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Chicago International Amphitheatre - September 5, 1971

  • Includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Celebration Day, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl: Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, I Can't Quit You Baby, Your Time Is Gonna Come), Organ solo / Thank You, Communication Breakdown.
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 2:43pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.9 (44 votes)
September 5, 1971
Chicago
IL
United States
us
Setlist: 

Includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Celebration Day, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl: Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou, I Can't Quit You Baby, Your Time Is Gonna Come), Organ solo / Thank You, Communication Breakdown.

Note: 

Press Review: Led Zeppelin a Downer

Led Zeppelin is the perfect image of the nihilistic, sensual abandon that high-collared clerics used to equate with complete moral anarchy.

The group first rumbled on the scene three years ago with its bone-crushing style of Lead Rock and at one point, it was number-one-selling band in England.

Recently somewhat in eclipse, it is still big enough to draw huge crowds, and Sunday night in the International Ampitheatre, it did its reptilian thing before a frothing sell-out crowd of 12,000 persons.

Lead singer Robert Plant: “Good to see you’re all still here”, which is not entirely accurate, since “all here” is virtually impossible in LZ’s dreary domain. In one mere song for example, they recreate what seems like the entire sound track of World War II, and one can neither think nor communicate under such an assault.

Therein however, lies the appeal. The band is an anesthetic. It dulls all sensibility in a way that alcohol never could.

If a band’s popularity is a measure of its ability to touch something in an audience, then the whole LZ essence should serve as a warning. Masochism is rampant.

Not that Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones aren’t strong musicians. They are (although they’re also bored musicians). It’s just that the kind of music they personify is a dead-end on both musical and spiritual levels.

Musically, LZ’s material is so stylized that it is moribund – a terminal, rococo parody of the vitality at the core of rock music. LZ hasn’t explored, it has ossified. In part, this is the old technician vs. artist rap, but the problem goes deeper.

Affirmation is the soul of rock ‘n’ roll. But the LZ style promotes the opposite, a jaded, decadent, downer materialism. It offers nothing more than cheap sensuality. And even that is tainted with a “go ahead, kid, the first one’s free”, creepiness.

Consequently, LZ is also a spiritual bummer. On Sunday night, I was approached at least five times for “downers” (barbiturates) by hollow-eyed youths. I hate to be the one to say this, but bay, downers stunt your growth. Numbness is nowhere.

Complicating the issue is the undeniable fact that LZ has considerable talent. Bonham’s drum solo Sunday evening was truly electrifying. But it’s not enough.

LZ’s waning popularity is a good sign. It’s just too bad that its influence will continue to haunt us in every lesser band, from Grand Funk to the freshman mixer. [-J. Hafferkamp / Chicago News / Sept. 1971]

Notes: 

Press Review: (1) Led Zeppelin - They Were Never Better

By 7:00 p.m. a dozen balloons were kept afloat by the audience. There were huge "smile" balloons in every color. It was taking place Sunday night Sept. 5, in the International Amphitheatre. Everyone was watching the balloons and waiting for Led Zeppelin to appear. At 7:20 that they did, amidst several "Good Evenings" by Robert Plant. Plant immediately showed off his extraordinary vocal chords by starting "Immigrant Song". After "Immigrant Song", Zep played four more songs without stopping. Page, Plant, and Jones then sad down and did an acoustic set. "That's the Way", "Bron-y-Aur Stomp,'' and two songs from their new album were played. "Moby Dick" was the next song they did. Page, Plant, and Jones left the s tage while Bonham worked over his drum kit. Halfway through the song he threw away his drum sticks and played the drums with his hands . Bonham's solo effort was longer and better than the studio version.

As Plant announced "Celebration Day", he said the song was meant for the New York fans, but after he saw the antics of the Chicago fans, it was their song. Zep could do no wrong that night, as far as I was concerned. Each jam was as great as the one before it.

Besides the songs already mentioned, Zep played: "Dazed and Confused", "Your Time Is Gonna Come", "How Many More Times", "Since I've Been Loving You", "Out on the Tiles", "What Is and What Should Never Be", "Lemon Song", ''Heartbreaker", ''Thank You", and "I Can't Quit You Babe."

During "Heartbreaker", Jimmy Page brought out a bow which he slid over the guitar strings and then directed the sound with it. He did this in six different directions until he dropped the bow and proceeded with the intricate work of his solo. Jimmy Page was bent over his ax grinding out music just as good as anything Clapton or Beck has done. Page was really into his guitar that night and nothing could bother him.

Of the several songs they played from their new album, "Black Dog" was the best. "Black Dog" ls a rocker similar to ''Ramble On" or ''Bring It on Home''. If any song is released for a single, I would bet on It being ''Black Dog.''

Plant said goodnight at 9:20, but three minutes later they came back for an encore. Plant shouted, "Good Evening", ''Good Evening... We've all had a good time" which brought a resounding approval from the audience. Page started ''Whole Lotta Love'' which brought more approval. We were seated in the eighth row of the main floor, and had to s tand on our chairs to watch from then on.

They walked off after "Whole Lotta Love'' and I sat down. I didn't think they would come back again.  The people in front of us were thinking along the same lines and left.

