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Atlanta Stadium - May 4, 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, Communication Breakdown
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 3:33pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.9 (330 votes)
May 4, 1973
Atlanta
GA
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, Communication Breakdown

Note: 

The opening show of the U.S. tour sets a record for the largest concert crowd in Georgia's history. Led Zeppelin drew nearly 40,000 fans to the Fulton County Stadium, earning a reported $246,000 in ticket sales. 

View 16mm archive footage from WSB-TV Atlanta.
[another clip here.]

Review: Stadium Rocks – Led Zeppelin Plays to 50,000
The manicured grassy field at Atlanta Stadium may never be the same after a Friday night rock concert that attracted a record crowd of almost 50,000.
What was once the domain of athletes and hot dog chewing baseball fans became center stage for Led Zeppelin, a British group wired for sound and worshipped by the teen-age legions.

To get to the stadium, rock fans had to battle radio-blaring traffic of mini vans chock full of long hair and bare feet.

Police towed away an estimated 100 cars left on the side of the interstate highway next to the stadium. Conspicuous among the youngsters, some gray-haired, all apparently enjoying themselves.

The stadium for the first time opened its field to an audience and the concert’s promoters promised to repair any damage to outfields and base paths.

Many of the teenagers camped out in front of the stadium since 9 a.m. and they left what was described as “a pile of stanching garbage”.

Stadium officials estimated that of the 49,233 people in attendance, about 16,000 of them sat on the field. A stadium spokesman said it was the largest single musical performance in the history of the state. A rock festival in middle Georgia a couple of years ago drew large numbers over two days.

In contrast, the Beatles drew a crowd of 33,000 in 1965 at the stadium. Sgt. L.W. Ramsey who had charge of traffic control around the stadium said the situation was “the worse I’ve ever seen, anywhere. We had to shut off all the exit ramps from the South Expressway and just run everybody by.

The rock fans seated in the stands had problems seeing the musicians, but they could view the group’s image reflected in 60-foot video screens provided by the concert promoters, Concerts West.

The music was loud Friday but not intolerable. “It was a pleasant way to listen to music without having your ears hurt”, a fan said.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the music while walking through the packed multitudes walking with friends and meeting new ones.

“It was like a caged Woodstock”, one person said.

During the 30-minute delay while the group prepped its instruments, members of the audience blew bubbles, tossed Frisbees and balloons and lit firecrackers.

Led Zeppelin left after the concert for Tampa, Fla., the second stop of a 33-city tour.

[-C. Yarbrough & B. Henderson, AtlantaConstitution)

-------------------

Press Review (2) - LED ZEPPELIN: On May 4, Led Zeppelin drew the largest crowd ever in the Atlanta area.

It was however, a disappointment to most of those who attended. Because it was nearly impossible to see the group, large movie screens had been erected on either side of the stage where a projector was filming the performance for live viewing. So in actuality one was watching a live movie with a really good atmosphere and live music to accompany it all. Even despite the 43,000 people there were some who were fortunate enough (mostly tall persons who were able to see above the crowd) to see the performance directly from the stage.

Page put on his usual fantastic performance playing a solo in the middle of "Dazed and Confused" with a violin bow. The audio equipment that was on hand was unbelievable and had a good deal to do with Plant's voice being as similar to his voice on the albums. The last time I had seen Zeppelin, Plant didn't come close to the high pitched shrills heard in Atlanta. Bonham's solo in "Moby Dick" was not at all as drawn out as I have seen many drummers do.

The concert in Atlanta was one stop in their nation-wide tour promoting their newest album "Houses of the Holy." Zeppelin's poorest performances were done on their older songs like "Communication Breakdown", "Dazed and Confused", "Whole Lotta Love", and various other cuts from II. The songs performed from their new album were done beautifully.

"No Quarter" was definitely the most well remembered song of the evening. The stage was set pitch black when the eerie moog was first heard. As the lights slowly rose, smoke began pouring in from the sides of the stage. Plant's silhouette was seen over the night fog effect. The majestic moog sound grew stronger until the lights had grown bright which began "No Quarter".

Their performance of "Stairway to Heaven" was also done exceptionally well. Preceeding the number doves had been set loose from the stage and throughout the song they circled over the group. Stars flashed over the top of the stage as a light brightened behind Plant illuminating his silhouette.

