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Tampa Stadium - May 5, 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, Communication Breakdown.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 3:34pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.9 (1075 votes)
May 5, 1973
Tampa
FL
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, Communication Breakdown.

Note: 

A news report from WTVT, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida with reporter John Jones at Tampa Stadium is featured on the 2007 DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Song Remains the Same. (A clip of this report was also used to introduce the band at the O2 reunion concert).

Press report: LED ZEPPELIN BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORD AS WELL AS AN OLD BARRIER OF SILENCE

Record-breaking tour audiences and grosses have been claimed by a lot of rock groups - Beatles, Rolling Stones, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad. Now Led Zeppelin is claiming one - biggest audience for one act ever in the United States.

This was May 5 at the Tampa Stadium, the night after the British group started its U.S. tour in Atlanta. Attendance in Tampa was 56,800, with a $309,000 gross. Led Zeppelin is on a 33-concert, 30-city tour during May and July, with June off for vacation, expecting a total gross of $3 million. The quartet performs without an opening act or intermission, for two and a half hours.

But if anybody thinks they're blasé about playing to such a big crowd as in Tampa, 'he's wrong. We spoke later by phone with lead singer Robert Plant in New Orleans. He said, "I think it was the biggest thrill I've had. I pretend - I kid myself — I'm not very nervous in a situation like that. I try to bounce around just like normal.

"But, if you do a proportionate thing, it would be like halt of England's population. "It was a real surprise. Tampa is the last place I would expect to see 60,000 people. It's not the country's biggest city. It was fantastic. One would think it would be very hard to communicate; with 60,000 people some have got to be quite a distance off. There were no movie screens showing us, like in Atlanta. The only thing they could pick on was the complete vibe of what music was being done."

Plant and Page write most of the group's songs. Some are a collaboration of all four. Gold albums have been "Led Zeppelin," "Led Zeppelin II," "Led Zeppelin III" and "Houses of the Holy," Atlantic, the latter being the best-selling album in the U.S. tor the first two weeks of May. The group also has a gold single, "Whole Lotta Love." But singles are not a big item with Led Zeppelin.

"You can't pick up on what we do in three minutes." Plant adds that some people thought the group was heavy, sexy rock from its hit single. "Now I think they realize there is more. They realize we have subtlety and a spectrum. You can't keep sending out heavy rock all the lime.

"Every time we make an album, our musical leanings advance more and more. A person won't be repetitious if he has any artistry at all. It sounds egotistical but I think this group has the most talented musicians in England. Jimmy Page has played backup with innumerable people from Burt Bacharach to the Rolling Stones.

"He is like the father of the group. Bassist John Paul Jones has done arrangements for people who are world-famous. I came roaring out of the blues and drummer John Bonham used to be like me.

“After bashing out infectious rock, we've started to level out into an artistically leaning group. There's been no big hype behind it at all. The music sort of seeped through to people. The first album was sensitive, traditional songs like Joan Baez had done. Since then it has gone from strength to strength. An audience can ever anticipate in advance what our next album will be like.

 "Live, we do a lot of improvising. The numbers will be more or less the same numbers, but what goes on inside, apart from the melody lines, will alter each night. There’s a lot of phrase tossing between drummer, bassist and guitarist and I've been renowned for using my voice as an instrument.

"A lot of groups are too frightened to play away from the track of the records. You see them twice and know exactly what you'll hear the third time. And it's the reason why our group has never changed personnel.

A lot of groups pack it up and form again. There's internal strife because of musical boredom — plugging away at the same old thing. We stay creative: I think that is exactly what we're known for." (A.P. - May 1973)

Notes: 

A news report from WTVT, Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida with reporter John Jones at Tampa Stadium is featured on the 2007 DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Song Remains the Same. (A clip of this report was also used to introduce the band at the O2 reunion concert).

Press report: LED ZEPPELIN BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORD AS WELL AS AN OLD BARRIER OF SILENCE

Record-breaking tour audiences and grosses have been claimed by a lot of rock groups - Beatles, Rolling Stones, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad. Now Led Zeppelin is claiming one - biggest audience for one act ever in the United States.

