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Civic Center (Providence) - July 21, 1973

  • 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.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 4:34pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.8 (107 votes)
July 21, 1973
United States

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.


Record-setting attendance at the Providence Civic Center: 12,120.

Press: Police, Teens Clash At Concert

Providence police were called to the Civic Center last night to break up a crowd of teenagers who attempted to force their way into the building while a rock concert by Led Zeppelin was gathering steam.

During a confrontation with the crowd, policemen and their patrol cars were pelted with stones and bottles hurled by a group of youngsters who had taken positions inside the nearby Holiday Inn parking garage.

Thirty persons were arrested before police managed to break up the crowd.

While police and splinter groups from the crowd engaged in scattered skirmishes outside, 12,120 representatives of the rock cult, packed themselves inside the Civic Center, paying homage to Led Zeppelin and the group’s shattering sounds.

This was the largest paying crowd on record at the center. It was previously held by Providence College, which drew 12,107 basketball enthusiasts into the arena last February.

According to Capt. Russell See, night commander at police headquarters, 40 patrolmen were dispatched to the center shortly after 9:30pm when a crowd pulled a boiler room door from its hinges in back of the Civic Center in an attempt to get inside.

Altogether about 250 persons were lingering outside when the concert started at 8pm and most of them were still around when police arrived.

Only minutes before the concert began, one youth offered a guard $20 to allow him inside. The guard refused.

Early in the concert, police expelled a young girl from the center who they had found in a locker room. She had no ticket and she would not tell how she had gotten in.  [7/22/73,  by D. Hulick / Journal]



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.


Charles Reilly's picture

The July 21, 1973 Led Zeppelin concert at the Providence Civic Center (now the Dunkin Donuts Center) was the second and last time I attended one of their shows. The concert was near the end of their famous "Houses of the Holy" tour that had propelled the band to new heights, both financially and artistically. Their performance this night was certainly different from the one I witnessed a few years earlier in Boston (Sept. 1971). They weren't "up and comers" anymore but established stars. In other words, they had a lot more swagger in their collective attitudes and it translated itself in their performance. The show opened with the band charging on stage and ripping into an energetic version of "Rock and Roll." They followed that with "Black Dog" and "Misty Mountain Hop" and then opted to play most of the songs from their newly released album, "Houses of the Holy." One after the other, all the songs from that album (with the exception of "D'yer M'ker" and "The Crunge") were given their due. "No Quarter", "The Rain Song" and "The Song Remains the Same" were all played pretty much note-for-note perfect. "Over the Hills and Far Away" was given a more perfunctory rendition and the band didn't seem to have much enthusiasm for it. As usual, Robert Plant did all the talking and wondered aloud if the band had ever been in Providence before. They hadn't, although they had previously performed in Newport, Rhode Island during the 1969 Jazz Festival.
A long extended version of "Dazed and Confused" was a highlight of the second half of the show. There was no real intermission either although a few fans took a break during John Bonham's "Moby Dick" drum solo---which was actually quite good. "Whole Lotta Love" included the "Let That Boy Boogie" middle section and gave Jimmy Page a chance to show off his 1950's-style guitar licks. The band returned to the stage for a lively encore rendition of "The Ocean" and then left for good. All in all, it was a solid performance from the band expecially considering they were nearing the end of a lengthy and exhaustive tour. The show clocked in at about two and a half hours, which was typical for the band in those days.

Argenteum Astrum's picture

This show is simply hot! The whole band is on and plays incredibly powerful, beautiful music. Robert has recovered most of his range it seems, even letting some unearthly screams out in Dazed And Confused and Since I've Been Loving You. Jimmy is a man possessed and the rhythm section plays as if they were the lead instruments too! Highlights from this wholly excellent show include one of the best No Quarter versions ever, an amazing Dazed and the earth shaking Heartbreaker into Whole Lotta Love. Funny, after No Quarter, Plant is interrupted when a girl in the audience throws her phone number onstage. Amidst making a joke about giving it to the security guards.

Mr.Droopy's picture

Man I'm from Providence RI and I never even knew Led Zeppelin came here. I'm only 21 years old but I do know what good music is. Led Zeppelin is my all time favorite band. Jimmy Page is incredible. The whole band is excellent from Robert Plant's voice.. To Paul Jones sick bass and Dunham's drum skills.. wow amazing.. I wish I could turn back the hands of time and gone to the concert here in Providence.. Man that would always continue to be a dream.. to have gone to one of their concerts.. and hear them live..koo... Long live Led Zeppelin.. Legends of music not just rock!

