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Boston Garden - October 25, 1969

  • includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Lemon Song, Kansas City).
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 6:44am
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Average: 4.8 (41 votes)
October 25, 1969
Boston
MA
United States
us
Setlist: 

includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Lemon Song, Kansas City).

Note: 
'69 Programme Click here to view the 1969 Tour Book

Press Reviews: Zeppelin Rock Rafters at Packed Boston Garden

Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter and the MC-5 played to a full Boston Garden Saturday night at Narragansett's "First Tribal Rock Festival".

Zeppelin entered to a standing ovation. Their heavy beat was operating, their vocalist, Robert Plant, was bouncing like Nureyev, but the band fell short of real togetherness. Their best moments came in the solo performances, notably guitarist Jimmy Page's "White Summer" (which neatly moved from an Eastern raga into some nice Western chords and back into a raga again.) John Bonham's drum solo was good, but would improve with cutting.

The group's final number, a frenetic medley, built and built but collapsed into sloppiness before reaching the promised climax.

Robert Plant talks to his audience warmly and with conviction. He was displaying this talent when the police enforced the curfew and abruptly curtailed the concert.

WBCN's J.J. Jackson soothed the crowd and flashed the peace sign. The crowd, 16,000 strong, flashed it right back and exited in orderly fashion. [T. Crouse / Oct. 28, 1969 / Herald]

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

"Naragansett's "Tribal Love-Rock Festival" of the twenty fifth attracted a typical Boston Tea Party crowd, with a hardly subtle difference in order of magnitude. The Led Zeppelin propelled itself onto the Boston Garden stage to confront sixteen housand colourfully-attired high school and college aboriginals - a total of thirty-two thousand dilated pupils, all eagerly trained upon the massive loth-fronted bank of amplifiers that was 'to produce the capper of an evening of northern-fried schmaltz rock and mini-riots.

They sped rather rapidly through their early material in group effort, combining "Communication Breakdown" and "Good Times, Bad Times" into a medley. At this point, group feeling began to flag, and the spotlight turned mainly to Page, although towards the end of the performance Plant (lead vocal) began to play vocal catch with Page's riffs.

The Zeppelin performance really had two climaxes, one of them faultless.  The first was Page's rendition of "White Summer", a very lengthy medley of both Zeppelin and (Johnny) Winters-like patterns, connected at times rather faultily with semi-classical phrases.

The second climax was the well-deserved solo of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who contrived to enrapture the audience with rythm while entirely avoiding any imitation of Baker's "Toad", which is no small feat of willpower." - G.Berk, October 1969
---------------------------------

DIRIGIBLE

The first Gansett Tribal Rock Festival. It's not too hard to read the minds of the promotion men who plan something like  this. First, get big name acts, book them in the biggest place you can find (to hell with any thoughts of acoustics), hype it up to sound like The Second Coming, charge the highest prices for lousy seats and then make it all just long enough so that the kiddies don't think they've been robbed. Saturday night, when 16,000 were packing themselves into every corner of Boston Garden, it looked as though the plan had worked, What the promo men didn't consider, however, is that sometimes a show can be so good that a person can shell out $4.50 for a seat in the rafters and still know that he got a bargain.

The MCS were surprisingly good. Supposedly a very angry bunch, they gave an opposite impression by getting right into the old Dovells' hit You Can't Sit Down. The lead singer was dressed in Elvis Presley black with white shoes and was jumping all over the stage like an old rock 'n' roll star. The guitarists went into splits and bends and the whole thing was like heavy Mitch Ryder. Though plagued by bad acoustics, they were very tight and were visibly happy with themselves at the end of their set.

Half an hour wait while they fix some microphones. Clapping and foot-stomping. Bobby Mitchell, everybody's favorite screaming d.j. from WRKO comes out to calm the mob. Nice try. Sounds as bad live as he does on radio. Finally they say it's okay and the place goes wild as Johnny Winter comes on. He's great to watch, crouching low, slowly taking long stalking steps all over the stage like a great albino Indian, all the while pouring out fantastic blues. However, in the middle of an old BB King number, a fight broke out in the rear of the Garden that distracted the audience long enough so that they missed Winter at his best. Besides this, he was only given a half hour ("special star attraction"). He was all set to do an encore but someone else had the last word and he was hustled off, treated like a mere warm-up act.