This was May 5 at the Tampa Stadium, the night after the British group started its U.S. tour in Atlanta. Attendance in Tampa was 56,800, with a $309,000 gross. Led Zeppelin is on a 33-concert, 30-city tour during May and July, with June off for vacation, expecting a total gross of $3 million. The quartet performs without an opening act or intermission, for two and a half hours.

But if anybody thinks they're blasé about playing to such a big crowd as in Tampa, 'he's wrong. We spoke later by phone with lead singer Robert Plant in New Orleans. He said, "I think it was the biggest thrill I've had. I pretend - I kid myself — I'm not very nervous in a situation like that. I try to bounce around just like normal.

"But, if you do a proportionate thing, it would be like halt of England's population. "It was a real surprise. Tampa is the last place I would expect to see 60,000 people. It's not the country's biggest city. It was fantastic. One would think it would be very hard to communicate; with 60,000 people some have got to be quite a distance off. There were no movie screens showing us, like in Atlanta. The only thing they could pick on was the complete vibe of what music was being done."

Plant and Page write most of the group's songs. Some are a collaboration of all four. Gold albums have been "Led Zeppelin," "Led Zeppelin II," "Led Zeppelin III" and "Houses of the Holy," Atlantic, the latter being the best-selling album in the U.S. tor the first two weeks of May. The group also has a gold single, "Whole Lotta Love." But singles are not a big item with Led Zeppelin.

"You can't pick up on what we do in three minutes." Plant adds that some people thought the group was heavy, sexy rock from its hit single. "Now I think they realize there is more. They realize we have subtlety and a spectrum. You can't keep sending out heavy rock all the lime.

"Every time we make an album, our musical leanings advance more and more. A person won't be repetitious if he has any artistry at all. It sounds egotistical but I think this group has the most talented musicians in England. Jimmy Page has played backup with innumerable people from Burt Bacharach to the Rolling Stones.

"He is like the father of the group. Bassist John Paul Jones has done arrangements for people who are world-famous. I came roaring out of the blues and drummer John Bonham used to be like me.

“After bashing out infectious rock, we've started to level out into an artistically leaning group. There's been no big hype behind it at all. The music sort of seeped through to people. The first album was sensitive, traditional songs like Joan Baez had done. Since then it has gone from strength to strength. An audience can ever anticipate in advance what our next album will be like.

 "Live, we do a lot of improvising. The numbers will be more or less the same numbers, but what goes on inside, apart from the melody lines, will alter each night. There’s a lot of phrase tossing between drummer, bassist and guitarist and I've been renowned for using my voice as an instrument.

"A lot of groups are too frightened to play away from the track of the records. You see them twice and know exactly what you'll hear the third time. And it's the reason why our group has never changed personnel.

A lot of groups pack it up and form again. There's internal strife because of musical boredom — plugging away at the same old thing. We stay creative: I think that is exactly what we're known for." (A.P. - May 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, Communication Breakdown.

Comments

Deb Shuman's picture

I was at this show, way back in 1973. I must say The Zep rocked Tampa and it was one of the greastest musical shows. I will never forget that show. I do consider myself lucky to have seen them. I hope they come again to Tampa and hopefully Robert will tour too..... Rock on to all who love to rock!!!

NamasteSuz's picture

BEST concert memory of my youth... hands down. Was fortunate to have worked at the record shop in my town that was the exclusive ticket outlet for this show so was given two comps to the concert. Talk about Teenage Dream!!! Was pleased to learn that we had broken a long held attendance record formerly held by the Beatles In NY. When the doves were released from behind the stage, thought I had died and went to heaven! Few things in adult life have surpassed the sheer excitement and exhilaration I experienced that Saturday in May more than 35 years ago at this iconic show. ☮ ❤ ♫

 Michael L.'s picture

21 years old soon to be 22, my friends and I decide to spend the winter in Fla away from the snow and cold of New England. Saw some fine concerts that winter; Traffic, Poco, Yes, Free, Santana. But nothing compared to what we witnessed that day in Tampa. We were living in Bradenton and went up the night before. Camped out in the woods across the street from the stadium. I remember being buzzed by choppers I presumed were the local authorities keeping an eye on these "undesireables".