For those who witnessed the performance directly from the stage rather than the movie screen the concert might be described as nearly breathtaking. For those with a growth impediment the concert can be described as a disaster.  [5/73 / 'Music Reviews' / Monk]

Notes: 

The opening show of the U.S. tour sets a record for the largest concert crowd in Georgia's history. Led Zeppelin drew nearly 40,000 fans to the Fulton County Stadium, earning a reported $246,000 in ticket sales. Two large b&w video screens were used on each side of the stage, projecting close-ups of the band. (This footage has never surfaced and likely no longer exists).

View 16mm archive news footage from WSB-TV Atlanta.
[another clip here.]

Review: Stadium Rocks – Led Zeppelin Plays to 50,000
The manicured grassy field at Atlanta Stadium may never be the same after a Friday night rock concert that attracted a record crowd of almost 50,000.
What was once the domain of athletes and hot dog chewing baseball fans became center stage for Led Zeppelin, a British group wired for sound and worshipped by the teen-age legions.

To get to the stadium, rock fans had to battle radio-blaring traffic of mini vans chock full of long hair and bare feet.

Police towed away an estimated 100 cars left on the side of the interstate highway next to the stadium. Conspicuous among the youngsters, some gray-haired, all apparently enjoying themselves.

The stadium for the first time opened its field to an audience and the concert’s promoters promised to repair any damage to outfields and base paths.

Many of the teenagers camped out in front of the stadium since 9 a.m. and they left what was described as “a pile of stanching garbage”.

Stadium officials estimated that of the 49,233 people in attendance, about 16,000 of them sat on the field. A stadium spokesman said it was the largest single musical performance in the history of the state. A rock festival in middle Georgia a couple of years ago drew large numbers over two days.

In contrast, the Beatles drew a crowd of 33,000 in 1965 at the stadium. Sgt. L.W. Ramsey who had charge of traffic control around the stadium said the situation was “the worse I’ve ever seen, anywhere. We had to shut off all the exit ramps from the South Expressway and just run everybody by.

The rock fans seated in the stands had problems seeing the musicians, but they could view the group’s image reflected in 60-foot video screens provided by the concert promoters, Concerts West.

The music was loud Friday but not intolerable. “It was a pleasant way to listen to music without having your ears hurt”, a fan said.

The crowd seemed to enjoy the music while walking through the packed multitudes walking with friends and meeting new ones.

“It was like a caged Woodstock”, one person said.

During the 30-minute delay while the group prepped its instruments, members of the audience blew bubbles, tossed Frisbees and balloons and lit firecrackers.

Led Zeppelin left after the concert for Tampa, Fla., the second stop of a 33-city tour.

[-C. Yarbrough & B. Henderson, AtlantaConstitution)

-------------------

Press Review (2) - LED ZEPPELIN: On May 4, Led Zeppelin drew the largest crowd ever in the Atlanta area.

It was however, a disappointment to most of those who attended. Because it was nearly impossible to see the group, large movie screens had been erected on either side of the stage where a projector was filming the performance for live viewing. So in actuality one was watching a live movie with a really good atmosphere and live music to accompany it all. Even despite the 43,000 people there were some who were fortunate enough (mostly tall persons who were able to see above the crowd) to see the performance directly from the stage.

Page put on his usual fantastic performance playing a solo in the middle of "Dazed and Confused" with a violin bow. The audio equipment that was on hand was unbelievable and had a good deal to do with Plant's voice being as similar to his voice on the albums. The last time I had seen Zeppelin, Plant didn't come close to the high pitched shrills heard in Atlanta. Bonham's solo in "Moby Dick" was not at all as drawn out as I have seen many drummers do.

The concert in Atlanta was one stop in their nation-wide tour promoting their newest album "Houses of the Holy." Zeppelin's poorest performances were done on their older songs like "Communication Breakdown", "Dazed and Confused", "Whole Lotta Love", and various other cuts from II. The songs performed from their new album were done beautifully.

"No Quarter" was definitely the most well remembered song of the evening. The stage was set pitch black when the eerie moog was first heard. As the lights slowly rose, smoke began pouring in from the sides of the stage. Plant's silhouette was seen over the night fog effect. The majestic moog sound grew stronger until the lights had grown bright which began "No Quarter".

Their performance of "Stairway to Heaven" was also done exceptionally well. Preceeding the number doves had been set loose from the stage and throughout the song they circled over the group. Stars flashed over the top of the stage as a light brightened behind Plant illuminating his silhouette.

