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Chicago Stadium - April 7, 1977

  • includes: The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, 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.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 7:23pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.2 (63 votes)
April 7, 1977
United States

includes: The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, 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.

77 programme

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

Press Review: Grandkids, it was this way:

Zeppelin is an event, not a concert. A living, throbbing mural of what used to be called 'the counterculture, which stopped being called that when it became a culture. The power and energy of Zeppelin's music draws those who shape and define the culture, for better or worse. They come not so much to listen to the music as to be there when it is played.

The event begins outside the arena with people selling tickets, Jesus ("he died for your sins"), drugs ("uppers for a fin") and T-shirts and harried policemen straining to save people from getting run over by motorists un-wise enough to be driving near the Stadium at the appointed hour. Most people have their concert uniforms on - denim everything, but there are a few with painted faces dressed up like clowns and passing out apocalyptic literature... "There is still time ", one clown said, approaching a young man. "No there isn't". Concert starts in five minutes, he replied.

They are younger than I expected, suggesting that Zeppelin (and me too!) is universal to the last decade. At first i feel a little insulted that a 17-year-old still on Strydex could share my intensity for "Stairway", but then I thought it might be a compliment, who knows?'

Inside the arena, there are 20,000 in various moods, some standing and clapping, others sitting and staring. The music sounds like my high school stereo, but it is loud and raw enough to stoke excitement and familiar enough to unlock memories of special moments.

Aside from the drum solo, there are a few other special moments, provided by Zeppelin's special effects department. A translucent Jimmy Page standing inside a pyramid constructed of brilliant green lights straining and strumming to find the way out; Robert Plant, his hair a glowing gold, a crown of lights streaming from behind his head, beginning his climb up "Stairway".

The crowd booed at the end because Zeppelin would only do one encore. Me? I listened to my only Led Zeppelin tape on the way home". [G. Mustain / Times]


includes: The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, 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.


Argenteum Astrum's picture

A very good show, sadly shortened due to some restrictions - In My Time Of Dying and Trampled Underfoot were dropped out from this show. The reason of this unexpetced move was caused of city-based hockey team, Chicago Black Hawks. They were in the playoffs at the time and had to use the arena on Friday night. The union that worked this facility demanded Zeppelin be finished by 11:00 P.M. as the Showco sound system had to be dismantled for the hockey game to be played on Friday. It was reassembled for Saturday's show.

Larry Gerber aka The BarBeQue Man's picture

I was there with 3 of my buddies. My Dad got us the tickets, he had a job in which the Chicago Blackhawks were customers of his and the head janitor who my dad dealt with on a monthly basis gave him the tickets for free along with 2 tickets that the janitor got for his son. So, all 6 of us sat together in the Mezzanine section above the main floor 6 rows up facing the stage. They were the 2nd best seats I ever had for a concert except for the seats we had for Jethro Tull at the Rosemont Horizon in which we sat first row seats 1 thru 8 for the Black Sunday tour.

This Led Zeppelin concert on 4/7/1977 was a thrill even though the old Chicago Stadium wasn't the best place for sound however it was a great show and the whole building was rocking like when the Blackhawks scored a goal in that same building. Wow what great memories and the Ganja was great then too and cheap!!!!

