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Seattle Center Coliseum - July 17, 1973

  • Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, (Bring It On Home intro) Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Let That Boy Boogie), The Ocean.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 4:21pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.9 (186 votes)
July 17, 1973
Seattle
WA
United States
us
Setlist: 

Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, (Bring It On Home intro) Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Let That Boy Boogie), The Ocean.

Note: 

News Report: Led Zeppelin – Rock as Extravaganza

The Stones first developed massive light and sound systems for the huge halls rock groups now play and Alice Cooper expanded the idea by turning concerts into spectacles, but nobody so far has reached the level of extravaganza shown by Led Zeppelin in concert last night at the Seattle Center Coliseum.

Smoke, fire, strobes, sparklers and rockets filled the stage at one time or another during the group’s nonstop three hours of music. Not to mention the three-story banks of lights and speakers that surrounded the four performers and the mirrored panels behind them.

And the show was so well coordinated that a tiny beam of light would land on Jimmy Page’s right hand the instant he began a guitar solo and flames leap out of canisters when Robert Plant hit a certain high note.

The sound system was such that at any point in the hall the music was visceral – it could be felt more than heard.

For me, this took some getting used to but once acclimatized it was strangely pleasurable, as if the constant vibrations activated some pleasure center.

The Led Zeppelin are one of the three or four most popular rock groups at the moment. In their current 33-city concert tour, they have already broken the national attendance record (56,000 people in Tampa; previous high was the Beatles Shea Stadium show which drew only 55,000) and have been selling out every show. Only one newspaper ad and two radio spots were necessary to sell out the Coliseum here in a few days.

This is one top group that owes its popularity to talent. Page is one of the finest electric guitarists in the world. He’s done session work for everybody from Donovan to Tony Bennett and like Hendrix, has helped expand the definitions of rock by his innovations.

Robert Plant is the greatest singer in rock, next to Little Richard, and that’s no mean feat. He can control a scream the way Leontyne Price controls an aria and it’s just as exhilarating to experience.

Of course he was helped a bit last night by the sound man who added echo, reverb and other aural tricks to augment his voice.

John Bonham, the drummer, displayed superhuman strength by lasting the full three hours without a rest, even after an energetic drum solo that must have lasted 20 minutes.

John Paul Jones, an arranger and conductor before joining the group, played bass guitar, electric organ and mellotron.

Led Zeppelin made one of their first public appearances in Seattle just before Christmas 1968 as an unknown and unannounced second-on-the-bill to Vanilla Fudge. Their first album had not yet been released and the audience wasn’t prepared for them.

I remember the Arena crowd back then paying little attention to the band’s high energized rock music and they walked off stage to more boos than applause.

What a contrast last night when the audience was almost mesmerized by the goings-on on stage and give out the longest, most deafening ovation I’ve ever heard (about 8 to 10 minutes long and at least 5 on the Richter scale).

It was quite an experience. (by Pat  Macdonald, SeattleTimes July 1973)

Notes: 

News Report: Led Zeppelin – Rock as Extravaganza

The Stones first developed massive light and sound systems for the huge halls rock groups now play and Alice Cooper expanded the idea by turning concerts into spectacles, but nobody so far has reached the level of extravaganza shown by Led Zeppelin in concert last night at the Seattle Center Coliseum.

Smoke, fire, strobes, sparklers and rockets filled the stage at one time or another during the group’s nonstop three hours of music. Not to mention the three-story banks of lights and speakers that surrounded the four performers and the mirrored panels behind them.

And the show was so well coordinated that a tiny beam of light would land on Jimmy Page’s right hand the instant he began a guitar solo and flames leap out of canisters when Robert Plant hit a certain high note.

The sound system was such that at any point in the hall the music was visceral – it could be felt more than heard.

For me, this took some getting used to but once acclimatized it was strangely pleasurable, as if the constant vibrations activated some pleasure center.

The Led Zeppelin are one of the three or four most popular rock groups at the moment. In their current 33-city concert tour, they have already broken the national attendance record (56,000 people in Tampa; previous high was the Beatles Shea Stadium show which drew only 55,000) and have been selling out every show. Only one newspaper ad and two radio spots were necessary to sell out the Coliseum here in a few days.

This is one top group that owes its popularity to talent. Page is one of the finest electric guitarists in the world. He’s done session work for everybody from Donovan to Tony Bennett and like Hendrix, has helped expand the definitions of rock by his innovations.

