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Central Park (Wollman Rink Theater) / Schaefer Music Festival - July 21, 1969

  • 1st set includes: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, How Many More Times (medley incl. For What It's Worth (lyrics), "Lemon Song"), Communication Breakdown.
srapallo's picture
on September 20, 2007 - 5:19pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.8 (131 votes)
July 21, 1969
New York
NY
United States
us
Setlist: 

1st set includes: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, How Many More Times (medley incl. For What It's Worth (lyrics), "Lemon Song"), Communication Breakdown.

Note: 

Led Zeppelin perform two shows this night (7pm & 9:30pm), which include B.B. King as support act. (Rain date scheduled for July 22)

Press Review: Led Zeppelin / B.B. King

WOLLMAN RINK, N.Y. - The New York pop scene became a roman candle Monday night, July 21 , when The Schaefer Music Festival highlighted its season with an outstanding double-bill featuring Led Zeppelin and B. B. King.

King, a veteran bluesman only recently coming into his own, demonstrated the earthy and powerful sensitivity that invariably makes one bow in acknowledgement of a master's touch. His husky, expressive  voice and sweet, sweet guitar were the perfect vehicles for the rich, human understanding that the blues is really all about - something that B. B. King knows all about; he is a truly great man in a great tradition.

Led Zeppelin practically brought the house down; no kidding. By the end of a four-encore musical colossus the beam and erector-set framework of the temporary stage (and adjoining walls) were creaking under the strain as performers and audience alike were swept into a rock 'n' roll bacchanalia that would have made the most cynical critic wilt.

The accomplishment and spontaneity of John Paul Jones on bass and John Bonham on drums could have only been enhanced by a phenomenon like Jimmy Page. The apparently unimprovable gifts of the youthful virtuoso have, if possible, expanded since , we saw him last. The subtlety and lyrical inventiveness for which Page has always been recognized seem to have gained a hitherto dormant passion equal to that of any flamenco gypsy, as he whipped through "I Can't Quit You Babe," "Dazed and Confused," and the incredible "White Summer".

Outstanding candidate for superstardom is the group's luminary vocalist, Robert Plant. His soaring, spellbinding voice revealed an extraordinary physical and emotional range as he wove Zeppelin's demanding musical atmosphere with apparent ease, This , combined with his wantonly awesome stage presence, drama of movement, and searing improvisation all testify that Robert Plant may very well be the artist who can embody all nine muses at once. [Cash Box / Aug. 1969]
 

Notes: 

Led Zeppelin perform two shows this night (7pm & 9:30pm), which include B.B. King as support act. (Rain date scheduled for July 22)

Press Review: Led Zeppelin / B.B. King

WOLLMAN RINK, N.Y. - The New York pop scene became a roman candle Monday night, July 21 , when The Schaefer Music Festival highlighted its season with an outstanding double-bill featuring Led Zeppelin and B. B. King.

King, a veteran bluesman only recently coming into his own, demonstrated the earthy and powerful sensitivity that invariably makes one bow in acknowledgement of a master's touch. His husky, expressive  voice and sweet, sweet guitar were the perfect vehicles for the rich, human understanding that the blues is really all about - something that B. B. King knows all about; he is a truly great man in a great tradition.

Led Zeppelin practically brought the house down; no kidding. By the end of a four-encore musical colossus the beam and erector-set framework of the temporary stage (and adjoining walls) were creaking under the strain as performers and audience alike were swept into a rock 'n' roll bacchanalia that would have made the most cynical critic wilt.

The accomplishment and spontaneity of John Paul Jones on bass and John Bonham on drums could have only been enhanced by a phenomenon like Jimmy Page. The apparently unimprovable gifts of the youthful virtuoso have, if possible, expanded since , we saw him last. The subtlety and lyrical inventiveness for which Page has always been recognized seem to have gained a hitherto dormant passion equal to that of any flamenco gypsy, as he whipped through "I Can't Quit You Babe," "Dazed and Confused," and the incredible "White Summer".

Outstanding candidate for superstardom is the group's luminary vocalist, Robert Plant. His soaring, spellbinding voice revealed an extraordinary physical and emotional range as he wove Zeppelin's demanding musical atmosphere with apparent ease, This , combined with his wantonly awesome stage presence, drama of movement, and searing improvisation all testify that Robert Plant may very well be the artist who can embody all nine muses at once. [Cash Box / Aug. 1969]
 

Setlists: 

1st set includes: Train Kept a Rollin', I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, How Many More Times (medley incl. For What It's Worth (lyrics), "Lemon Song"), Communication Breakdown.

Comments

Norina's picture

Hot, dark, sweaty Central Park. I remember that night like it was last week. I have the ticket stub but don't remember that there was any real entrance. You could see and hear just fine from a distance. Those Schaefer Concerts were very cool. Just that one summer I think.

