September 4, 1971
Toronto, ON CA
Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Celebration Day, That's the Way, Going to California, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, My Baby Left Me, Mess of Blues, You Shook Me), Communication Breakdown, Organ solo / Thank You.
Before the concert, the band receive gold album awards for Canadian sales of Led Zeppelin III. Noted writer, Ritchie Yorke, is once again MC (as he was for all of LZ's Toronto appearances), introducing the group: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the greatest rock and roll band in the world, LED ZEPPELIN."
Review: Zeppelin More Solid Than Ever
The small sleek jet zooming Led Zeppelin into Toronto for a one-nighter was almost two hours late. When the jet finally touched down on Canadian soil, after a 55-minute flight from New York, there was less an hour to hustle through customs, climb into two chauffeured limousines and whisk through 15 miles of congested traffic before arriving at the backstage doors at the huge Maple Leaf Gardens.
The private jet waited on the tarmac in Toronto while the group swept superbly through more than two hours of concert and then rushed back to the airport to fly on to Chicago. Less than five hours on Canadian soil for a fee of more than $50,000.
The latest Led Zeppelin tour – their fifth – includes only 20 gigs, but it will gross in excess of a million dollars. It will also substantially help to sell at least two million copies of the band’s new album which will be released within four weeks and is NOT called “Led Zeppelin 4”.
Before over 17,000 fans at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens, the group performed three of the cuts from their new LP and they were all well received. But it was the familiar material – the rock classics such as You Shook Me, Communication Breakdown, Dazed and Confused, and the masterpiece Whole Lotta Love – which drew the heftiest applause.
Despite the oft-heralded downfall of hard rock, Led Zeppelin is living, loving proof that although James Taylor is doing fine, he has quite a way to go before reaching the superstar success level of Zep or their U.S. counterparts, Grand Funk.
Led Zeppelin drew their reportedly largest rock crowd (over 20,000) in Vancouver’s history a week before; they sold out Madison Square Garden in New York and they smashed box office records across the continent, proving yet again that the current scene has no act to come within a country mile of their popularity.
We eventually arrived at the Gardens half an hour late, and Page was clearly concerned about the group’s lack of punctuality. People were pouring into the dressing room and talking louder and louder as Page tried to tune his axe to John Paul Jones’ bass. The noise had reached a distinct drone when Page suddenly turned around and told everyone to please leave.
The road managers hustled around and cleared the room of all but a couple of people, which didn’t include a photographer who came down to snap the group receiving numerous Canadian gold disc awards.
When Page and Jones completed their tuning, Bonham changed clothes and swigged from a bottle of beer, Plant downed a couple of lemon teas and squeezed into an embroidered vest which barely covered the upper half of his mid riff.
Then surrounded by Police and security men, they hastened out of the dressing room and climbed up on to the nine foot stage which was presumably designed to keep the faithful at bay.
After two encores and 140 minutes of music, the group climbed off stage, and jumped into the limousines and sped back to their jet. (Ritchie Yorke, Sept. 1971)