Robert Plant is the greatest singer in rock, next to Little Richard, and that’s no mean feat. He can control a scream the way Leontyne Price controls an aria and it’s just as exhilarating to experience.

Of course he was helped a bit last night by the sound man who added echo, reverb and other aural tricks to augment his voice.

John Bonham, the drummer, displayed superhuman strength by lasting the full three hours without a rest, even after an energetic drum solo that must have lasted 20 minutes.

John Paul Jones, an arranger and conductor before joining the group, played bass guitar, electric organ and mellotron.

Led Zeppelin made one of their first public appearances in Seattle just before Christmas 1968 as an unknown and unannounced second-on-the-bill to Vanilla Fudge. Their first album had not yet been released and the audience wasn’t prepared for them.

I remember the Arena crowd back then paying little attention to the band’s high energized rock music and they walked off stage to more boos than applause.

What a contrast last night when the audience was almost mesmerized by the goings-on on stage and give out the longest, most deafening ovation I’ve ever heard (about 8 to 10 minutes long and at least 5 on the Richter scale).

It was quite an experience. (by Pat  Macdonald, SeattleTimes July 1973)

Setlists: 

Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, (Bring It On Home intro) Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused (incl. San Francisco), Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Let That Boy Boogie), The Ocean.

Comments

Argenteum Astrum's picture

Another of the great 1973 US Tour shows ... from the onset the band is ready to play and they take no prisoners! The show, surprisingly, was followed by a very long announcements: "Led Zeppelin has aksed if we can get a few things straight tonight. Nobody around here digs any fireworks - please cool the fireworks. Please also, we have an area right here in front of the stage where we have many optic effects that we need to get off tonight, that we can't have any chance of anybody bumping the stage 'cos it'll completely ruin them. Their show usually runs about one hour and fortyfive minutes. If you can keep the fireworks down and keep everything off the front, Led Zeppelin would like to thank you and do about three hours tonight! So, sit back and stay cool and we'll have a long great show this evening!" The improvisations, especially No Quarter and the immensely long Dazed And Confused are fresh and unique and sound very different from anything heard before. The end has very unusual and exciting rhythm structure in Whole Lotta Love and Robert screaming as the band jam on the end of The Ocean.

Jerry Martin's picture

My first Led Zeppelin show i brought my high school sweet heart Terri and we were both blown away.They were and are such amazing showman.Terry really wasnt a led zeppelin fan but after the show she certainley was there ever after.We were right up front it was incredable i still talk about it.

Kevin 's picture

I was only 14 years old and even then i knew they where a great group. We went to this concert. Larry and I got to the colliseum at 8:00 am in the morning and the concert started at 8:00 pm. They pulled out tarps so we could stay out of the rain.. I was a little crazy at the time. We where smoking pot with the cops right there. everyone was great. no problems. at this time it as festival seating. another words you get in and find a seat. we had great seats. we could watch the band very well. It was and is probaly the best concert i have every gone to.

charmaine anderson's picture

this concert was the highlight of my teen years.

Tim Hell's picture

This was the first concert i ever seen me and a friend had just snuck in we ran unto the floor the band was playing whole lotta of love i was blown away after that i made it my mission for 10 years to see every concert that came to town. none had ever held a candle to Led Zeppelin.

Mr.Moondancer's picture

I was there in Seattle at this awesome concert. I was 16 years young! To be able to buy tickets which was very expensive at the time, (I think they were like 6 or 7 bucks) my older brother and I saved up gas money that our parents gave us to drive to school. Instead we parked the car up the street and took the bus. HaHa.

Now remember this was the 70's, so it wasn't unusual to drop acid and go to a concert and that is just what we did! It was crazy and Robert plant had on these TALL platform shoes and we were pretty close to the front so he looked like he was 20 feet tall!! It was incredible. He sang his ass off that night and Page was just working that guitar like it was a test from the guitar Gods to get into heaven.

The place was packed and there were strung out kids everywhere and lots of craziness going on. One big party with the best party band ever. So I am now 52 and there are rumors buzzing that the group may reunite for a tour minus Plant. I don't think so. Oh I am sure the concerts will sell out and it will be awesome for some, but for true Zed Heads (like me) this is a insult to Plant. IMHO of course.

