March 24, 1975
Inglewood, CA US
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, Dazed and Confused (incl. Woodstock), Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love (incl. The Crunge), Black Dog, Heartbreaker.
Press Review: THE FORUM, L.A. - At the opening night performance of a three-day engagement at the 18,000 seat Forum, an engagement that marked the last shows of their current U.S. tour. Led Zeppelin proved that, so long as there is Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, all is safe for rock and roll. As Plant announced early in the set, the band wished to make the final appearances very special. for their audiences and in a two-hour set that featured the best works from their collective six-year existence they did just that.
Robert Plant is the perfect model for a rock group's lead singer - Lean, slender and supple in his movements, attired in an open chemise, he brings a special presence and dynamism to the Zep's music, that of lyric, always an integral part of what the band has stood for. Particularly effective these days is the rapport Plant has developed with his audience, much improved from years past. Whereas it is easy for a superstar of this caliber to rest easily on his laurels and remain egocentric, Plant makes a real attempt at unifying the crowd and involving them in his performance, via handclapping and verbal exchange. When Zeppelin does "Stairway To Heaven." perhaps their most widely-loved tune, the crowd remains transfixed to Jimmy Page’s eloquent guitar intro, then erupts with excitement at the raucous lead section of the song.
Ask any musician what he considers to be the primary example of the archetypal lead guitarist and most certainly Jimmy Page's name will be among the first he mentions. Page carries with him a dazzling assortment of axes on tour, a lovely vintage Les Paul Custom and a double-necked S.G. Gibson among them. But it is certainly not merely the instrument alone that accounts for Page's effectiveness on stage. He has an improvisational genius unparalleled in rock and roll, his compositions ranking high on the list of some of the greatest rock songs ever penned. " Dazed And Confused," "Communication Breakdown" and " Immigrant Song" are just a few examples of this man's classic style.
On stage, Page is bedecked in a gold-trimmed black suit and slinks around the stage for maximum effect during his solos. While standing still, his movement with his instrument lends a sense of tension to every lick or bent note he plays, often going up and down the neck for some mind-splitting arpeggios.
While it is clearly Page and Plant who are the foremost stars of the Zeppelin, mention must be made of the superb bass and keyboard work of John Paul Jones, who has of late taken more seriously his role as mellotron and piano man for the group. His function in that seat, often playing a Rhodes piano bass keyboard, lends a full, orchestrated sound that despite Plant's reference to it as "a cheap way of avoiding taking an orchestra on tour" is highly effective.
On drums is John Bonham, whose solo work employing drum synthesizers was superb. Often, drum solos are tedious and filled with a desperate sense of showmanship, but Bonham is a technician of the highest order and has full grasp of how to use drums as a lyric instrument, something which he personally has pioneered during his development in Zeppelin.
As for staging, the Zeppelin show made superb use of high powered fog machines and overhead lighting, filling the stage with an eerie, luminous array of colors.
Also of particular note was the use of half a dozen or so lasers emitting variously colored light beams throughout the fog, giving the impression of elongated, pulsating beams stretching the entire length of the arena. Fascinating to watch, the beams were of colors unimaginable to describe, often intersecting the fog and Robert Plant as well. The wisdom of Mr. Plant stepping into the path of these beams is something he should have consulted his crew about. however. They can be dangerous, so we're told!
A splendid show all around, true to the superb character of their recent LP "Physical Graffiti." We look forward to seeing how Zeppelin metamorphisizes in the days to come. Certainly they will remain one of rockdom's premiere groups, and their shows should be progressively more enthralling as they grow. [CB / 3-75 / p.a]
News Report: Led Zeppelin at The Forum in Inglewood
Led Zeppelin is by far the number one hard rock band in the world. Their recent American tour ended at the Forum last week. They broke their own record for selling out halls in record time. The Rolling Stones have never matched Zeppelin for speed in selling out concerts or for audiences or for gross income.
We went to the Monday gig at the Forum and Zeppelin was incredible. We have caught their act many times down through the years but nothing we've seen them do compared to last week's gig. The four were led by the excellent vocals of Robert Plant on a strong combination of material from the band's six LPs. They did many tunes from their new smash double album "Physical Graffiti." It was number one on the charts after only being out two weeks and was shipped to the record stores as a platinum record which means it had already sold over a million copies.
The band played almost three hours and 25 minutes and not one song sounded like another. The sound was superb as the foursome wailed toward the end of the show on "Whole Lotta Love" and "Stairway To Heaven."
Going into last Thursday's concert, Led's drummer, 26-year-old John Bonham, said "Our best gig where everything clicked was last Tuesday night at the Forum. The people were so great that attended the show they made us play harder."
The band filled the stage with smoke at times and had gimmicks like light beams that began on stage and went to the back of Forum.
The rest of Zeppelin is made up of guitarist and producer Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones on keyboard and bass. John Paul is one of the main reasons this hand is so versatile. Page played different guitars and sounded different on each one. Plant's vocals gave the band a versatile sound.
"I work hard on my vocals so they don't always sound alike," Plant said. "I think myself and the other three guys have improved with each album and each tour."
"After our first two albums we broke loose and have been on top of things ever since. One of our pet peeves is although we are selling a lot of albums and tickets to our concerts sell out soon as they go on sale, a lot of people are not listening to our new material to hear how much we have strengthened ourselves. "We have a lot of fans but I think we would have a lot more if people who heard us a long time ago would listen to us again."
"Our past tour went very well but we love playing the San Francisco Day Area a lot. We really miss not playing there this year. We know we have a lot of fans there and can't wait to play there again." (Daily Review, April 4, 1975)