After a long intermission, Led Zeppelin took the stage and for the next two hours just took the place apart. They've always liked Boston; the people here have been particularly appreciative of them and in return the group has been at their best when appearing here.
Of course the focal point of the band is their great guitarist, Jimmy Page, whose speed and versatility are beyond description. At one point the rest of the group left the stage and he launched into a ten-minute piece called White Summer. It encompassed a whole gamut of raga, blues and flamenco, played with the precision of a master guitarist; it was definitely the highlight of the evening.

At the end of the set, the audience was completely drained but on its feet screaming for more. And  through it all you could hear the people in the last rows of the balcony talking about $4.50 tickets and laughing out loud. [By: B. Longden  | Oct. 28, 1969]

Notes: 
'69 Programme Click here to view the 1969 Tour Book

Press Reviews: Zeppelin Rock Rafters at Packed Boston Garden

Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter and the MC-5 played to a full Boston Garden Saturday night at Narragansett's "First Tribal Rock Festival".

Zeppelin entered to a standing ovation. Their heavy beat was operating, their vocalist, Robert Plant, was bouncing like Nureyev, but the band fell short of real togetherness. Their best moments came in the solo performances, notably guitarist Jimmy Page's "White Summer" (which neatly moved from an Eastern raga into some nice Western chords and back into a raga again.) John Bonham's drum solo was good, but would improve with cutting.

The group's final number, a frenetic medley, built and built but collapsed into sloppiness before reaching the promised climax.

Robert Plant talks to his audience warmly and with conviction. He was displaying this talent when the police enforced the curfew and abruptly curtailed the concert.

WBCN's J.J. Jackson soothed the crowd and flashed the peace sign. The crowd, 16,000 strong, flashed it right back and exited in orderly fashion. [T. Crouse / Oct. 28, 1969 / Herald]

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

"Naragansett's "Tribal Love-Rock Festival" of the twenty fifth attracted a typical Boston Tea Party crowd, with a hardly subtle difference in order of magnitude. The Led Zeppelin propelled itself onto the Boston Garden stage to confront sixteen housand colourfully-attired high school and college aboriginals - a total of thirty-two thousand dilated pupils, all eagerly trained upon the massive loth-fronted bank of amplifiers that was 'to produce the capper of an evening of northern-fried schmaltz rock and mini-riots.

They sped rather rapidly through their early material in group effort, combining "Communication Breakdown" and "Good Times, Bad Times" into a medley. At this point, group feeling began to flag, and the spotlight turned mainly to Page, although towards the end of the performance Plant (lead vocal) began to play vocal catch with Page's riffs.

The Zeppelin performance really had two climaxes, one of them faultless.  The first was Page's rendition of "White Summer", a very lengthy medley of both Zeppelin and (Johnny) Winters-like patterns, connected at times rather faultily with semi-classical phrases.

The second climax was the well-deserved solo of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who contrived to enrapture the audience with rythm while entirely avoiding any imitation of Baker's "Toad", which is no small feat of willpower." - G.Berk, October 1969
---------------------------------

DIRIGIBLE

The first Gansett Tribal Rock Festival. It's not too hard to read the minds of the promotion men who plan something like  this. First, get big name acts, book them in the biggest place you can find (to hell with any thoughts of acoustics), hype it up to sound like The Second Coming, charge the highest prices for lousy seats and then make it all just long enough so that the kiddies don't think they've been robbed. Saturday night, when 16,000 were packing themselves into every corner of Boston Garden, it looked as though the plan had worked, What the promo men didn't consider, however, is that sometimes a show can be so good that a person can shell out $4.50 for a seat in the rafters and still know that he got a bargain.