Entered the stadium sometime in the morning. Knew we had a long day in the sun before the show started. Amazed how the stadium filled with people. Heard stories going through the crowd about breaking the Beatles record for largest 1 day concert crowd. At dusk, Zep started. We were fairly close to the stage, maybe 30-40 ft, stage right. What a sight to see Jimmy play that Les Paul with a violin bow. One of my friends still has his ticket stub. Memories I'll never forget.

V.J.'s picture

In that era, it wasn't possible for any aspiring hippy of fifteen, growing up north of Tampa, to refrain from attending a Led Zeppelin show in the vicinity. Their second album had been my first, obtained during the sixth grade, and I had them all except the newly-released "Houses of the Holy." So my best friend and I shelled out the requisite five bucks each--the going rate for top tier shows then, unbelievably (inflation notwithstanding)--and made our way to the stadium. We managed to worm our way to center field, probably around the 30 yard line, where we spotted a girl I knew, with her friend. They smoked us out and we were mesmerized by the music and the situation for the next few hours. It was an incredible experience, and a highlight of my young life. I kept the ticket stub for years, until I discarded it and others in a fit of fundamentalist-inspired phony guilt. Boys and girls, the lesson for the day is: beware of religious extremism! Well, at least the memories haven't been discarded, and today I appreciate the distinct privilege it was to be part of the event. V.J.

Bill Studstill's picture

I was 14 years old in 1973. Nothing was going to stop me from seeing this concert. I dicided to thumb to Tampa from Orlando were I still live. Yeah 14. Never did tell my mom I was sorry. I still think of it as my Woodstock. Re- telling the story with my sons 20,17,16 always gets me a little respect. I left out one little detail I will share with there kids down the road. As I threw my thumb out a car stopped with the occupents also heading to the show. I was nervous. Only to find out they new my older brother. So I road there with them. Invited to the pre concert festivities . After the show they dropped me off at the house instead of the exit I started at.What hell of a good time for a kid. Thanks guys.

Name JOEL PHILLIPS's picture

Imagine this. My 18th birthday..... high on acid and speed.... smokin some great weed and one hell of a party. Hot chicks everywhere. Girls being tossed high into the air from blankets. .Three hours of the greatest rock band ever.. Just doesn't get any better than that!!!!

Gene Tice's picture

I went up to Tampa from Hollywood Fl with my friend Ron. We got a room the night before the show and man there was nothing but Zep heads everywhere. We partied all night. Next morning we got to the stadium at 10 am and the parking lots were jammed with people already. When they let us in latter that afternoon we were sunburned but we didn't care. We were in the stands and they along with the field quickly filled up. Girls were being bounced high into the air on blankets and it was generally just a very happy crowd. When Zep appeared on stage I swear the sun was setting behind them. when they did stairway someone shot off a parachute flare that drifted over the stage and at songs end they released 100's of white doves. I might be embelishing a bit here but my mind was with the times you know but that concert was by far the greatest ever for me. Jimmy is the BEST!!!

Brian Hiatt's picture

Arrived at the stadium at 4pm and still had to sit way up in the stands. Spent 4 hours having fun with the "neighbors". This was my first concert so I did it right. I now see concert T's for sale at Kolhs with this date on it. What a strange world.

Edward John Bonacorsi's picture

I rate this the best concert I have ever been to.My friend Michael bought me the tickets.I flew down from NY to see my buddy and Led Zepplin.Tickets were $5.00 general admission.We arrived at 12:00 O'Clock for an 8:00 O'clock performance.50 feet back dead center.Doobie brothers on the sound system,Girls being thrown high in the air by blankets.Smokin' and Jokin'.A memory of a life time.