For those who witnessed the performance directly from the stage rather than the movie screen the concert might be described as nearly breathtaking. For those with a growth impediment the concert can be described as a disaster.  [5/73 / 'Music Reviews' / Monk]

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, Communication Breakdown

Comments

Joe Chambers's picture

I was on my way to be a judge in the South Carolina State Battle Of The Bands with the trumpet player in my band. We had won 1st place in the National Battle Of The Bands the year before in 1972 which were held in Greenville. It worked out perfect for us to see the concert in Atlanta on the 4th on the way to Greenville for the Battle of the Bands the next night. We got to Fulton County Stadium from my home town of Columbus Ga. in time for the show but way too late to even find one square inch of grass sit on in the ball field. The stadium lights were on the entire concert and there was a large screen next to the stage, I think on both sides which was the only way we could really see what the band looked like or what kind of gear they were using. It seemed almost like a dream. I think my friend and I were the only two people there not stoned completely out of our mind or tripping. We may have got somewhat high from the second hand smoke. There was a cream colored mushroom shaped cloud of pot smoke that domed the open air stadium from the time we got there until it was over. The band sounded great. I could be wrong, but I think they dropped the key a step on the end of " Stairway To Heaven" maybe to help Robert sing the very high part at the end of the song at the close of a long hard night. When they left the stage after the last song, which may have been "Stairway", we walked up the steps looking out over the sea of cars in the parking lot while the crowd was still wanting to hear another song holding up their lighters and screaming MORE, I saw three long black limo's with their bright red tail lights leaving the stadium lot all in a row heading toward the interstate and disappearing into the night. I remember thinking how cool would it be to have been in one of those limo's as a member of a band like that.

LA's picture

Just watched a live LZ concert on VH1 & it brought back soooo many great memories!! Graduated from Wheeler HS in '73 & saw this concert! LZ was & always will be my favorite rock band ever! They are my "go-to" music for any mood I'm in & I adore them. I've purchased the albums (yes, I'm that old), 8 tracks, cassettes & now cd's of all of their best & I still can sing all songs (Misty Mountain Hop will forever be the best to me) AND play along with Jimmy on guitar & John on drums...& I'm a girl!!! I love you guys & you still make me get up & dance like I'm 17 years old again!! Rock on forever, Led Zep!

not dazed - still confused's picture

Yes it was a monster show, huge crowd for that venue and very much an eagerly awaited appearance of the british rock gods down in hot'lanta.... talked about for months in advance that sort of thing.
And like another comment here - through some good fortune - fell into the appropraite credentials to roam about the staduim (Randy, I still owe you).
Prior to the show we did everything one did back then to prepare appropriately, I think the band took the same measure to heart, and then some, I mean a whole lot of then some. Actually they must have made that the job based on the delayed appearance on stage--completely shattered. Thanks for that. Initially it was all a mess, and through no fault of the band most likely the sound if described as poor that would be understatement.
However it all came together eventually and for that little corner of the world a much celebrated appearance.
Sorry I was all ready back in the parking lot. All well- it's only rock and roll, and I still like it.
Other shows featuring some of the same players since have more than made up for it. If I can forgive you, would you all consider bringing the troop around again?

Gary's picture

I saw Led Zeppelin in July 1969 at the 1st Atlanta Pop Festival and they were great. This concert disappointed me as Jimmy Page sounded like he was playing with two left hands. His solo runs were very rough and had alot of technical errors. I read in a magazine article later that he had broken the ring finger on his fretting left hand when he slammed a train door on his fingers a week before. I guess in all fairness Page still played better with one broken finger than 99% of all guitar players do with ten good fingers.

Gary's picture

This was the best Led Zeppelin concert ever.
.

Tim's picture

I was one of those wild crazy people at the Fulton County stadium concert. I was 16 and had a great time. It was the largest crowd I had ever been in and the whole event is something I'll never forget. Anybody from Osborne Sr. HS who was at the show and is still alive here's a shout out.

NameMarty's picture

Times were fun back then.It was a big event for me and all my friends.Traffic was a mess in downtown Atl.I saw them in 1977 too.They are the greatest Rock Band of all time and still are to this day

Ruth's picture

I was at this concert. It was awesome. It was packed. We sat on the grass. They played Stairway to Heaven. I remember the double neck guitar and the violin bow.

KENNY  FINN's picture

It was fest.seating everyone was partying. Lots of smoke. The show was classic. Once in a life time event for most. 5 bucks got you a ticket. The weather was great. Some way our group made are way to the right of the stage. Perfect view.

Bob MacDonald's picture

was about 25 or 30 feet from stage - loved it. Jimmy didn't miss a beat during communication breakdown after he swapped out guitars.