The MCS were surprisingly good. Supposedly a very angry bunch, they gave an opposite impression by getting right into the old Dovells' hit You Can't Sit Down. The lead singer was dressed in Elvis Presley black with white shoes and was jumping all over the stage like an old rock 'n' roll star. The guitarists went into splits and bends and the whole thing was like heavy Mitch Ryder. Though plagued by bad acoustics, they were very tight and were visibly happy with themselves at the end of their set.

Half an hour wait while they fix some microphones. Clapping and foot-stomping. Bobby Mitchell, everybody's favorite screaming d.j. from WRKO comes out to calm the mob. Nice try. Sounds as bad live as he does on radio. Finally they say it's okay and the place goes wild as Johnny Winter comes on. He's great to watch, crouching low, slowly taking long stalking steps all over the stage like a great albino Indian, all the while pouring out fantastic blues. However, in the middle of an old BB King number, a fight broke out in the rear of the Garden that distracted the audience long enough so that they missed Winter at his best. Besides this, he was only given a half hour ("special star attraction"). He was all set to do an encore but someone else had the last word and he was hustled off, treated like a mere warm-up act.

After a long intermission, Led Zeppelin took the stage and for the next two hours just took the place apart. They've always liked Boston; the people here have been particularly appreciative of them and in return the group has been at their best when appearing here.
Of course the focal point of the band is their great guitarist, Jimmy Page, whose speed and versatility are beyond description. At one point the rest of the group left the stage and he launched into a ten-minute piece called White Summer. It encompassed a whole gamut of raga, blues and flamenco, played with the precision of a master guitarist; it was definitely the highlight of the evening.

At the end of the set, the audience was completely drained but on its feet screaming for more. And  through it all you could hear the people in the last rows of the balcony talking about $4.50 tickets and laughing out loud. [By: B. Longden  | Oct. 28, 1969]

Setlists: 

includes: Good Times Bad Times (intro) ~ Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Heartbreaker, Dazed and Confused, You Shook Me, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Moby Dick, How Many More Times (medley incl. Lemon Song, Kansas City).

Comments

richard nye's picture

It was my first rock concert and what a way to begin !!! A song omitted from the the setlist that I clearly remember was the beginings of the Lemon Song. Plant kept asking the crowd "Know what she did ? and Page kept going back and forth with Plant. Finnaly Plant let it out of the bag the she "Squeezed my lemon 'til the juice ran down my leg" That was quite a risque statement back then.

Dan Minichiello's picture

My belated 15th birthday present, two days after, was seeing these three bands literally rock the Gahden. Second concert I'd ever been to and it was raucous and awesome. When I tell people that Zep didn't even bother playing all of Good Times they're usually pretty surprised, as I was at the time. Very pleasant surprise. Only time I got to see Zep and glad I did.

billy's picture

my dad went to this concert

Lorna's picture

I've told and retold a countless number of times stories of this concert. I was 12 years old - my first concert (my second concert was the Doors - same venue) - and what a concert it was. I was second row, center - courtesy of a friend of the family's. Of course, the concert was made even better by the shear amount of smoke in the Garden. It shaped my musical tastes for the rest of my life. I'm still a huge fan and so are my children - and I'm 52 years old this year. My kids are 19, 20 and 25 - they know pretty much all of Led Zep's music - you can still hear it being played in my house - So, all of these years later - are they going to tour again???? Please, say yes!

Steven Russell's picture

This concert was amazing! I was 17 and just started going to concerts that year. This was particularly memorable because some nut threw fireworks into the crowd on the floor during the concert, the police and security stormed the floor, but the music continued with the house lights on for a stretch. In the end, my seats in the first row balcony turned out to be the place to be as we just rocked right through the end. I'll never forget it!

shaun mccaul's picture

i must add a few comments to what has already been said... i had seen the band on 8/21 at Frank Connolly's Carousel in the round--- tent like --- ... one of the BOSSTOWN bands opened... Beacon Street Union i think... they did the first album and a bunch of oldies... my 18 year old mind was blown... the Garden Show started with the MC5 giving a vigorous effort... Halfway thru Johnny Winter a huge fight broke out on the floor... a bunch of bikers got into it... the house lights went up and Johnny Winter just kept on slinking along...