Jonathan B. Horen's picture

I came down from Scarsdale with my friend, Curt Brokaw (A&R at RCA), for the second show. BB King opened, to an audience of mostly middle-aged black men, drinking wine/beer out of paper-bag-covered containers. He was smokin! and mellow, too.

Toward the end of BB's set, I popped a couple of tabs of acid, then toked on a joint to get "right". A short break, then BAM! Led Zepp came on, AND SO DID I!! The music... the vocals... were so intense; I could barely stay on my feet.

A month later, I went to Woodstock (the music festival), but this remains THE best live rock concert I've ever attended.

david wismer's picture

We did not have tickets to the concert but were trying to climb trees to get a view. Even outside, however, could hear loud and clear, and what a show! I am a contributing writer for Forbes.com and mention the 1969 Central Park concert in this story:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidwismer/2012/11/18/led-zeppelins-celebra...

Argenteum Astrum's picture

A wild show! The great recording gives a vibrant atmosphere and the show is outstanding! Plant's voice is just amazing, and the instrumental machine is exquisite, soaring and roaring through every song with a vengeance! I love listening to the Zeppelin festival sets from 1969 because they had a set time to play and they put everything they have into it and it leaves you breathless! Robert aplogised to the audience for the lack of new material: "We've got an album coming out in the second week in August, but at the moment there's a bit of delay in us getting the numbers together really for stage, because we're still doing the old ones." Some wacky and exciting surprises in How Many More Times add to the fun and excitement!

Rich Mauro's picture

I worked for Schaefer and was at the show sitting in the press section, 1st 10 rows center. I have personal photos I took of them. BB King opened and Led Zeppelin started late. Park stayed open till 1am to accomodate the show. The band ran out of music to play and started the first songs over again as their encore. It was so loud and an incredible experience that I still remember to this day.

RICHARD's picture

I WAS AT THE CONCERT IN CENTRAL PARK AND IT HAS GOT TO BE IN TH TOP 2 CONCERTS I'VE EVER SEEN. HENDRIX AT THE FILMORE WAS THE OTHER. BEING A BASS PLAYER SINCE 1966 I HAVE BEEN TO HUNDREDS OF CONCERT'S THESE 2 HAVE NEVER BEEN TOPPED. I SAW PLANT WITH [STRANGE SENSATION] AT THE BEACON THEATER 2 SHOWS I THINK IT WAS IN 2006 WHERE HE SANG A NUMBER OF ZEPPELIN SONGS AND IT GAVE ME THE CHILLS. IT ALSO BROUGHT BACK A LOT OF MEMORYS OF CENTRAL PARK 69' I WILL ALWAYS BE A TRUE FAN OF BAND.

RICHIE's picture

WOW YOU ARE MY TWIN
I'M ALSO A BASS PLAYER WHO STARTED PLAYING IN 1966. I WAS ALSO WAS AT THE 69' ZEP CONCERT IN CENTRAL PARK.
ALSO SAW HENDRIX AT THE FILLMORE ALSO MY TOP 2 CONCERTS OF ALL TIME [LIKE YOU I WAS AT MANY MANY CONCERTS] I ALSO SAW PLANT AT THE BEACON W/STRANGE SENSATION BOTH SHOWS [3RD ROW FOR ONE] I ALSO GOT THE CHILL'S AND THE MEMORYS
TALK ABOUT A MIRROR IMAGE---KEEP ROCKIN

chris oloughlin's picture

Was this appearance an opener for  BB King?

TK's picture

I'm surprised that you're the only one who mentioned that they ran out of songs to play (@ the late show). As I recall- they were playing their asses off, thoroughly  enjoying themselves, & it was getting late when they ran out of material. The boys huddled for a few minutes (kinda like The Dead) & came back blasting 50's R'nR songs -Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc. (can't remember exact songs- & they're not in the set list).

Then there was some friction in the wings, (I found out later that there was a curfew, to placate the neighbors on 5th Ave) & the promoter was trying to get the band off the stage. But Zeppelin ignored him & just kept smokin'. Until they pulled the plug, shut off the power. And that was that, end of the show- but everyone, as far as I could tell, the band included- was ecstatic.

I also rank this show near the top of my list along with Bowie/Ziggy Stardust @ Radio City 2/14/73; Springsteen @ Schaeffer in ’74; Marley @ the Beacon ’75?; Talking Heads @ Forrest Hills ’84?; & some Hendrix shows (I saw the Fillmore 1/1/70 show as well but liked the Experience more). I’m partial to a show @ the Hunter College auditorium in ’67, Soft Machine opened. Wild!! Thanks for the memories.

 

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Memorabilia:

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Comments

BB King by chris oloughlin (not verified)
July 21st show Schaefer Music Festival by Rich Mauro (not verified)
ZEP AT THE PARK by RICHIE (not verified)
Was there also, had never heard anything like it by david wismer (not verified)
ZEP ROCKIN THE PARK by RICHARD (not verified)
Second Show That Night by Jonathan B. Horen (not verified)
July 21, 1969 by Norina (not verified)