Joe Schmidt's picture

Part 2 in a continuum of Led Zeppelin concerts I witnessed in Chicago 1977. Onto the second night at the Chicago Stadium. It's Thursday, April 7th and the reviews are in from the opening night's show. The consensus was that the show was shaky and erratic, marred by equipment problems.  Though I had enjoyed it, I was hoping the Thursday show would be tighter.
  This evening's seats are first balcony, first row in the band's left side profile.  My sight line was from the lip of Bonzo's drum riser to the front edge of the stage. I would have these exact seats for Saturday's show. On with the show. I got to the Stadium a little earlier to soak it all in. The bizarre green flooring that covered the stage; Watching the lighting guys climbing up their rigs to man the spotlights; Jimmy's minimal pedal set-up with his wah wah and echoplex being double- checked by Ray Thomas. I thought it was great when I saw some roadie stocking an enormous cooler with vast quantities of Heineken beer. Of course it was set up five feet left of Bonzo's kit! Some more roadies scurry about and then the stage clears.
 As the lights are extinguished the surge in anticipation is phenomenal. You're leaving normal consciousness and entering the world of Zeppelin. That's fine with me. My vantage point allows me to see the band leave the backstage area and prepare to mount the stage. Jimmy's in white satin again and is led by flashlight to his stage mark. He's handed his Gibson double neck and hits a chord to commence the show. The Song Remains the Same once again kicks it off. A sole spotlight streaking across the Stadium to isolate Page as Bonzo and Jonesy slam the accents in tandem. Bonham is a fucking animal as he beats the shit out of his kit! In his blue sneakers and the tuxedoed get-up. Robert's wearing a brown blouse with tight jeans and you can see the light changes reflecting in Robert's hair. JPJ dressed cleanly in white. The energy is up as a animated Page attacks the solo with a vengeance and leads into a thick and heavy sounding The Rover. The slowier and funkier Sick Again follows. Jimmy moves and dances as one with his guitar. Swizzle stick thin he couldn't have weighed more than 130 lbs.
 Nobody's Fault But Mine is admirable and Robert concludes the song with a  Arabesque hand flourish. In My Time Of Dying is not played tonight. Since I've Been Loving You has Page, with a dangler hanging from his mouth, blasting out the blues power. Robert sounds incredible as he weaves his story. Moody organ enhances it all. Great band dynamics!
 Dry ice is pumped from the stage to signal No Quarter. JPJ alone in emerald light as he picks out the theme. Jimmy and Bonzo are bruising as they drive the riff. Robert's is displaying more controlled power vocally. Jonesy stands to switch to piano and plays a beautiful segment...what a musician! The improv section reveals Page is coming at it from another angle. Totally dissimilar in construction with the movie soundtrack version. Ten Years Gone does sound pristine and was superior to the prior night's version, with Page's echoplexed  b-bender solo much more coherent.  The sound problems that plagued opening night seem to have been ironed out. That's a good thing because the acoustic set then followed . Immaculate and dynamic, these series of songs really came across great! Battle of Evermore rang out and watching the band seated in a row jamming was priceless. This is a spellbinding rendition that has everyone cheering! A relaxed Going to California has Jonesy showing his mandolin chops. Black Country Woman/ Bron yr aur Stomp concluded the acoustic interlude powerfully. I was looking down atop Page, as he sat, immersed in guitar bliss.
  I was able to see more of the technical side because of my seats. The switching of guitars that took place; Page and Bonham conferring with Ray Thomas and Mick Hinton; How many beers they were drinking; Peter Grant watching the show by Page's side fills.
 White Summer/ Black Mt. Side kept Jimmy seated, bathed in gold light. It was a stellar version. Tuneful and emotive , Page was on target with Bonzo adding tabla drum feel. The Page/ Bonham interaction is revealing tonight. Their musical connection is so strong! Kashmir peels the paint as the crowd jumps to their feet pulled into the vortex of sound. It's loud but not distorted and they nail every break with conviction. Page is all over the place throwing himself about in time to the rhythm. Robert is such a commanding figure as his voice trails off into infinity. The magic of the band is really apparent here. Over the Top is concise tonight and I marvel at John Bonham's sound and ability, he was absorbed in his work and the fans loved it! I had a great angle of his drum kit motoring out to the front of the stage, amid explosions and lighting effects.
  Jimmy's Noise Symphony was next up and brought out The Psycho Strut. Perhaps something was ingested during their drum solo hiatus, but Page came back out fucking possessed! Jimmy duckwalked, got down on his knees, pointing at the crowd as a plectrum hung from his lip, He was controlling sound with his physical motion. Theramin tones that cut through you led into the violin bow section. A technician was manipulating lasers from behind Pagey's Marshalls, beaming them upward on an angle. The laser pyramid descended from above and the combination of dry ice, orange and emerald light was eerie! The bow climax sounded mint with Bonzo entering the fray wailing on his tympani. What a cauldron of sound! Achilles Last Stand is more composed tonight, but you can tell they're still finding their way on this one. Page missing a few pedal switches because his dancing had carried him to the other side of the stage!
  Before Stairway To Heaven, Robert corrects himself in regards to something he said the night before - " Sorry! I had a time lapse. We last toured here in 1975!" Jimmy plays the plaintive opening notes and the spell is cast. Everyone gelled on this one. Robert improvising the line" Does anyone remember forests?" Jimmy swings the doubleneck into an upright position to start the fanfare. Bonham's splashing symbols and then a sweet and soulful Page guitar solo. Jimmy somewhat stationary, executing fast Spanish flurries. Robert brings the song to it's conclusion and then a mammoth reaction. The band come to the front, acknowledging the crowd. Jimmy is dripping wet as he leaves the stage.
  When their 5 minute breather concludes, Zeppelin reappear for one more. It's Rock and Roll. A stock version which pleased all. This ended the Thursday evening show. A very compact and tight show . What I'll call Tightly Tight!
  Wait until what happens at the Saturday show. What a difference two days will make! Until then.........