Michael  Noble's picture

First of all it was the best rock concert I had ever been to in my life up to that time. They sold 56.800 tickets to the show at $ 5.00 each and then once the stadium officials started turning people away after announcing that the show was sold out, around 4,000 plus more people jumped over the 8 foot tall wall around the stadium and got in for free. So there were actually over 60,000 people in the stadium for the show. The band performed fantastically. The crowd was in awe for most of the show. They played for almost 4 hours straight with NO opening act. The only break that Robert, Jimmy, and Jonesy, got was during Bonzo's amazing drum solo during Moby Dick. At the end of Stairway to Heaven they released a couple of hundred white doves into the air from underneath the front of the stage. That was so cool. During the encore was the first time I had witnessed the thousands of cigarette lighters being hoisted into the air that we now take for granted. The boys were in rare form that night and gave everyone there a memory that we'll never forget. I got to meet Robert Plant in the late 90's while he was in the Tampa / St.Petersberg area on a vacation with his family and asked him if that night had any special meaning for him as I explained that I had been there. He said that he remembered being very nervous about the size of the crowd and how proud he was when he learned toward the end of the show that they had broken the Beatles attendance record for a single act rock concert. He also said that the other members of the band thought it was a very amazing night as well. I also remember that a few days after that show, the album Houses of the Holy went Platinum and it had only been on the charts for about 3 weeks. An awesome time for Rock N' Roll.

BIGDIGGER's picture

This was my first concert,I was 15 years old and I can honestly say that is was a life changing experiance. Bought my first guitar[ black Les Paul copy] and have been pissing off the neighbors ever sinse. I've been to over 75 shows ever sinse and none could ever measure-up that night. I went to this show by myself, got dropped of in front of Tampa Stadium by my mom. Didn't have any dope, but everybody sittin' next to me keep handing me reefers[ ,God those truely were the good 'ol daze]. I don't remember if there was an opening act. I think they played for more than 2 hours. Saw allota show s in the "big sombrero",I can't remember dates but here's a partial list of what I can recall...Pink Floyd2x, The Allman Bros-Wet Willie, Deep Purple-Savoy Brown-BOC-ZZ-TOP[opened the show]. Crosby, Stills,Nash,and Young, Eric Clapton-Santana,Jethro Tull. I'm sure there's more,if anybody went to any concerts at the old stadium please post so I can jog my memorey.PEACE...

Merlin's picture

I was there. It was awesome. We got there to get in as soon as they opened the gates. I don't remember what time it was, but it was early. We were able to stake out a spot about 10 to 2 yards from the stage. We had blankets, some goat skins full of wine, which we had to sneak in, and other assorted "things". It was a mini Woodstock for the afternoon with people playing around and having a good time.

The concert itself was just fabulous. One night I will never forget. Wish I had saved the ticket!

NameScott's picture

Actually was in Atlanta the night before also. Was heading for Tampa and was in traffic only to find out that they were playing. Pulled over and scored ticks. Headed out and saw them the next night in Tampa...4th row center right under Plant. Awesome show...will never forget watching Page.

Paul Wainwright's picture

I was fortunate to have been at this concert. I was one of the 6,000 people that 'crashed the gate' being sucked in by the rush of the crowd, so I still have the whole ticket stub. I framed it with a photo page from Circus Magazine, of the show. The caption of the photo says: "The crowd that milled outside Tampa's New Stadium was three times the population of Long Branch, NJ". I live close to Long Branch. GREAT show and a memory of a lifetime...

Rob's picture

I don't remember much about the gig really. Just being completely mesmerized! We were pretty close - left of the stage low down in the stands. I live in London and was gutted not to get a ticket to see them last year one last time.

mike L.'s picture

I saw LZ the nite before in Atlanta with an old friend. Woody if your out there, get ahold of me. I think u remember how!

hayes's picture

I went with some friends that I went to school with, we drove over from Clearwater in a VW that had no radio, but we knew we would have our heads full very soon of music among other things, it was the 70's after all. I cut all the newspaper clipping out and saved them and still have them to this day.

Ed Plant's picture

The Best of the Best I'll never forget

Paul Iorio's picture

In pop culture history, Led Zeppelin officially dethroned The Beatles on May 5, 1973, at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

At that concert, Zeppelin attracted more paying fans than had ever attended a show by a single act in the United States, surpassing the previous record set by the Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965.

Zeppelin drew 56,800 fans, the Beatles 55,000. For the record, there were no other acts on the bill in Tampa, though there were other bands performing at Shea; still, the Beatles gig was effectively a solo show and has been regarded as such since.

Was the 1973 Tampa Stadium gig a great Zeppelin performance? Some of it was. Guitarist Jimmy Page was in rare form and the rest of the band sounded jazzed about having broken the Beatles's record.

But Robert Plant was hoarse, a fairly substantial drawback.

