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The Summit - May 21, 1977

  • The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 8:11pm
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Average: 4.7 (258 votes)
May 21, 1977
United States

The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.

77 programme

Click here to view the US '77 Tour Programme (flipbook)

Press Review: Mass Hysteria At Zeppelin Concert

The first smoke bomb exploded several minutes before the show even began. In the audience, no less. But then you have to remember that this was the same audience that waited outside all night in grueling winter weather to buy tickets, then were put off again when the show was rescheduled, from February to May. Led Zeppelin – At the Summit – Saturday Night.

If that sounds like a combination of the Hindenburg disaster and Black Sunday, rolled into one, you’ve got it right on the mark.  It was a rough and raunchy crowd that perfectly matched the band’s music.

Led Zeppelin is THE hard rock act in the world – the band to beat – the fastest gun (or electric guitar) in the West. And they – Jimmy Page on guitar, Robert Plant on vocals, John Paul Jones on bass, keyboards and guitar and John Bonham on drums, were honoured with a standing ovation when they merely walked on stage, some 30 minutes late, and started tuning up.  From then on it was mass hysteria – in the audience, on stage and in the music.

The Summit’s security crew and ushers worked overtime clearing aisles and ousting belligerent fans. The band supplied excruciatingly loud, distorted, blues-derived, but hardly traceable rock and if things eased down, as they did during the band’s newly incorporated “acoustic set” and Jones’ keyboard solo, there were always the old laser beams, explosions, flash pots, dry ice fog and – the oldest trick in the book – spotlights on mirrored crystal balls.

The band’s set has changed considerably since the tour that resulted in the film and album The Song Remains the Same, but the music is just as excessive.

“I’d like to give you a brief history of the band over the last two years”, Plant said during a lull between “Do You Know My Name” (Sick Again) and “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”. “It’s been spent mostly on our backs. So, there you have it. We’ll just get on a play”.

In crude, gruff voice, Plant attacked his vocal assignments as conscientiously as Bonham did his (drums) and Jones did his new variety of instruments. But Zeppelin is still Jimmy Page’s band, succeeding or failing on the strength of Page’s extended solos, usually dull and more powerful chord work on numbers like Dazed & Confused (writer meant Kashmir) or cat-and-mouse games with Plant on In My Time of Dying.

The rest of the group followed as surely as they paid attention to Page’s count-offs at the beginning of each song.

Plant pulled off an eerie juxtaposition of voice verses-piano interplay on the appropriately titled No Quarter, but the group’s acoustic work fell flat with Page’s finger-picking showcasing a bit of rustiness on the instrument safe the old-time boogie blues that led abruptly – and loudly – into “Dazed” with no warning, (writer was referring to Kashmir, not Dazed and Confused).

It’s out of courtesy, I suppose, that the band gives Bonham a solo spot which is inherently the dullest part of any Zeppelin concert. Even the rest of the band leaves when he dispenses with the sticks and starts thundering on his drum kit with his bare hands. Thanks to a deadline, I got to join them this time. [by D. Adamson / Chronicle]


The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Rock and Roll, Trampled Underfoot.


Johnny's picture

I remember waiting for tickets all night at Warehouse Records on Westheimer. As the sun was rising, the crowd started pushing forward until a large window broke open. One kid fell through the glass and received a large cut on his arm. Jagged peices of glass were falling, the crowd kept pushing, and people began to pass out, until finally security let a small group of people in to purchase tickets. My buddy was able to squeeze in and I shoved my money through the broken window to his hand. He was able to buy great seats. The concert itself is a bit fuzzy. I don't remember much except that we were right in the middle, lower prom, and everyone was high. Lights, smoke, lasers, it was a great show.

Mark Burns's picture

I was at the 1977 Led Zeppelin concert in Houston. It was a memorable show! Kashmir is my fondest memory...

Leigh A Friery's picture

This Led Zeppelin concert will forever be the best concert I have ever seen. Led Zeppelin lives on in my heart for Life!

abe's picture

Was there great show and seen them agian in 1980 germany frankfurt another great show by zep tOy

Annette's picture

Was at this concert. Friend waited in line overnight to get tickets. Will always be the best concert. Still have the original t-shirt I bought there, and now framed.

Lorna DeArmond's picture

I'm now 47 and your music continues to bring me great pleasure. I am watching The Song Remains The Same tonight. Thinking back to 1977, I was 14 years old in line for two days to get tickets at Warehouse Tickets, and got pushed through the plate glass window. I wasn't hurt, but I got 10 seats on the 10 row floor. I took my best friends with me and it was the best concert I have ever every been to.