Roger's picture

Back in the day the radio stations like WLS would give away pairs of tickets to the concerts coming to town, usually on the floor. But Led Zeppelin was so hot that WLS gave away single tickets to the show in the balcony. So my brother Geoff won a ticket to this concert and I was very jealous. But as luck would have it I won a ticket the next day. They were near each other on the right in the balcony and we were able to swithch and sit by each other. Now I was 15 and my brother was 13 and walking in was a trip. Our dad dropped us off and we felt like everyone was 10-20 years older than us. We did not care as we were so excited and huge fans. Now remember these were like $9 tickets and people were offering us $200-$300 but we knew that we may never get another chance to see them. I do not recall many details of the show other thna the laser pyramid and Bonzo's solo. I just remember telling friends at the time it was a great show and being surprised that it was not so loud that I cound not hear the music. I consider myself lucky to see this show, especially since other friends of mine had tickets for Saturday. I too recall how the show ended suddenly to they could get the stage/ice ready for the Hawks the next night.

Butch's picture

So that's why they didn't play Trampled Underfoot. Those f'n union bastards!! This was the only night of the four I attended. I guess I should be glad my night wasn't the food poisoning show.

Paula's picture

I went to the 2nd show, April 7th with a good friend of mine. We were seniors in high school, and I ditched school to purchase tickets at the Ticketmaster at Montgomery Ward at the mall. They let each person buy up to 4 tickets. I kept 2 and sold 2 at school later that day. I went to the conert with my best friend Kim. We met up with a bunch of friends from school & smoked some good weed right there in the stadium bathroom. We had terrible seats - almost behind the stage, but either I'm dreaming this or the stage moved so that everyone got a decent view of the band. (maybe it was the pot? haha). Anyway, it was an amazing experience & I still remember many key points. I liked how they all sat down together to play Battle of Evermore & the other acoustics. STH was amazing of course, as was No Quarter & Kashmir. I was a little surprised at the encore (Rock & Roll), but they rocked the house with that one. Of course, the acoustics at the Chicago Stadium sucked, but the band was still awesome! Funny story: on the way home, my friend was driving & she missed the turnoff on the freeway & we eneded up in Indiana! Oh ya, the ganja was pretty good that nite!!! Those were amazing times in the mid-70s!!!

Scott Mitchell's picture

This is still the best concert I've ever been to!  I've been going to concerts regularly and haven't see anything better.

Rob Gangware's picture

After 100+ bands, best concert ever! 

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