I attended the show as a 15-year-old high school student, arriving at the Stadium with friends well before the Saturday night concert began. After showing our five-dollar advance tickets (six on the day of the show), we took a place on the field, around a third of the way to the stage. I even made an audiotape of the show, which I gave to a friend who gave it back to me decades later. (Most of the quotes in this story come from that tape, by the way.)

Zeppelin took the stage after 8 p.m., with the introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, what more can I say? Led Zeppelin!" Fans screamed as if they were on fire.

Plant stepped to the mike. "Looks like we've done something nobody's done before," he said, referring to the box office record. "And that's fantastic."

Page struck a practice chord. John Bonham played a drum roll. Feedback filled the air. Then Bonham pounded out the intro to "Rock and Roll."

As Plant started singing, it became obvious he was straining to hit the high notes (due to some sort of cold), which was disappointing.

But Page more than made up for it, fluidly riffing through a stunning twenty-minute opener that included "Celebration Day," "Black Dog," "Over the Hills and Far Away" and "Misty Mountain Hop" in quick succession.

2012-05-01-concert.jpg

Just before "Misty Mountain," Plant chatted to the crowd again. "Anyone make the Orlando gig we did last time?" he asked.

Fans cheered.

"This is the second gig we've done since we've been back o the States and uh..." Plant seemed speechless for a moment. "And I can't believe it!"

But the lovey-dovey mood evaporated a bit after "Since I've Been Loving You," when front row fans began getting out of control, pushing against barriers and forcing Plant to play security guard.

"Listen, listen," Plant said to the unruly crowd. "May I ask you, as we've achieved something between us that's never been done before, if we could just cool it on these barriers here because otherwise there're gonna be a lot of people who might get [hurt],"Plant told the crowd.

"So if you have respect for the person who's standing next to you, which is really what it's all about, then possibly we can act more gently."

"We don't want problems, do we?" Plant asked. The crowd cheered.

Several songs later, after "The Rain Song," it became clear the crowd was now getting seriously out of control. Plant got testy.

"We want this to be a really joyous occasion," he says.

"And I'm going to tell you this, because three people have been taken to the hospital, and if you keep pushing on that barrier, there're going to be stacks and stacks of people going. So for goodness sakes... can we move back just a little bit because it's the only way. If you can't do that, then you can't really live with your brother. Just for this evening anyway."

"Can you cooperate?!" asked Plant, a bit exasperated.

There was tepid applause. "It's a shame to talk about things like cooperation when there're so many of us. Anyway you people sitting up the sides are doing a great job. [Fans cheer.] But these poor people are being pushed by somebody. So cool it. That's not very nice."

Plant also took the opportunity to publicly diss Miami.

For some unknown reason, the band was apparently still sore about a 1970 gig in Miami Beach that stands as the last time Zep played in that area.

"We played the Convention Center in Miami, which was really bad," said Plant to the crowd, just before introducing "Dazed and Confused." "The gig was good, but there were some men walking around all the time making such a silly scene." He didn't elaborate.

The crowd problems seemed to dissipate after a few more songs. By the time the group roared into "Whole Lotta Love," near the end of the almost three-hour set, Plant shouted, "We've got 57,000 people here and we're gonna boogie!," segueing into "Let That Boy Boogie Woogie." The crowd went nuts.

Unfortunately, I had to be home by around 11 p.m., which meant missing encores "The Ocean" and "Communication Breakdown."

The highlight of the night, judging from a tape of the show and from memory, was "Over the Hills and Far Away," if only because of Page's incendiary solo, which was quite unlike his solos in other live versions of the song. That alone is worth searching the Internet for a bootleg CD of the show.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-iorio/led-zeppelin-dethroned-the-beat...

Janne's picture

I went to this concert when I was in high school with some friends, and it's a memory that has stayed with me. The band performed brilliantly and everyone in the stadium was just mesmerized by the music, by the band, by the energy, the mastery, the playfulness. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, et al wove a spell that night.
I particularly remember spotlights and fog effects during No Quarter making me feel alone and hunted in the gigantic crowd (all in fun, of course.) They played one favorite after another.
Near the end of the evening, Robert Plant informed us that we had helped them break a record, and thanked us sweetly for it.
On the way out of the stadium, we discovered one of the white doves that had been released had landed on my friends van. He turned out to be completely tame (and not at all inclined to let go of his perch on my friend's arm.) Not knowing what else to do with him, we brought him home with us. My friend named him Peace - it seemed apt since the huge crowd had been peaceful, enjoying the concert by these deservedly legendary musicians. What a privilege to have been there!