Zeppelin was a powerhouse... i remember the call and response on "Squeeze My Lemon"... The crowd trying to match Plant...

I got to see them twice in 69 and never again !

John Adams Frothingham's picture

I am thrilled to have information about this Zep show - I've been searching for years to learn the exact date, etc!! It's one of the few that no recordings appear to exist for, tho' I now have renewed hope.
I was sixteen and this was my first big show. It changed my life. A few years earlier, the Beatles had opened up music in general - and drums in particular - to me, and in just a few more years The Grateful Dead would turn me on to the possibilities of long-term lifestyle and community. But, it was this show that made me want to be a professional musician, not just an enthusiast. It was also the first time I'd been in a room full of thousands of longhaired freaks just like me - it was only 1969, after all, and I was only sixteen, so this was an amazing and empowering experience.
I had recently begun drumming and writing songs with a friend, and together we took the trolley in from the suburbs to Boston Garden. We had good seats, up high, stage right, with a great view of the stage. The MC5 opened the show. I only dimmly understood their politics, but admired their spunk and energy and commited stance. Johnny Winter follwed, stalking the stage like a blue velvet-clad, albino panther, and just ripped. A fight broke out briefly on the floor and I saw a pair of crutches tossed in the air, but couldn't tell much about it.
During the break, we made our way thru the subway-like labyrinth of hallways to the bathrooms.Hot, sweaty, crowded, noisy.As we headed back, a huge rumble - earthquake-like - began and we realized the band was starting to play. The surge in energy was incredible as we rushed back to our seats, arriving midway thru the set opener, "Communication Breakdown" Plant was a vision in sparkling gold and green with billows of blonde hair to match - surprisingly effeminate yet ballsy. Over the course of the evening they played much of the first two albums, plus some covers. Their sound was much clearer than the opening acts ( who were comparatively garbled-sounding - coincidence??) and the whole band was a powerhouse, very dynamic and intense. There were generous solo sppots, too ( Jonesy's organ intro to "You're Times Gonna Come", Page's seated "White Summer/Black Mountainside", Bonham's "Moby Dick" ) Lot's of call and response gymnastics between Page and Plant, Page's spacey bowing of the guitar, it's all a wonderful jumble in my mind. Incredibly, the guy seated next to us seemed hugely bored (?!?!?) and left before it was over. We, meanwhile, took a chance and made it down to the floor for the encore, where we could see and hear everything up close and personal. The stage seemed about a mile high from this angle, but I could see Bonham's vista-lites had, what we'd eventually learn was, one of the Zoso symbols on the front bass drum head, and I also saw a stack of the just-released 2nd album on the edge of the stage, ready for sale. As they closed out the show with a medly of oldies including " Kansas City", I remember Plant singing, " Bye-bye, bye-bye Boston, Bye-bye"
I bought a poster which I still have and love, and we went happily home I never got to see them again, but Led Zep rocked my world all that snowy winter and, very soon, my new band would start to rock our own little part of the universe, too.
As Pete Townsend once said, the finest bands change peoples lives. Led Zeppelin certianly changed mine. Thank you, Led Zeppelin, thank you very much indeed.

Randy Harrison's picture

I was backstage at this show (with Johnny Winter and MC5), giving my now friend Clive Coulson and his team an extra set of hands. The interesting part of this evening was after the show. The band had something like an 18-foot U-Haul truck. Funny how small that seems now. Everyone was piling all their gear into the vehicles at the top of the loading ramp, with the help of the Garden stagehands. We thought it was their job. At the end, the crew-chief went up to Clive asking for his "piece" for him and all the boys. Clive didn't know what he was talking about, and no one else did either. The guy started freaking out, and the Garden crew started getting angry too. They were circling all of us with forklifts, yelling and such. One of them went crazy and threw a brick at us. Time to go! Everyone jumped in their trucks and off we went through a wall of fists, bricks and boards down this long ramp to the parking lot and beyond. I was actually standing on the running board, holding on the side view mirror praying for my life! One MC5 guy got a brick in the face and needed stitches. So much was new then. The roadies never should have been in such a situation. Back at the hotel after we knew the MC5 guy was OK, everyone blew off some steam and had quite a night of it... but that is another story.