I still buy your music and I love each of you and wish you all the best that life has to offer. May god bless you as much as your music has blessed my life. I sure would like to see you go on one more world've got fans who understand, who love you, and wish more than anything to see you just one more time.

I still live in Houston, and the memories of that night will live in my heart forever. Thank you so much for the music you've given us. We are all changed by it and still rock and rollers! If you ever want behind the scenes tour of Mission Control at NASA, call me...It would be a pleasure to take you through our flight control rooms and share my life with you.

Curtis Nunley's picture

I also remember this concert well. I don't remember any sound problems though but I was front and center about 10 rows back. I had been a huge fan and even after the hard time at Wharehouse records was able to get tickets. (Yes I remember the broken window and the cops coming by during the night to where we had to hide our pipes)

The show did start late but was expected. First concert where they were no bands that played beforehand. The excitement that rose through me as it was getting closer was huge. I was stoned and ready to be awed and I was. To me the third song "Nobody's fault but mine" set the tone for the rest of the night. I was rocking and rolling all night. The mid acoustic set was awesome and unexpected and a pure delight. Of course Jimmies solo with the lazer show and pyramid was a sight to behold. John paul Jones "No quarter" was memorable. The length of concert stunned me but in a good way.

Energetic, exciting, ageless. All can be said. It was a memorable night as few concerts could be and only a band like Led Zep could bring this about.

Max's picture

I was 18 and graduated from high school when Led Zep rescheduled from February date to May. My sister's mother in law knew the owner of Sound Warehouse on Chimney Rock, and we got the tickets without standing in line. I had the 18th rows seat. Using a hand held recorder, I recorded the whole concert except the last 2 encore songs, and who knew that they were going to play over 3 hours. I don't care if the sound system had flaws, or not as good at other places, but for sure bring back memory.

To this day since May 21, 1977, I do not know how they sounded in my mind, but I have my cassette tape to listen to in which I have convert to CD. Both will go the grave with me. John Bonham sounded loud and perfect. It was the last concert they did in Houston with the four original members. Long live Led Zeppelin. GET THE LED OUT!!!!!

Argenteum Astrum's picture

The performance of the band at this concert is not so bad as reported somewhere but still not tops. Aside from some minor flaws, the overall level of its performance is very satisfying. The brightest star of this concert is John Bonham who continued to deliver a high level of performance throughout the concert. At this concert, Bonzo also shines especially in his drum solos with marvelous stereo effects, as well as in the very powerful Achilles Last Stand. The recording so vividly and lively revives his amazing technique, power and "feel" that no other drummer in the world would probably ever be able to attain or surpass for good ... there also are some funny moments captured in this recording.

Laurie Boutte's picture

Great concert. My friend Hannah, Steve May, and myself, sitting left side of stage right above the floor, ROCKING OUT.

James Bassett's picture

I was at this show. Originally scheduled for February 28, 1977, the show was postponed and re-scheduled for May 21st. Myself, along with 3 of my long-time friends had 2 seats on the 4th row and 2 on the 6th row. We were in absolute dis-belief at what we heard and saw. Starting with "The Song Remains The Same" and ending with the last encore, "Trampled Underfoot", it was truely an amazing night, watching our musical heroes perform an amazing set. As the band was walking onto the stage, we saw the shadow of John Bonham settle in at his drum kit and do a double hit on his base drum. It was like thunder. My chest vibrated from the sound waves and I almost messed myself. We knew we were in for it.

Without realizing the extreme volume being pounded into my inner ears, we sat and listened to song after song. Over 3 and half hours later, the lights came on and I rose up to exit The Summit, but had to hold on to the seats to walk. My ears were so clogged from the air pressure inside the arena, I literally could not balance myself well enough to walk on my own until we were outside. A couple of month's ago, one of the friends who was with me that night called and told me he had found a bootleg of the concert. He sent me a copy and I listened for hours as my mind went back to a time 30 years ago. I could remember Robert dropping the microphone, Jimmy falling down, flat on his back, as he jumped into the first chords of "Rock and Roll" (first encore) without missing a single note. I thought to myself, "how lucky I am to be able to re-live this evening from the past", not then knowing of the possibility my three friends and I might have an opportunity to see them again. I don't know if any of the band members will ever see this, but if they do, here is what I would want Robert, Jimmy, John and Bonzo (somewhere) to know: "Life has brought endless change.

I am not the 16 year kid who witnessed this concert some 30 years ago. Nor are any of you the same. I am much more conservative now than I ever thought I would become. But I will never forget the songs, the memories, the excitement, the anticipation and the endless joy your music brought to my life. Each album was different from any previous one, but a seemingly natural progression of where the music should go. Your music has touched the lives of millions, including myself.