Then all of a sudden I heard an organ playing. At first I thought it was one of the equipment men. I stood up on my chair again and had a look. Lo and behold, there sat John Paul Jones playing the organ. He played for three or four minutes until the rest of the group came out.

They also played ''Communication Breakdown" for a second encore. Sheer pandemonium reigned among the crowd. Everybody rocked along with Zep. They finished, flashed peace signs and were gone.

Led Zeppelin played for two and a half hours. We were literally ''dazed and confused". Finally about five minutes later, we got up and started to leave. On the way out, Ed Koenig said, "Those were the best jams I've heard in a long time." We all agreed, they were never better. [R. Kramerich/Sept. 1971]

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

Press Review (2) Led Zeppelin a Downer

Led Zeppelin is the perfect image of the nihilistic, sensual abandon that high-collared clerics used to equate with complete moral anarchy.

The group first rumbled on the scene three years ago with its bone-crushing style of Lead Rock and at one point, it was number-one-selling band in England. Recently somewhat in eclipse, it is still big enough to draw huge crowds, and Sunday night in the International Ampitheatre, it did its reptilian thing before a frothing sell-out crowd of 12,000 persons.

Lead singer Robert Plant: “Good to see you’re all still here”, which is not entirely accurate, since “all here” is virtually impossible in LZ’s dreary domain. In one mere song for example, they recreate what seems like the entire sound track of World War II, and one can neither think nor communicate under such an assault.

Therein however, lies the appeal. The band is an anesthetic. It dulls all sensibility in a way that alcohol never could. If a band’s popularity is a measure of its ability to touch something in an audience, then the whole LZ essence should serve as a warning. Masochism is rampant. Not that Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones aren’t strong musicians. They are (although they’re also bored musicians). It’s just that the kind of music they personify is a dead-end on both musical and spiritual levels.

Musically, LZ’s material is so stylized that it is moribund – a terminal, rococo parody of the vitality at the core of rock music. LZ hasn’t explored, it has ossified. In part, this is the old technician vs. artist rap, but the problem goes deeper.  Affirmation is the soul of rock ‘n’ roll. But the LZ style promotes the opposite, a jaded, decadent, downer materialism. It offers nothing more than cheap sensuality. And even that is tainted with a “go ahead, kid, the first one’s free”, creepiness.

Consequently, LZ is also a spiritual bummer. On Sunday night, I was approached at least five times for “downers” (barbiturates) by hollow-eyed youths. I hate to be the one to say this, but bay, downers stunt your growth. Numbness is nowhere.

Complicating the issue is the undeniable fact that LZ has considerable talent. Bonham’s drum solo Sunday evening was truly electrifying. But it’s not enough. LZ’s waning popularity is a good sign. It’s just too bad that its influence will continue to haunt us in every lesser band, from Grand Funk to the freshman mixer. [-J. Hafferkamp / Chicago News / Sept. 1971]

Setlists: 

Includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I've Been Loving You, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Celebration Day, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley), Organ solo / Thank You, Communication Breakdown.

Comments

Steven's picture

Its the 1st time Stairway was done/heard in Chicago, and the record promotion for ZOSO started a week after this show so no one here had heard it yet (except for one guy in front). Good show, but seemed kind of rushed and not as long as the Kinetic Playground shows were the year before.

Bill P's picture

I was at this show. I remember clearly that they opened with Immigrant Song - it had just been released. For their last encore, Robert Plant sat on a chair and introduced a "new song" and said he thought it was the best song they had ever done. By then we had come down form our first row balcony seats to the main floor, and had gotten pretty close to stage right. Still quite a memory - 37 years later!!

Bob Millea's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3aVmrh2C8Y

black & white super 8 film of concert - close up and often out of focus. I left my seat and went right to the stagefront without any security bothering me.

The audio is just a loose over dub - the film was silent/Kodak Tri x 400 - (very grainy)

PianoJim's picture

Show was "Sold Out". Dozens of cops. Just after show started, I walked right in like I was invisible.
All rushed stage at encore - Communication Breakdown. After, roadie flipped me Bonham beer bottle!

Charles Nosich's picture

I was at this concert. First time I ever heard Stairway to heaven was live, at this concert. It got a good response from the audiance, even if no one ever heard it before. This was pre- double neck era. Page started on acoustic, on a stand, then finished on the les paul. Also 1st time hearing black dog. Charles Nosich

James's picture

I have gone to many concerts over the years but looking back, the amount of time ZEP waited before returning this night was amazing. It was at least 7 minutes and the house lights came up ....but the applause continued...and finally they came back...still one of the very best concerts I've ever seen....Also the first hearing of Stairway to Heaven was right up there for thrills.

John's picture

To Charles: There was no pre-doubleneck era. Page had the doubleneck ever since he started playing Stairway To Heaven live. There are plenty of pictures from previous shows to prove this. It's possible that he just didn't have it available for this particular show.

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Comments

No ticket needed by PianoJim (not verified)
Length of Applause by James (not verified)
To Charles: There was no by John (not verified)
Its the 1st time Stairway by Steven (not verified)
LZ concert 9-5 71 by Charles Nosich (not verified)
Chicago Amphitheater Show September 1971 by Bill P (not verified)