San Diego, CA
01. Rock and Roll
02. Sick Again
03. Over The Hills and Far Away
04. In My Time of Dying
05. The Song Remains The Same
06. The Rain Song
08. No Quarter
09. Trampled Under Foot
10. Moby Dick
11. Dazed and Confused
12. Stairway To Heaven
13. Whole Lotta Love
14. Black Dog
Press Review: Rock (and Sock) Concert:
Led Zeppelin Is Really a Blast
Led Zeppelin plays music to launch a blitzkrieg by exploding in a three-hour volcanic eruption that spews boiling sonic lava into the wide-open ears of their willing victims.
Such was the nature of the English rock supergroup’s Sports Arena concert last night, an event for which all 15,832 tickets were sold out last December and for which ticket holders began getting in line last Sunday afternoon.
What those eager fans got for their time and money was a virtuoso demonstration of hard rock by the skull-busters extraordinaire, thunderous drums by John Bonham and lightning guitar by Jimmy Page, along with the screaming occasionally Janis Joplin-like vocals of strutting, bare-chested Robert Plant and the steady but somewhat unsteady piano of John Paul Jones.
Theirs is an unsubtle formula that has resulted in a totally sold-out concert tour (this Friday’s Sports Arena engagement, set up after the first concert sold out Sunday), six consecutive platinum albums, signifying sales of one million copies each and status as rock’s top drawing group of the day.
Led Zeppelin gives the fans a complete show, though without intermission, with swirling lights and the ol’ swirling smoke-over-the-stage routine.
Dazed and Confused opened for example with a purple pin spot on Jones’ fingers as the bass rumbled ominously; an explosion and column of smoke shattered the mood as Plant took over with a bluesy vocal.
Page then tool the fans’ attention, stroking his guitar with a violin bow, while smoke swirled about him and red and green laser beams drilled needle-holes of light from the stage to the back of the arena. Unfortunately, the music produced this was by Page resembled only horror-movie howls and screams.
The group chose its repertoire from its entire history, from its beginnings to the new double Physical Graffiti album; musically the most gratifying moments came on No Quarter opening with Jones’ meandering piano solo during which the noise-loving crowd grew noticeably restless.
Bonham picked up the pace with his drums, however, inserting a march feel into the proceedings, and Page commenced one of his most compelling guitar solos of the evening, his instrument dancing to the rhythms established by Bonham and Jones.
MOUNTAIN OF SOUND
It closed as did so many other numbers, in a cacophonous explosion that rendered meaningless the phrase “wall of sound”, often used to describe loud rock; this was a pyramid, an Empire State Building, an Everest of sound. (San Diego Union, 3.11.75)
"We're really glad to be back in California!" ... This show kicks off the group's West Coast swing, which also comprises the final leg of 1975's North American tour. It's the beginning of what would turn out to be a great run of shows, including the Long Beach and LA concerts plus Vancouver, Seattle ... An excellent show in front of a wild crowd! Jimmy's playing is excellent and the improvisations in No Quarter and Trampled Underfoot are very good. Dazed And Confused is almost symphonic in its scope ... another excellent 1975 version! The interplay between the rhythm section and Page during the solo in Stairway To Heaven is breathtaking and the funky jam in Whole Lotta Love drives everyone into a frenzy before Black Dog.
The walls of the arena quake under the power of Bonzo's thunderous pounding as Rock and Roll crashes into motion. Plant has finally regained control of his voice, belting out each line with power and bravado. Page blazes through an extended guitar solo at the end of Sick Again. As the song ends, Plant attempts to calm the rowdy crowd, saying "don't get pushin' about cause it effects what we're tryin' to do." Page is in his own world as he shreds wildly though the guitar solo during Over the Hills and Far Away. In My Time of Dying is a cacophonous explosion.
Page's fingers fly across the fretboard during The Song Remains the Same. Plant begins a beautiful The Rain Song with "this should be the springtime of your lovin'." Kashmir is incredibly powerful, Plant is in top form. As the song ends, he asks the crowd to "do the obvious thing" and move back "so as the people in the front don't get their bellies tossed around in little bits and pieces." There is a brief dropout near the beginning of Jones's piano solo during No Quarter. The instrumental section features a mellow guitar solo from Page. Plant comes in late during the first verse of Trampled Underfoot, but quickly rights himself. Page's wild soloing echoes through the arena as Bonzo and Jones hold down the frantic rhythm.
Before Dazed and Confused, Plant tells the crowd "about six and a half years ago, we got together in a little room in London and decided that we should play a few tunes to see whether it was good or bad... the first thing that we played gave us the decision that we should never ever stop... this was it." His ethereal howls echo out over the crowd during the haunting Woodstock interlude. Someone near the taper can be heard shouting "louder!" during the bow solo. Plant unleashes a series of spine-chilling squeals as the guitar solo/workout section begins. Page shreds wildly as Bonzo and Jones race along at top speed. Plant tells the crowd "one day, not too long ago, a little bit of light came through to us and we hope we can pass it on to you" before Stairway to Heaven. Page delivers an outstanding guitar solo. Whole Lotta Love again includes The Crunge, complete with lyrics, prior to the theramin freakout. As the band leaves the stage, Plant announces "San Diego, thank you very much!" An excellent performance.