Russell Allen's picture

By Far one of the best Concerts I have ever seen and I'm so lucky to have been there. The Tickets came out on a Sunday I believe and they sold out in 1/2 a day. I paid with my ticket with 700 pennies, it was 6.50 with a .50 cent surcharge. I was in Section 232, and had a killer view. We had tele cameras and 10x50 Binoculars which were worth their weight in gold. At the beginning of the show when the band first went on the stage people were throwing 100's of Joints, Shirts, Bras, you name it. But one person threw a huge 1/4 lb. Joint that was wrapped in a Cheech & Chong Big Bambu rolling paper, Robert picked it up the crowd went nuts and he whipped it at a Security Guards Head. it was so funny.
Robert had about a dozen 44 gallon Rubbermaid Garbage Ice Filled Barrels with Bud & Heineken Beer. Robert would take a swig of a beer and then turn around and whip it at the cement wall in back of the stage and it would explode. One drink, Smash. One drink, smash. They had huge fans to cool off the stage and the largest dry ice (Smoke Show) I have ever seen in my life. When the Dry Ice (Cold Smoke) rolled off the stage it curled up like a wave off a waterfall and they turned the fans on and when the smoke reached us the temp dropped 30 degrees or more. It was like instant air conditioning. I will never forget it because it was so hot in there. They got on stage at exactly 8:00PM and played until about 11:30PM NON-STOP. No Warm Up Band, Just Led Zep. Some of the Concert was used in The Song Remains the Same Movie as they filmed it also. Near the end of the Concert the people outside busted the doors open and a small riot happened in the hallway that circles the arena. The State Cops were throwing out everyone in the hallway even if they had a ticket. because so many other people got in, it was well over crowded a major fire hazard. We saw State Cops Clubbing people and dragging them out. I went up to take a Leak and when I got to the stairs people told me not to go. So we all Pissed in the stairwell. I noticed dozens of spent needles, roaches everywhere on the stairs. It was one of the Best Shows I have ever seen, and I have seen over 100 Shows. The Light Show was great, when they were wearing the White Outfits and the Black Lighting would show patterns on the clothing, it was trippy.

I was 14 years old, my mom & dad said I could not go to the show. I went anyway, I took a bus for one hour and went to the Show. I was not going to miss this show. I kept my ticket under my rug for several months it seemed. I kept looking at it because I could not believe I had one. This was the hottest ticket in 1973. I saw several people waiting in line get best-up for the tickets. When someone asked me if I had a ticket I said, "No I don't do you have one for sale"? And they went away. The lines were 100 deep to get in.

Anyway, I wanted to share my memories so others that went may remember some of these details also.

In memory of my Friend Steven Benisch who bought the ticket for me, RIP Steven 1954-2009.

Laurie Joy Kennedy's picture

I was 16 when I attended this concert in RI. It was an amazing show I will never forget!

George M. Prescott Jr.'s picture

Great review of an powerful yet uneven show. Let me just amplify your point about "Over the Hills and Far Away." I have heard an audience recording of the show that clearly reveals the reason this wayward rendition lacked focus and determination. Pagey cuts the song short before the final verse and lurches awkwardly into the fanfare coda because of misbehavior in the crowd. After the song is pretermitted, much to the band's dismay, Robert brings the proceedings to a halt and sternly warns the crowd that further horseplay will end the proceedings without further delay. However, Plant soon relents, and, in his genial and gentlemanly way, encourages the crowd to enjoy themselves while at the same time imploring them to listen.

The result is absolutely the highlight of the show, and one of the great moments of the tour: a stellar rendition of "Since I've Been Loving You." Scintillating. Page at his absolute best. This is in the league of the great "Tea for One." Same minor blues, same emotional intensity. Here, however, unlike live performances from later, more languid days, Jimmy's playing is both shockingly intense and stunningly precise. Not one stepped-on note to be heard. The tempo is perfect; Jimmy's phrasing is eloquently ensorcelling, spanning bar lines with wondrous ease; his use of rests is, well, arresting; his attack is razor-sharp; his tone is plangent and well-spoken; and his bends and tonal clusters are perfectly executed and gripping. Nonpareil. A classic.

The remainder of the show is enjoyable but not truly memorable.

Requiescat in pace John Henry Bonham (1948-1980).