I picked up a copy of "Mothership" when it came out and rushed home to watch the DVD. It too, was amazing. So many kids today don't know where their music comes from. They say they have heard of Led Zepplin, but then ask me to name some of your songs. I just shake my head and tell them they wouldn't understand. I did convince one young guy to buy a copy of LZ II. He plays the guitar some. After hearing, he became a true believer. Apparently he hardly ever puts his guitar down. In fact, I understand he played at a recital his guitar instructor put together and played a song that he wrote. He told me about it and said he was inspired to write (or attempt to) after hearing LZ II.

There is a whole new generation out there, starving for musical inspiration and guidance. They are waiting. Your reunion has been long-awaited and much needed. But whether it is for just one show, or many more, I just want to say "thank you".

Hugo Garcia's picture

Jimmy Page did not actually fall flat on his back; from my point of view in the upper prom I could see that he caught himself with his right hand and kept playing with his left hand, without missing a note, just like he said. He just looked at Robert and laughed. It was my first concert. I was just 14 and I went with my older brother who was 15. Fantastic Show, especially the green pyramid that rotated around Jimmy Page!

Timothy Koob's picture

I was at the houston concert in 1977 and it was the ultimate concert experience. Led Zeppelin is the best rock group of all time bar NONE. No one could ever play an electric guitar like Jimmy Page. Anyone who thinks there is a better guitar player is insane. His style is impeccable.

Dan's picture

I waited in the cold and freezing weather to purchase tickets and never got them. The music store sold out at about 10 people ahead of me. by some miracle a close friend called a few days later to invite me to the concert. He knew someone who had an extra ticket.

Led Zepplin sounds will never fade. I'm 59 yrs. old and plan to go to a revival tour if it happens. My grandson has become a fan also.(may take him if he wears hearing protection!). at this concert, my ears rang for hours afterwards.

Mitch's picture

I was 16 years old when I saw you at the Summit in Houston. I was hoping you'd come to San Antonio to the Municipal Auditorium but was satisfied to take a 2 and a half hour motorcycle ride to Houston to see you play. It was more than worth it. You have filled my life with so much happiness through your music, I know you have all heard this before and are probably tired of it by now but as I sit here at age 50 almost and look back I have to tell you that your music meant so much to me and so many more people that I knew. I'll never forget where I was in September of 1980 when word came of Bonzo's death. I was standing in morning formation at Ft Sam in the Army. The 1st Sgt announced that John had died and gave all non-essential personnel the day off. I was so bummed. Anyway, I hope that ypu guys and Jason will embark on a world tour before it's too late. If so rest assured I'll be there to buy tickets to any shows in the east Tx-La area. God Bless you all.

David Muniz's picture

This was my very first concert and I have to say it was as incredible an experience as one could have/would have expected for a 14 year old. From the very first thunderous chord that Jimmy struck to their last encore it was magical. I remember the dumb ass that fell through the plate glass window at Warehouse records on Montrose which resulted in my moving forward to 8th in line. I bought 5 tickets, scalped 3 for $50 each, which left me $150 that I used to score some killer sinsimilla and a boat load of Mandrax to take to the concert. Ahhhh....those were the days!!!!

Woody's picture

I was at the same Warehouse records store in Montrose that early morning when the cops tried to take two lines of people (one going east down Westheimer & the other going west) and form a single line. That was when the chaos ensued & everyone rushed the front of the store. I remember the glass breaking & the black car (I think it was an older 4 door Lincoln) that was parked near the front door. That car got Trampled Underfoot!!! I was not fortunate enough to buy tickets that day (wasted 5 hours that morning) but, my sister found a pair of tickets that some stupid fool brought to school (finders keepers) and we went to the show together. They were obstructed view seats behind the stage to the right (Jimmy's side) but in reality, were some of the best seats in the lower prom. We not only had a clear view of the whole stage, we saw the band enter & exit & did not miss a single movement by any of them.

Awesome show & I am glad I was able to see them, if for only one show. Thanks Jimmy, Percy, John Paul & especially my hero, Bonzo. He is the reason I had the desire to learn to play the drums.

bokorugro's picture

I remember the gig at the summit. Great comments on the actual show but nothing on the mayhem that surrounded the show. 19,000 seats and 35,000 people show up, cops getting beat up, drugs everyhwere, people getting hurt and ear damaging volume. In other words a real rock concert when there used to be such a thing. Too bad that was the only show I saw of them.

Larry's picture

I was at the show. It was delayed for an hour or so. The sound during the first half of the show was terrible. The sound tech finally got his act together and the second half was much better. Since the band was so late, and hence no sound check, it is understandable.

The band entered from behind the stage through a covered walkway that entered on the stage left position. From where we sat, we could see the floor of the rear entrance. When we saw a limo pull up and then got a view of Jimmy's shoes, we knew the show was about to begin.