Rick's picture

We taped Jack Daniels to our legs, sat on the Dale Mabry side, halfway up, mid-section

The party was as good or better than the show....Plant's voice was bit rough but great to be part of history

Lona's picture

I had 17 invitations to this concert, but decided to hitch-hike from Orlando with a friend, so I could REALLY enjoy my second Led Zeppelin concert. Tho I will Never, EVER forget either one, the excitement and awe created by the vast number of people who attended--not to mention the astonishment of Led Zeppelin by the amount of people who were there ( I remember Robert Plant mentioning almost like he couldn't believe it the amount of people inside the stadium more than once)---made this THE best concert I ever went to. No matter what, I will always have my wonderful memories of Led Zeppelin--not only did I see them twice (once at the Orlando Sports Stadium); I saw their record-breaking concert in Tampa, on 5 May 1973. (as I remember, there were people outside the stadium as far as you could see who couldn't get in) One band, playing at least 2 1/2 hours, over 56,000 people---they deserve their place in history for that alone!!!!!!

Joe D.'s picture

I was in the crowd for the Led Zeppelin show in Tampa, FL, May 1973. I do not remember much of the concert as we got there early in the afternoon, sat on the football field and smoked pot for most of the afternoon, into the evening when the show started. I remember being in the back, up a few steps on a bleecher, and I remember the guitar sounds of Dazed and Confused. That is about it of my memory from that concert. I was attending Florida Institute of Technology, in Melbourne, FL at the time. My friends and I went over to Tampa a week or so earlier and bought a bunch of tickets. Went back to campus and sold them. The day of the concert, I remember we drove a car-caravan across the state to Tampa and into rock history......those were the days.....Thanks!
Joe

Patty's picture

I attended the Led Zeppelin concert in Tampa, Fl 1973. This was the first concert i ever went to. I was sixteen at the time and my mother let me travel from Pompano Beach to Tampa with my older brother for the weekend. Needless to say, I do not remember much of those three days. We set up a stove and made breakfast for hours and gave it out in exchange for drugs. Took the big jar of drugs into the concert and passed it around. I do remember that Led Zeppelin was awesome!

Argenteum Astrum's picture

The second show of the US Tour in front of a record breaking audience that is also completely out of control! "Hello. It seems between us we've done something nobody's ever done before ... and that's fantastic!" Robert asking the crowd for calm here and there. The playing varies between brilliant and sloppy. Dazed And Confused is a fine example of this. Some sections sound great and others have Jimmy way by himself. The drum solo segues into Heartbreaker and then into Whole Lotta Love, the only time this is ever done. A very good show but not tops and nowhere near the nirvana reached in just a week.

Doug Bridges's picture

Drove up from Homestead in my buddy's VW Van (go figure) on Friday. Spent the night at Clearwater Beach...at around 2:00PM the local FM station brodcasted that there were already 20,000 people at the stadium. We immediately headed over and got into the parking lot at around 4:00PM. Tossed the frisbee around a bit, then when the gates opened, we staked out an area around the 50 yard line. Most memorable song: Stairway to Heaven. Towards the end of the song, they released hundreds of dove. Unfortunately, many of them crashed into the huge mirror backdrops they had erected on stage. The stage hands were scrambling around picking them up, it was pretty bizarre. Anyway, BEST CONCERT EVER...I can't believe we only paid $5.00 for a ticket.

Edward John Bonacorsi's picture

Still have my ticket stub and article from the Tampa news.Best concert I'v attended.50 feet back center.Will you pass the joint back Bogart

NameScott's picture

Was there too.

Ric's picture

completely agree with the commenter who was there that night in Tampa. I'm 53 y/o now and still recall that night as one of the most magical in my life.

Anne's picture

Remembering that concert As u did ...

