June 7, 1972
Montreal, QC CA
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, 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, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, Running Bear, Money Honey, Mess of Blues, Going Down Slow), Rock and Roll, Organ solo ~ Thank You.
Press review: Led Zeppelin: Top Heavies Electrify 12,000 at Forum
The members of Led Zeppelin are safely ensconced in their Waldorf-Astoria suite in New York this morning while the city of Montreal faces a severe power shortage as a result of the British group's gig here last night.
Zep couldn't have left too much amperage in town after they put on one of the most electric shows Montreal will ever see. And the 12.000 people in the Forum got quite a charge out of it.
It was the hard-line rockers' second stop on their latest North American tour. And, all along the Eastern seaboard, they'll be flying back the same night to stay in the Waldorf, their home away from home.
Well, Jimmy Page and crew earned their substantial pay last night. They played for well over two hours — there were no preliminary groups.
They are not only the original group of all the heavies, they are still the best. All their imitators — Black Sabbath, Grand Funk, etc. — aren't even in the money (figuratively speaking, of course).
Page can hold his own with just about any electric guitarist in the world. He has simply gotten better since his Yardbird days with Eric Clapton, and continues to grow.
When Page takes off on a riff, you listen. It's like taking your back brain out for a night on the town. There is so much electricity and sound coming through those speakers you almost think they're going to explode.
The group came out and ripped into their best-known songs, starting with The Immigrant Song. And, before the crescendo of requests grew too insistent, they did Stairway to Heaven, that venerable, reflective piece that everyone seems to get into. It’s their best work yet.
One small complaint — lead vocalist Robert Plant got a little lazy on the song, choosing the low route on the high notes, going an octave lower.
In fact, Plant is more of a shrieker than a singer, most of the time letting the group's echo chamber do his work for him, yet, he is an inseparable part of the band. Plant, by the way, tries to sing a lot of his songs like Janis Joplin might, and even the mannerisms are the same.
Then Zep did four or five acoustic songs, with John Paul Jones joining in on mandolin. They were valuable, but electric music is obviously Zep's forte.
On Black Dog, the best rocker in the past two years. Page launched into another riff, and cleared up one misconception of mine: on their latest album, in this cut, it sounds like Page falls off tempo. He did it again last night — but it's on purpose.
Seeing Page live gives you the opportunity to hear the great guitar runs that he is capable of; on Zep albums, the flashy stuff is sorely missing (listen to Whole Lotta Lovin', for example — Page is brilliant for 10 seconds, but that's all of a guitar break there is). Jimmy has more riffs in that expensive axe of his than anyone I've heard (with the possible exception of Johnny Winter).
I just hope he doesn't flash himself out by the time he reaches age 30.
Zep has learned to put strategic breaks in between the explosions of sound, a trick that makes their music so much more dynamic than that of their imitators. I'm glad too, we caught him early on the tour. His fingers must get mighty tired. My eyeballs got tired watching his fingers. But my ears were applauding. (B. Mann, Gazette, June 1972)