Col Mack's picture

Dear Led Zeppelin,
During May 1973 on the nite u came 2 ATL I was with the girl of my dreams ,and as we watched the doves fly around the stadium we kissed to the song 'Stairway 2 Heaven'...
It was one of The Greatest Nite Of My Life!
I have never seen a stage that Tall...
nor have I ever seen [so many] live Close-ups On Screen...
nor have I ever seen so Many People on that field @ 1 x for 'Festival Seating'...
thx so much!
Col Mack~`

Rick's picture

I was 17 years old when I went to this concert, it stands out as the greatest of many that I've seen over the years since then.
Atlanta traffic is never good, but it was especially bad that evening. The short drive from Marietta to the old Atlanta stadium seemed to take forever. Not only was there about 40,000 people in town to see Led Zeppelin, but about the same amount was in Atlanta for the Billy Graham crusade that night. The most memorable part of the concert to me was during "Stairway to Heaven" , hundreds of white doves were released to fly up through a "stairway" of light. Someone tell me I wasn't hallucinating! Ha!

mike L.'s picture

Saw LZ that nite then the next day flew to Tampa to see them again! O by the way they were very GOOD! Also Woody if you out there, get ahold of me. U should remember how.

Scott Methvin's picture

Wow! I was there on the pitcher's mound with all my friends in 9th or 10th grade. Our parents dropped us off at the stadium, which was in baseball mode at the time. Remember the doves being released after Stairway to Heaven. Got extremely high on hash that night, so most memories are long gone. We thought it was the greatest thing ever.

J jones's picture

was there in 73 with two good friends , we had an awsome time , this was the greatest concert of my life ! at least the parts I remember , led zepplin greatest of all time !!!

joe maifeld's picture

took the day off work, got appropriately ripped... saw the show from about 50ft away... WOW! what a truly great and fun time with my best friend larry! One of those memories you just don't ever forget!! 'Dazed and Confused' would be a great adjective!!

Steve's picture

Remember it well! People camped outside stadium for 2 days to get in. I was a 16yo usher at the stadium, got PAID to see the show. Nice to walk through the crowds, show your employee pass and stroll on in! Stage was set up in the outfield, they allowed audience onto the field (last time, I think, because of field damage). Outstanding show.

Scotty's picture

I was 14. My first kiss was during "Stairway to Heaven" May 4th on the field at the Atlanta Stadium. Magic

Roger Everett's picture

The Led Zeppelin show @ The old Atlanta Stadium was my first concert!!!. Though it WAS the '70's, I do still remember bits and pieces of it, I remember the large screen focused onstage, and I knew that from then on rock concerts was the place to be. I saw many in Atlanta in the '7o's at different venues, but Led Zepplein's will always stand out front.

Neva Howell's picture

First date with my husband 38 years ago, Great concert, and we are still together!!!!

Sherri hardy's picture

I was at that concert - with my first husband- on our first real date with Permission from my parents... The let the doves go with Stairway to Heaven--- it was so very nice for a 16 year old girl in love...

Mike White's picture

I was living in Atlanta at the time and I was there. Not the greatest venue in the world but a great show.

Mike White
Nashville, TN

Marty Feldman's picture

I was there. Are you sure you were there? Jimmy Page slamed his finger in a London subway door before the '75 Tour. Led Zeppelin didn't play Atlanta during the '75 tour. I drove to Greensboro, NC to see them. During the concert, which was disappointing because Page wasn't soloing hardly at all, Plant told the crowd what had happened.

Glenda Day's picture

You were not hallucinating ...unless we all were ! Best , most memorable concert I've ever seen .Total magic! I was barely in my teens and Jimmy Page totally woke up all my girly horomones on May 4,1973.lol

Rafael Zabala's picture

I had the best time with my friends from college at the May 4, 1973 concert.

Good ol days. Best band ever....I remember everybody sitting on the field and me going over them to reach my friends that were very close to the stage....

Name's picture

I still have hearing damage from that concert. During the 69-79 concert going I

can't remember a louder event.

Janet's picture

I was there!!!

BARRY FAWCETT's picture

  they were the best rock band that ever was (fantastic)

Jose Ferrer's picture

This was my first concert ever. After that everything else (Alice Cooper, B Pop Deluxe, Stones, Eric Clapton, etc could not hold a candle. Truly historic. The super big screens, the loudness etc was out of this world and of course you did not need to bring anyt since you were tapped often from all sides to take a hit.  I am surprised I survived!

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