shaun mccaul's picture

p.s. not bad for $ 5.50

Lorna's picture

I was at that concert and enjoyed reading your memories of it. It also changed my life - I was 12 years old. I remember sitting there, inhaling all of that smoke (first concert, first high! and first true awareness of the opposite sex - Robert Plant) I still listen to their music, as do all of my children - ages 21, 22, and 27 - and my stepsons' cover band play a lot of their music). I love to tell the story of being at that concert - they're so jealous. I too wish there were photos/videos of that concert. However, it is forever etched in my mind. P.S. - I have the 4 symbols tatooed down my back - now that's a fan!

Lorna's picture

My first concert as well! I have never forgotten it - my children, ages 21, 22, and 27 - are so jealous and all love and know all of their music.

DREAMWEAVER's picture

Sorry I missed your reply. I guess you topped my post being 12 years old, getting high from the canabas/hashish smoke, falling in love for the first time (Robert Plant). You didn't go to Woodstock did you?

 

DREAMWEAVER's picture

I had just turned 18 man and graduated from high school. I was entering my freshman year of college in Boston, with my long hair, buckskin jacket and of course back then it was Frye Boots. Ended up sitting in the first row balcony with direct view of the stage next to a dude who had a paper shopping bag. The dude was your classy Hippie if there is such a thing. The bag was quite full of weed and he began rolling joints and passing them around. Found out later that the dudes family was loaded I mean wealthy. what a trip that night was and still play Zeppelin at home. I'm 64 and it seams like it happened yesterday. 

LZ's picture

“Led Zeppelin” opened 1969’s “Tribal Rock Festival” with a throbbing, “Good Times Bad Times,” and the world changed forever for those inside; most of whom had been schooled under the shadows of strict, conservative innocence in the 1950’s and early 60’s. The band played with such primal passions and steady bass rhythms it generated enough vibration to free decades of tired dust from the tops of the aging rafters; waterfalls of filth drifted below and continued during the entire performance.

 

None of those New England fans would ever see, or hear, music the same after those loud layers of complex notes and vigorous lyrics were let out of the genie’s bottle and took possession of every happy toe-tapper inside that ancient structure built back in 1928.

 

And no one who actually “remembers” that night will forget the numbing cannabis high enjoyed at no additional cost after paying only $3.50 to watch from the cheapest seats. Warm, freshly exhaled marijuana floated up as clouds of pungent second-hand smoke stoning everyone inside that building famous for poor circulation. I heard this included the unsuspecting cops who inhaled from the top rows and later mentioned they would find relief for their own “munchies” searching for chocolate donuts on the way home.

6-6-2013 | Retuers

http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2013/06/06/a-zeppelin-flashb...

 

Pam White's picture

I was at this concert, never saw and have never seen anyone who could romance the guitar like Jimmy Page!

 

Andrew Barr's picture

I realized it was 1969...but I seem to remember Bad Finger playing as well... and Zep coming on about 11pm.  Am I wrong?

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Comments

Led Zeppelin by DREAMWEAVER (not verified)
Led Zeppelin 1969 Boston Garden by DREAMWEAVER (not verified)
other group by Andrew Barr (not verified)
concert by Pam White (not verified)
Tribal Rock Fest. (Reuters) by LZ (not verified)
Backstage Fun! by Randy Harrison (not verified)
Led Zep by Lorna (not verified)
Led Zep by Lorna (not verified)
What a Show! by Dan Minichiello (not verified)
Boston Garden 1969 by Steven Russell (not verified)
my dad went to this concert by billy (not verified)
p.s. not bad for $ 5.50 by shaun mccaul (not verified)
Boston Garden - October 25, 1969 by Lorna (not verified)
i must add a few comments to by shaun mccaul (not verified)
25 October 1969, Boston Garden by John Adams Frot... (not verified)
Boston Garden 10-25-1969 by richard nye (not verified)