do. And the concert was hardly spur-of-the-moment, either. That show seas planned with all the expense and bother of one of Cleopatra's seductions.

They brought in enough lights to set all downtown Windsor shining. The stage gimmicks were precisely timed — fog machines, smoke bombs, five giant ballroom globes to send globules of light flitting around the stadium; weirdly fascinating amplification for John Bonham's kettledrum solo; flashing lights spelling out the band's name; Jimmy Page attacking his guitar with a violin bow he wielded like a magic wand.

It was exhausting; it was exhilarating; it shook up the gut just as planned. Six years ago, when Zeppelin made its debut in the clammy old Grande Ballroom, I cautiously passed the opinion that they had potential. Nice call, pal. [The Windsor Star.  February 1, 1975, John Laycock]

* * * *
 

 

Setlists: 

Rock and Roll, Sick Again, Over the Hills and Far Away, In My Time of Dying, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Kashmir, No Quarter, Trampled Underfoot, Moby Dick, How Many More Times, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Communication Breakdown.

Comments

Mark Ranich's picture

As was stated in previously, there was a crowd of people that night breaking through a glass door at the side entrance of the building. The police had their batons out and were beating on the people trying to enter the building without tickets.

My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I had tickets and when she saw the commotion going on she freaked out and took off running down the street. I chased her down and we briefly considered selling our tickets.

However, we came to our senses and went back to the Olympia front entrance. By the time we got in it was so crowded we had to sit in the isle.

The highlights of that concert was the fog rolling down off the stage during No Quarter and hearing Kashmir for the first time. It was definitely the best concert that I had ever attended!

Mark Berry's picture

That night I went downtown with hopes of copping a ticket outside on the street. When I walked up to the corner of the arena I came upon a small crowd that had been battering a side door trying to break in to the show. Within moments of my arrival they succeeded and it was as if the open door was a vacuum and I was sucked into the melee that poured into the building. I remember running down hallways with dozens of other kids and being pursued by security. The hallway led us straight into the arena where the band had already taken the stage and were rockin' at top volume. It was crazy and chaotic and I just dove into the crowd and joined the party. It was wild but also seemed appropriate; all things being fair in that wacky world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll...

perry's picture

I was 14 years old. My father was in the entertainment business and I asked him to get me tickets to this show. I had seen Led Zeppelin 6-7 times before this tour. This is a night I will never forget. The band was so good the hairs on my arms stood up the entire show.
The set list was outstanding. The seats were the best in the house. And the band was on this night. One of the most powerful moments of my young life. The entire arena smelled like weed. So different from seeing the Red Wings play. WOW....what a night!
I wish I could see this show again.

Argenteum Astrum's picture

A very good show although clearly not a return to form. Robert's voice is still very rough and Jimmy's finger is still hindering his playing. It caused of Plant's joke: "The bone on his wedding ring finger is bust and that's a real drag because if he was to get married now, he couldn't get a ring on." The rhythm section is as strong as always ... they never have a bad show despite Page and Plant's problems. No Quarter is very good, though, and How Many More Times is not a bad version, and interesting considering they mix the Dazed And Confused sections in ... it hadn't been played for five years.

Name Bill Presley's picture

After walking around the entire stadium twice with a friend who insisted he knew a security person working that night, I was almost frozen. I noticed a small crowd on the side of the building working with a prybar on this door that had no handles. Within a couple minutes, they popped the door open. I was carried by the crowd force to the opening. There was a concrete stairway to the right and I scrambled up about 25 stairs and pushed open another door that had me on the second level walkway! I quickly moved over and down to the seats beside the stage. I'd only missed a few tunes and with the help of some pre-rolled Columbian Red, I got completely lost in the show. This was shortly before the Pysical Graffiti album was released, so you can imagine how powerfully tunes like 'Kashmir' etc. hit me. Couldn't see much at all, but the sound and the adventure of getting in, made this my favorite concert of all time!

Some Guy's picture

You had connections. I couldn't get tickets to this show. But I did know a guy who worked as ticket taker at Olympia. He was selling his own tickets. We bought his personal tickets, and the plan was that we all walked through his gate where he was collecting tickets.
The problem was, we couldn't get within 2 blocks of the venue. Police were checking in advance, and only letting ticket-holders through.
We hung around the periphery after the concert started, hoping to find a way in. At one point, the police started getting a little bored, and people were able to get through to Olympia. We waited out back while a bunch of people tried to rip some back access doors out of the wall. They were doing OK until the cops stopped it.
Then we went around front. By now the first line of defence, the cops, were getting pretty lax. We got around them and approached a ticket gate. I was intercepted by private security. Before he could say a word, I grabbed him and said "You've got to come in with us. There's a family emergency for someone inside. Come on... hurry up!"
That confused him enough. He pulled away from me and said he couldn't come in because he was on duty. (Ha!)
I approached the gate, and an older guy was taking tickets. I rolled up a couple $20 bills, and handed them to the guy as my girlfriend went in ahead of me. He looked at the money and then grabbed me - "Hey, what are you doing?"