Matt's picture

If you can remember it, you werent really there

Cathy Goode's picture

Thanks for the memory. I was fifteen. I didnt even know who Led Zeplin was when I ordered two tickets from someone whom was picking them up at the box office.  When I went to pick them up I was told that he had sold them by mistake.  My dear friend Fred talked me into leaving Jamestown and go up without a ticket.  He said I could go scalp one.  Piece of cake, I thought.  Fred kept trying to get me to buy his ticket at triple the price, a mere sixteen dollars. Everyone else in the car told me not to do it.  I began to panic as we got closer and the deal was off the table.  We arrived in the parking lot and they made me go alone into a place I had never been.  I was scared.  I remember walking by the Bonanza bus depot and it was all lit up so my anxiety subsided and I began asking people if they had a ticket to sell.  I met fun people along the way and my group of friends said hello as they passed me by. I soon found myself at the entrance to the Civic Center with no ticket to get inside.  So I headed back down the street again and growing despondent I saw this couple leaning up against the wall of the bus depot fighting and so I asked "Do you have any tickets you want to sell?"   They did.  It wasnt before I was halfway up the street that I realized I had just purchased two tickets for eleven bucks.  Sold the other one for ten bucks.  Finally found my friends and had the adventure of a lifetime.  It was my first concert and you are right it was the best of all time!  Im very happy to have not been outside during the riots.  They cancelled the next concert scheduled in Boston after that show.  It is one of my favorite stories about my youth.  Minimum wage was one dollar and sixty five cents an hour.   When I told my friends my street adventure and how i procured a ticket for a dollar I was now one of the "cool" kids,  I think nine of us drove up their together and I took that ten bucks and treated us all to McDonalds and even got change back.  The music of the seventies was amazing and affordable at $5.50 and $6.50 per ticket and sometimes you can get lucky and your very first concert might only have cost you a buck and it was the greatest band of rock n roll!

Paul V. Cotrone's picture

I would like to make a short comment on this show 2nd time seeing the boys ,first time Boston Garden 69.This was my first time at the civic center,great venue even greater show 8th row center stage didn't hurt.When the music started there was a rush to the stage and aisles ,after Zep finished the first song they asked the crowd to move back and clear the aisles .they said they had a little trouble with the crowd in Boston the night before.amazingly people did move back and cleared out .for this cooperation the boys promised to play their asses off! .Which after two and a half hours of pure Zeppelin rock and roll they did..

scott's picture

zeppelin has been a part of my life sence i was 11yr old i got to see jimmy page and robert plant but never zeppelin iam a hudge cowboys fan and when they bilt there knew stadium in 2007 fans could buy a piece and i did i put my name my son and john bonham pretty cool however i havnt had the luggiery to fly out there but will one day your story was unbeleivable for you too see that and remember it zeppelin in 73 was at there prime they never got bigger than houses of the hoily anyway... our fathers of the four wind fill our sail from the see and years with know pravion but a open faith sounds corress my ear.kashmir

Mike's picture

I was there.  Right at the edge of the stage in front.  I am looking for a photo of the front row.  Anybody?

Mike's picture

I was there.  We had nose bleed seats and could only hear a dull drone at the very beginning.  I knew the row of security people 15 feet in front of the stage would release and back up to the stage after about 15 minutes so I made my way down with a friend and ended up face to face with security.  No one could get any closer than I was.  The story of the joints being thrown on stage is absolutely true and the security guy I was in front of was hit in the back of the head with a joint thrown by Jimmy Page.  WHAT A SHOW !!!!!  Best of my life and I've seen a bunch.  Looking for pictures of stage from behind players to see me.  Anybody?  Anybody?


Charles Reilly's picture

The below review was written regarding a concert by Led Zeppelin at the Providence Civic Center (now the Dunkin Donuts Center) in 1973 during their "Houses of the Holy" tour.

Rob C's picture

Joey Oz and I scalp 2 floor seats moments before show time. Beatles Rubber Soul played over the P.A.
We asked an usherette to help us find our seats.
From the back of the arena,we got closer and closer to the stage.
I was so stoked with excitement yelled " We're freaking so close! The usherette turned and said Here are your seats...I couldn't believe it " Front row center !
The house lights went down and Led Zeppelin ran out from stage right playing Rock and Roll, as they were running ! Best show of my life...did I forget to mention we got the tickets from a mob surrounded dude for $30 each...

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