101. Rock And Roll
102. Celebration Day
103. Black Dog
104. Over The Hills And Far Away
105. Misty Mountain Hop
106. Since I've Been Loving You
201. No Quarter
202. The Song Remains The Same
203. The Rain Song
204. Dazed And Confused
205. Stairway To Heaven
301. Moby Dick
303. Whole Lotta Love
304. The Ocean
305. Communication Breakdown
LED ZEPPELIN BREAKS ATTENDANCE RECORD AS WELL AS AN OLD BARRIER OF SILENCE
Record-breaking tour audiences and grosses have been claimed by a lot of rock groups - Beatles, Rolling Stones, Three Dog Night, Grand Funk Railroad. Now Led Zeppelin is claiming one - biggest audience for one act ever in the United States.
This was May 5 at the Tampa Stadium, the night after the British group started its U.S. tour in Atlanta. Attendance in Tampa was 56,800, with a $309,000 gross. Led Zeppelin is on a 33-concert, 30-city tour during May and July, with June off for vacation, expecting a total gross of $3 million. The quartet performs without an opening act or intermission, for two and a half hours.
But if anybody thinks they're blasé about playing to such a big crowd as in Tampa, 'he's wrong. We spoke later by phone with lead singer Robert Plant in New Orleans. He said, "I think it was the biggest thrill I've had. I pretend - I kid myself — I'm not very nervous in a situation like that. I try to bounce around just like normal.
"But, if you do a proportionate thing, it would be like halt of England's population. "It was a real surprise. Tampa is the last place I would expect to see 60,000 people. It's not the country's biggest city. It was fantastic. One would think it would be very hard to communicate; with 60,000 people some have got to be quite a distance off. There were no movie screens showing us, like in Atlanta. The only thing they could pick on was the complete vibe of what music was being done."
Plant and Page write most of the group's songs. Some are a collaboration of all four. Gold albums have been "Led Zeppelin," "Led Zeppelin II," "Led Zeppelin III" and "Houses of the Holy," Atlantic, the latter being the best-selling album in the U.S. tor the first two weeks of May. The group also has a gold single, "Whole Lotta Love." But singles are not a big item with Led Zeppelin.
"You can't pick up on what we do in three minutes." Plant adds that some people thought the group was heavy, sexy rock from its hit single. "Now I think they realize there is more. They realize we have subtlety and a spectrum. You can't keep sending out heavy rock all the lime.
"Every time we make an album, our musical leanings advance more and more. A person won't be repetitious if he has any artistry at all. It sounds egotistical but I think this group has the most talented musicians in England. Jimmy Page has played backup with innumerable people from Burt Bacharach to the Rolling Stones.
"He is like the father of the group. Bassist John Paul Jones has done arrangements for people who are world-famous. I came roaring out of the blues and drummer John Bonham used to be like me.
“After bashing out infectious rock, we've started to level out into an artistically leaning group. There's been no big hype behind it at all. The music sort of seeped through to people. The first album was sensitive, traditional songs like Joan Baez had done. Since then it has gone from strength to strength. An audience can ever anticipate in advance what our next album will be like.
"Live, we do a lot of improvising. The numbers will be more or less the same numbers, but what goes on inside, apart from the melody lines, will alter each night. There’s a lot of phrase tossing between drummer, bassist and guitarist and I've been renowned for using my voice as an instrument.
"A lot of groups are too frightened to play away from the track of the records. You see them twice and know exactly what you'll hear the third time. And it's the reason why our group has never changed personnel.
A lot of groups pack it up and form again. There's internal strife because of musical boredom — plugging away at the same old thing. We stay creative: I think that is exactly what we're known for." (A.P. - May 1973)
The first recording of the band's record-breaking 1973 North American tour begins with an announcer saying simply "ladies and gentlemen, what more can I say... Led Zeppelin." As the band performs a brief soundcheck, Plant announces "it seems between us we've done somethin' nobody's done before... and that's fantastic" referring to tonight's show breaking the attendance record previously held by The Beatles for their concert at Shea Stadium in 1965.
The show gets off to a bit of a sluggish start with Rock and Roll. Page's fingers get stuck in the strings during the guitar solo. The finale leads directly into the first appearance of Celebration Day since 6/9/1972. Page's guitar solo is underscored by some excellent funky fretwork from Jones. The familiar Out on the Tiles intro to Black Dog has been dropped in favor of the riff from Bring it on Home. Plant demands "louder!" during his call and response with the crowd. The non-stop pace doesn't let up as the finale immediately gives way to Page's intro to Over the Hills and Far Away. Plant's voice is quite rough, having lost the momentum gained a month earlier in Paris. Page gets ahead of the band at the end of the guitar solo, creating a funky new arrangement. As the song ends, Plant asks the crowd "did anybody ever make the Orlando gig that we did last time?" adding "so we're in the same country, yeah?"
The crowd becomes restless during a laid-back Since I've Been Loving You, with a few people near the taper repeatedly shouting at those in front of them to sit down. Plant pleads with the crowd to ease up on the barriers before introducing the first appearance of No Quarter. One particularly agitated gentleman near the taper shouts quite angrily "sit your asses down goddammit!" during the first verse. As the song ends, Plant introduces "the mighty John Paul Jones on synthesized piano!"
Before Dazed and Confused, Plant warns "we want this to be a really joyous occasion, I gotta tell you this because three people have been taken to hospital and if you keep pushin' on that barrier, there's gonna be stacks and stacks of people goin'... so for goodness sake, we are animals, but we can move back a little bit." Page shreds through the first guitar solo. The workout section is a bit disjointed. The outro starts out promising with Page soloing wildly over Bonzo's syncopated rhythms, but everything falls apart when the band can't decide how to end the song. Plant tells the crowd "I've joined the Temperance Society where I no longer drink beer... I just drink lemons and honeys" before Stairway to Heaven.
Prior to the first appearance of Moby Dick since 10/9/1972, Plant announces "and now for something entirely different... for the tenth time in United States of America, ladies and gentlemen... for the tenth time in five years, we bring you our percussionist... John Henry Bonham, Moby Dick!" As the drum solo ends, the band skips the return of the main riff, jumping directly into Heartbreaker. Page blazes through the solos. The band skips the final verse, heading straight into Whole Lotta Love at the end of the guitar solo. The Everybody Needs Somebody to Love section has been dropped entirely from the new stripped-down arrangement. Plant once again makes mention of the record-breaking crowd during his boogie rap, saying "fifty-seven thousand people is four thousand more than the people that were at The Beatles' Shea Stadium, gotta boogie!" The medley has been stripped of its classics, leaving only the Boogie Chillen' jam.
The Ocean is preceded by the first appearance of Bonzo's signature count-in. Plant sings the verses out of order, causing a bit of confused hesitation. The band returns to close the show with Communication Breakdown. As they exit the stage, Plant leaves the crowd with a simple "goodnight."