Andy Skeels's picture

I think this show was general admin and my ticket cost $7.00.  Got there 4 hours early and baked in the sun until showtime.  I remember Robert Plant pleading with everyone to cool it with the drugs and mentioned some drug that was causing massave OD's.  The band arrived by air and the show started without incident (At least with me anyway).  Still the best show I have ever seen along with Pink Floyd who played at Tampa Stadium just about a month later.  Great memories!  Great place for an outdoor concert!

Adrienne's picture

20 ft. from stage lookin up at Page and Plant ROCKIN' with since passed husband Dave Little.

George Pickering Tomlinson's picture

I also was there, on the 50yd line. Was a great show. Sir.George Great Falls montana. Usa.

 

patrick  tessier's picture

i was there..front fkcn row, right in front of Jimmy, watching him play was the that close best concert experience of my life..an amazing night of music...

to be a rock and not roll...

 

 

Theresa Dempsey's picture

I was at the Concert on May the 5th at Tampa Florida, I was only 13, I like to have drove my Father crazy to bring me.. I had a love for music, from the time I was like 3 years old... So with much thought my dad agreed to go to Tampa and wait for ticket to go on sale.I believe they were like 5$ back then. I still remember I was in awwww. I was little and had to stay with my dad all the time... But it was the 1st of many concerts for me.. to this day.. I can get enough. I love you all!! and Jimmy I'm still in awww of LOLOL!!!!. I'm now buying all the movie concert of your and many others.. Thank you so very much for make love music as much as possple.. your BIGGEST FAR OF ALL

Much Love!!!

Theresa Dempsey

I wish I could have met you all.. maybe in my Dreams!!!

Dave's picture

I was a freshman at Plant High, and I arrived before noon and waited at the gate. I think it was noon when they let us in and me and my buddy ran as fast as we could all the way to the wooden barrier in front of the stage. We were as close as you could get unless you were security. It was a typical hot Tampa pre-summer day and we baked all day in the sun. It was quite a party but Brian and I weren't really drinking much cause we didn't want to walk ALL THE WAY to the bathrooms. I think I had one pee break and miraculously threaded my way all the way back to front and center. Some guy named Dusty in a moccasin vest kept weaving through the crowd selling pot and pills. He wandered our way giving shotguns (remember those?) to anyone who was ready. It really was Woodstock-like in a small way.

When the guys took the stage it was straight up rock 'n roll like I had never seen and heard! For a band of four Led Zeppelin sounded much bigger! All the hits and most of them included long jams of of British bluesy improv that would snake back to the signature riffs and end to estatic applause. Applause like only 60,000 people can give. I'm now 57-years-old and this stands in my memory as the best concert I've ever seen. Stones, Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, Paul McCartney not withstanding...I can say I SAW LED ZEPPELIN!

Bruce B's picture

There's no way my folks would've allowed me to go, but they were out of town, leaving us kids in the care of a "responsible young woman". I got to go to this concert by blackmailing the aforementioned young lady after I busted her and her boyfriend getting high in my parents bedroom. OK, maybe it made me a creep, but who can really blame me in retrospect? It was a fantastic concert, and I challenge anyone to come up with a better first concert when rock was at its best! The girl I coerced, Melony(?), was bitching constantly about the $5 she had to spend & taking " this brat" to the concert until I unfurled my stash. She's to this day  undoubtedly still shocked, not only did I have my own weed, but it was far superior in quality as well. I had been digging Led Zeppelin for a few years after hearing them on my best friends moms stereo. She had all of their albums and even let me borrow some as well as some other rock and blues stuff. Definitely the coolest mom in the neighborhood! Led Zeppelin, I later came to realize, is one of very few bands that could sound better live than their studio releases.

 

  Starting out with arguably the greatest rock band of all time will ( and did) leave a person disappointed by other artists and performances to come. They set an incredibly high bar for other acts to reach for the rest of my life. Very few bands achieve that kind of mind blowing stage presence and musical wizardry that Led Zeppelin maintained over many shows and years. Their music is truly timeless, magical, raw, yet highly technical and complex. Jimmy Page has also lleft many guitarists frustrated in reproducing his work, let alone creating so many amazing songs. I know that pain firsthand! In 1973 can anyone honestly say that they could foresee music by Led Zeppelin in a Cadillac commercial? Like I said, timeless...