John Ghosn's picture

July 17th, 1973 I was 13 yrs old. I can't, to this date, believe it but my
mom let me and 4 other friends go down to the Seattle Coliseum at 6:00am. We were first in line. All day in line of course was an adventure all by it self. When the doors finally opened we sprinted towards the stage and secured our spots in the front row. About two
hours later, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were right in front of me.
It was an amazing experience. I could not believe I was so close to these gods of rock and roll. 13 years old and I was mezmorized.
Last nite my band mates and I had a vinyl record listening party. I brought my bootleg of this show. Brought back all those great memories again. I saw Zeppelin another 3 times in Seattle. Twice in
1975 and at the Kingdom in 1977. In 1975 we were front row again for
the first show (thank you very much) and a security guard let us in for
free for the second show after milling around the coliseum all day.
Great stuff. Still my favorite rock band of course.

LED HEAD's picture

fellow Led Heads:

my buddy Ken and I arrived at the Seattle Center Coliseum around 4pm. at least a couple hundred people were already waiting, all sitting on the hot pavement. People smoking openly much to my surpsrise since I was an El Paso transplant and this was only my 3rd Seattle concert. Cops walking by asked the kid, "what do you think you're doing? come here". he hesitantly got up and walked over to them and was escorted away. the crowd booed.

a short while later he returned amid cheers and he rejoined his friends. The doors opened and we dashed inside, crowding the front of the stage in seconds. we must have been 20 or 30 feet from the stage, right in the center.

it was 8pm, showtime, and the crowd was getting restless. someone lit a bottle rocket that went off above us. some cheered, some groaned, and a roadie walked up the center mic. the audience thought he was going to introduce the band and they started screaming in delight. the annoyed roadie flatly announced, " if any other fireworks go off, Led Zeppelin is not going on stage". people roared in approval. then he walked off.

it was 8:20 and the lights went out. the audience got extremely loud. the band got to their marks. flashbulbs were going off like a coked-up strobe light. Jimmy with his gold Gibson Les Paul in hand, his head bowing to the audience ...for those that could make him out in the shadows. John toyed with his bass and the amp settings. Bonzo was getting settled and Robert waited with the mic in hand.

Suddenly, Bonzo crashed the high hats in rapid succession and I knew what was coming. ROCK n ROLL. I was blown away by the bass drum's green lasers shooting out to the crowd and then the thunderous riffs came in from Page and Jones. the crowd screamed, and the band rocked like it was the encore, taking no prisoners.

this opening rock anthem and so many other songs blew the roof off that dump called the Coliseum. the band never spoke to the audience except once when Plant said during a quiet moment in between numbers, " here's something completely different", for the introduction of Stairway. at the end of the song the mirror ball spun and spotlights reflected laser-like strands of light to everyone.

the show was incredible, but nothing prepared me for No Quarter. the stage was very dim, the band silouetted. the fog machine began churning billows of clouds. Robert was faceless, a shadow, backlit in red...his hair lit up in orange. the stage floor awash in greens and blues. the fog was knee level and their stage presence was surreal. they had taken us to another world.

the evening was amazing. I rated this show 4 out of 5 stars, which may received some backlash from fans. My reason is that at some point toward the end of their set, during some long jam, it got so damn loud I couldn't hear what they were playing. it was insanely loud. it lasted a couple minutes. who knows what the deal was at that time. they must have turned it up to eleven.

overall, it was incredible. there's so much more I could write about. whew.

now I need a cigarette.

Bob Rust's picture

I was a small town guy from the midwest at the age of 22 that had moved out to Tacoma in June of 1973 with my three best friends.  We heard about this concert and knew we had to get tickets.  We got in our old heap of a car and somehow made our way to the Coliseum (having never been to Seattle).  I will never forget how blown away we all were when they started playing.  It was an overwhelming sight and sound experience that I will never forget (although we were all in a fog that night).  The only other band I saw in concert that came even a little close to this experience was Slade (Minneapolis in 1973).  We had great seats, with a great view of the stage.  The other thing I remember is how much smoke was hanging in the air during the entire concert.  You really didn't even need your own stuff to smoke.  Certainly the musical highlight of my entire life!

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Memorabilia:

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Comments

Best concert I ever attended by Bob Rust (not verified)
Seattle show July 17, 1973 by LED HEAD (not verified)
1973 led zepplin concert by Kevin (not verified)
this concert was the by charmaine anderson (not verified)
This was the first concert i by Tim Hell (not verified)
The most mind blowing concert ever by Mr.Moondancer (not verified)
july 17 1973 seattle coliseum by Jerry Martin (not verified)