I did notice two or three acoustic guitar players behind the stage during the show actually playing.

It was a memorable experience

larry sharkey's picture

my guess is that what you saw backstage was guitar techs tuning guitars for the acoustic set

Gary McFarland 's picture

I bought 10 tickets I think $10 each. I was with my girlfriend now with. I had the fastest car in my high school we graduated from. I would be honored to talk to anyone that was at that concert. I will never forget the spinning laser on Robert plan during I think it was casmire. 

Jeff C.'s picture

This show was not quite as raw as '75. The Summit was new and bigger than the old Coliseum. I had closer seats. An unbelievable event. I have one really great photo of Page from that show.

Alan's picture

I flew down to Houston to see this show without a ticket. A scalper in the airport saw my Zeppelin T-shirt that said "An Evening with LED ZEPPELIN", and sold me an upper balcony ticket, and ,gave me a ride out to the Summit for about $40.00. After the house lights went down, and the band began playing TSRTS, I made my way to the edge of the lower balcony, and witnessed quite a few fans jumping down to the arena floor. So, I also jumped down to the floor. It really wasn't that far to the floor... EVERYONE that I could see on the floor was standing on their seats....truly a forest of onlookers. Well, that, made it very easy to quickly run through the seat aisles to the center section aisle. I then made my way straight to an empty seat not yet occupied, three rows back. That was intense!!!! Everyone in about the first ten rows were seated. Page had his shades on. The nubile set of four girls in front of me were holding up what looked like a centerfold, facing toward the band. The highlight of the concert, for me, was "Ten Years Gone". It was a good solid show. The band were coming back from a break on the tour, and were fresh. For the first encore, as the song began, Jimmy made his way from the drum kit to the front of the stage, and he slipped and fell..... but he was okay. He smiled, and very quickly got back up on his feet, barely missing a beat. For everyone that wants to know, there were no images of Zeppelin shown on the Summit Video Screen, nor were there --any-- videographers on stage, or anywhere. The existence of the Houston video is purely mythological. No one has ever produced a photograph of the show being videoed.

Stuart "Doc" Hill's picture

One more time before the end, I was there, no pepper spray this time. Lower level seats to the left of stage. Light show spectacular, never wanted it to end. Completely lost in Stairway. The Zeppelin soars forevermore.

Name's picture

They put on the best show I've ever seen!

Richard's picture

This was the first of many concerts I attended and still the BEST! Wish the three would tour again... I'd make it my last. Saw the New Movie last night, really cool!

Kyle H.'s picture

A good friend of mine attended the Houston show in 1977 but never got to see Led Zeppelin go on stage. My friend got busted in the restroom for being in possesion of one joint. He said the police loaded him in a van that was parked underneath the seats. He said that Led Zeppelin walked past the van on their way up to the stage and beat on it as they passed it.

Chris Pinon's picture

I do not know if this is true but after the Zepplin concert in 1977 all subsequent rock concerts were moved to the older Sam Houston Colossuem. The reason being is that after the Zepplin concert rowdy fans broke windows in the then brand new Summit. Therefore the opperators of the Summit banned rock concerts for a number of years.


Can someone confirm?

Max McRae's picture

That not true. I went to Bad Company 2 day later at the Summit on May 23, 1977. I went to 3 other concert at the Summit after Led Zeppelin in 1977 and 1978 and last one was Vamn halen in July 10,1984. I have the link: that show all the concerts ever played in Houston including Music Hall...Sam Houston Coliseum and all clubs



Stephen's picture

Hey Max, I remember you and I went two day go Concert Led Zepplin & Bad Company. Good time.


Gary Sammon's picture


Arthur's picture

I was at Zeppelin's concert 05/21/1977. It was my only Zeppelin show to see in person. We had a great time. There were many more concerts after The Zeppelin concert. Later the Summit name was changed to The Compaq Center which became home of the Houston Rockets. It was sold in 2005 and is now the megachurch Lakewood Church with Joel Olsteen. 

Phillip Sollock's picture

Like so much of my life back then I just Renner being there. It was a few weeks before I graduated high school and they were the hottest thing on earth at the time. Of course we were stoned and I Renner joints being passed from one end of the aisle to the other and if one ran out someone lit another on the way by.

I remember they had one of the first laser light shows performed in a concert at least it was the first I ever saw. Green light beams shown down on stage then began to shift around to the music then ultimately spinning like a whirlwind just like the intensity of Jimmy Page's guitar and Plant's voice . This was one of the last concerts that John Henry Bonham played. Has been over 40 years ago and I will never forget it. Thanks guys...

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