I froze, and my girlfriend froze just inside the building. He paused a second, shoved the money back in my hand, and said "get outta here."
And then he gave me a shove.....inside the arena! I love that old guy to this day.

We walked in as the band was playing Kashmir, found some good steps to sit on and enjoyed the show, flying bottles and all. Not only did we get in... we got in free.

Unfortunately the sound was crap where we were. It was an ice-skating rink. That wasn't enough to spoil a great evening, but I would have loved to hear Jimmy's guitar a bit more clearly.

I don't really believe there is such a thing as the "greatest rock band." But of there were, it would be Zeppelin.

Peter Cavanaugh's picture

It was the best concert I have ever been privileged to witness.

It is surely a matter of personal, subjective taste. Then too, they were really “on” that night and played for an uninterrupted three hours and forty-five minutes with precision and perfection.

I had been curious as to how closely they could duplicate their heavily produced studio sound. It was surpassed in every instance. I was concerned they might be a little “fatigued” from their long road tour and/or excessive consumption of various substances rumored to offer relaxing measures of succor and solace during their travels. I had worried for naught. I was anxious about seating arrangements. Atlantic Records had come through when it counted. Eileen and I were sitting in the center of the front-row.

It was at exactly 8 p.m. on Friday, January 31st of 1975, that the lights at Olympic Stadium in Detroit dimmed and four tall figures strolled confidently onto the stage.

Launched with a thunderous explosion of sound, the mighty Zeppelin took flight.

Led Zeppelin had been formed nearly seven years earlier in July of 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page, who had just left The Yardbirds. Page added singer Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham from the little known British group “Band of Joy” and completed his assembly with a leading British session musician named John Paul Jones as bassist and keyboard player. Led Zeppelin had quickly stormed into the forefront of “Heavy Rock” with the release of their first album.

The band’s name had been suggested by Flint car-sinking expert Keith Moon of the WHO. As was true of WHO, Led Zeppelin had always been essentially a musical trio with Robert Plant limited primarily to vocal contribution. That the sound had always been as “big” as it was with only three basic players had been an awesome realization.

I had always believed there were a number of consciousness levels accessible through and evident within Led Zeppelin music. Zeppelin’s primary definition and function as a “Rock ‘n Roll Band” was beyond dispute. They offered an enormously evident primal beat which powerfully throbbed throughout their more high volume efforts with unfailing presence and distinction. They were incredibly tight as a unit and could sweep through dimensions of intensity with singular thrust and total command. Their highly accomplished use of acoustical instrumentation offered yet greater focus, depth and unique musical originality. Even on the surface, it was obvious how the group generated mass audience appeal.

Deeper yet, I found them supremely spiritual. WHAT? Yes, SPIRITUAL!

Through Led Zeppelin, I sensed a timeless magic finding expression and release.

In the ancient blood of some flow the genes and genius of masters, teachers, physicians and priests from a time when Druids walked the land and even long before. Celtic mysticism enveloped the night. With both conscious and subconscious awareness, masterful words unveiled an absolute reality, both universal and beyond. Lyrical poetry and sweeping imagery spoke of many parallel worlds, all joined. With soaring sexuality, flesh and spirit became as one in an exuberant celebration of timeless existence and spaceless exaltation. In Led Zeppelin, rock music offered eloquent articulation of the unknown as unrecalled, expressing passionate human desire in both physical and metaphysical terms.

I remain amazed that this singularly unique transcendence has never been fully appreciated nor extensively explored.

Even before the Celts had come the Tuatha De Denann. People of the Goddess. Children of the Light. To Olympia came Led Zeppelin. Ceol Toirni. Music of Thunder.

From “Rock ‘n Roll” (been a long time since I did “The Stroll”) through a final encore with “How Many More Times?”, Zeppelin never stopped. As a psychogenic aside, I watched the entire performance completely straight. We had charged down to Detroit from Flint with little time to spare. My stash had been inadvertently left behind in the rush. It was just as well. I would have mind-melded into the amp circuits.

In addition to all of their most familiar material, the group introduced large segments of a soon-to-be-released double-album. It was thus I first heard much of “Physical Graffiti” with virginal ears.

 

That night in Detroit I was ruined for life. The measure of excellence established on stage by Led Zeppelin was so far superior to anything I had ever heard before, it automatically became a new standard with which all to come would be subjectively compared. As of 2009, “The Song Remains The Same.”

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Comments

MUSIC OF THUNDER by Peter Cavanaugh (not verified)
You had connections. I by Some Guy (not verified)
We Almost Sold Our Tickets That Night by Mark Ranich (not verified)
Olympia 1975 by perry (not verified)
1975 Detroit Olympia Stadium by Name Bill Presley (not verified)
Zepplin at Olympia 1975 by Mark Berry (not verified)