Allison Hill's picture

I remember LZ starting off with Rock and Roll for their first song and setting doves free on their last. Everything else in between was pure Rock and Roll heaven for me...on the field. I am so proud for this to be my very first concert. I've told so many people about my first concert. I later became a rock and roll DJ, the youngest female ever, full time on the radio.

Pam Demma's picture

5/5/73; During " Stairway" everyone was lighting sparklers and lighters -- what a night!  Wow --music, heat, and drugs!

Arrive Stoned's picture

I was there with a sweet little thing. Sat in the bleachers where the opening was in the old sombrero (Tampa Stadium). I had my camera with a high powered  zoom lens so I could get up close and personal and not have to deal with sweaty bodies.

I'm a drummer so I came to see John Bonham, but I was blown away by the whole band. The music was nearly flawless until right at the end of Stairway to Heaven Plant's voice cracked, then there was a very distinct curse word. I don't remember what it was.

 

They played for what seemed like forever. Had to be 2.5 hours at least. That's hard to do in Florida. Fortunately it was in May.

Pam Demma's picture

 

There digging the music in my " Bijeani " jeans and halter top, the style of the day.  Not a day goes by that I don't sing " Stairway to Heaven ".  Live in the High Rockies now, so I really can't get enough of Led Zep: Plant, Page, Jonesy, Jason, and Bonso up in Heaven -- I am climbing those mountains with them in mind!

Alan Nef's picture

I WAS THERE ,WITH A FEW GOOD FRIENDS AND MR. NATURAL LSD 25,,I GREW UP IN MIAMI BEEN ,,TO MANY KILLER CONCERTS,IN SOUTH FL..THIS ONE IS ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS,

Barbara Swaim's picture

I was 15 years old and drove down from Perry FL. Went in around 12:30 and loved every minute of it! Nobody is left alive from the people that I went to the concert with today!  Miss them all and Led Zeppelin so much!

 

Scott's picture

Was there and Atlanta the evening before 

 

 

craig's picture

was a really groovy ride!thank you boys!

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Comments

was a really groovy ride by craig (not verified)
Led by Scott (not verified)
Led zeppelin at tampa stadium 1973 by Anne (not verified)
I was 15 years old and drove by Barbara Swaim (not verified)
I WAS THERE ,WITH A FEW GOOD by Alan Nef (not verified)
Tampa'73 by Pam Demma (not verified)
I was there! by Arrive Stoned (not verified)
5/5/73; During " Stairway" by Pam Demma (not verified)
I remember....well, most of it by Dave (not verified)
Tampa Florida by Theresa Dempsey (not verified)
I also was there, on the 50yd by George Pickerin... (not verified)
I was there and even remember it in vivid detail by Andy Skeels (not verified)
May 5th 1973 by Ed Plant (not verified)
Was there too. by NameScott (not verified)
1973 tour by NameScott (not verified)
Tampa show 5/5/73 by NamasteSuz (not verified)
May 5, 1973 Concert in Tampa, FL by Paul Wainwright (not verified)
What a concert!! by Patty (not verified)
I was there too by Ric (not verified)
Imagine this. My 18th by Name JOEL PHILLIPS (not verified)
Drove up from Homestead in by Doug Bridges (not verified)
14 years old and in total awe! by Rob (not verified)
Hell of a Party by Rick (not verified)
Tampa-5/5/73 by BIGDIGGER (not verified)
that night by Edward John Bon... (not verified)
May 5th 1973 by Edward John Bon... (not verified)
Tampa Stadium, May 5, '73 by V.J. (not verified)
Led Zep at Tampa Stadium, May 1973 by Michael L. (not verified)
L Z Concert 05/05/73 by mike L. (not verified)
May 1973 by Deb Shuman (not verified)
My Second Led Zeppelin Concert by Lona (not verified)
Led Zep - Tampa, FL 1973 by Joe D. (not verified)
May '73 Concert by Merlin (not verified)
May 5, 1973 by hayes (not verified)
I went up to Tampa from by Gene Tice (not verified)
Wonderful memory by Janne (not verified)
The 5/5/73 show in Tampa, Florida by Michael Noble (not verified)