May 5, 1973
Tampa, FL US
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.
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)