July 17, 1973
Seattle Center Coliseum
Performed Live In Seattle - Eat A Peach 96/97/98
101. Band Announcements
102. Rock And Roll
103. Celebration Day
104. Bring It On Home Intro / Black Dog
105. Over The Hills And Far Away
106. Misty Mountain Hop
107. Since I’ve Been Loving You
108. No Quarter
201. The Song Remains The Same
202. The Rain Song
203. Dazed And Confused
301. Stairway To Heaven
302. Moby Dick
304. Whole Lotta Love
305. Crowd Anticipation
306. The Ocean
The best audience sources to make the definitive best complete mix of a legendary show.
News Report: Led Zeppelin – Rock as Extravaganza
The Stones first developed massive light and sound systems for the huge halls rock groups now play and Alice Cooper expanded the idea by turning concerts into spectacles, but nobody so far has reached the level of extravaganza shown by Led Zeppelin in concert last night at the Seattle Center Coliseum.
Smoke, fire, strobes, sparklers and rockets filled the stage at one time or another during the group’s nonstop three hours of music. Not to mention the three-story banks of lights and speakers that surrounded the four performers and the mirrored panels behind them.
And the show was so well coordinated that a tiny beam of light would land on Jimmy Page’s right hand the instant he began a guitar solo and flames leap out of canisters when Robert Plant hit a certain high note.
The sound system was such that at any point in the hall the music was visceral – it could be felt more than heard.
For me, this took some getting used to but once acclimatized it was strangely pleasurable, as if the constant vibrations activated some pleasure center.
The Led Zeppelin are one of the three or four most popular rock groups at the moment. In their current 33-city concert tour, they have already broken the national attendance record (56,000 people in Tampa; previous high was the Beatles Shea Stadium show which drew only 55,000) and have been selling out every show. Only one newspaper ad and two radio spots were necessary to sell out the Coliseum here in a few days.
This is one top group that owes its popularity to talent. Page is one of the finest electric guitarists in the world. He’s done session work for everybody from Donovan to Tony Bennett and like Hendrix, has helped expand the definitions of rock by his innovations.
Robert Plant is the greatest singer in rock, next to Little Richard, and that’s no mean feat. He can control a scream the way Leontyne Price controls an aria and it’s just as exhilarating to experience.
Of course he was helped a bit last night by the sound man who added echo, reverb and other aural tricks to augment his voice.
John Bonham, the drummer, displayed superhuman strength by lasting the full three hours without a rest, even after an energetic drum solo that must have lasted 20 minutes.
John Paul Jones, an arranger and conductor before joining the group, played bass guitar, electric organ and mellotron.
Led Zeppelin made one of their first public appearances in Seattle just before Christmas 1968 as an unknown and unannounced second-on-the-bill to Vanilla Fudge. Their first album had not yet been released and the audience wasn’t prepared for them.
I remember the Arena crowd back then paying little attention to the band’s high energized rock music and they walked off stage to more boos than applause.
What a contrast last night when the audience was almost mesmerized by the goings-on on stage and give out the longest, most deafening ovation I’ve ever heard (about 8 to 10 minutes long and at least 5 on the Richter scale).
It was quite an experience. (by Pat Macdonald, SeattleTimes July 1973)
Another of the great 1973 US Tour shows ... from the onset the band is ready to play and they take no prisoners! The show, surprisingly, was followed by a very long announcements: "Led Zeppelin has aksed if we can get a few things straight tonight. Nobody around here digs any fireworks - please cool the fireworks. Please also, we have an area right here in front of the stage where we have many optic effects that we need to get off tonight, that we can't have any chance of anybody bumping the stage 'cos it'll completely ruin them. Their show usually runs about one hour and fortyfive minutes. If you can keep the fireworks down and keep everything off the front, Led Zeppelin would like to thank you and do about three hours tonight! So, sit back and stay cool and we'll have a long great show this evening!" The improvisations, especially No Quarter and the immensely long Dazed And Confused are fresh and unique and sound very different from anything heard before. The end has very unusual and exciting rhythm structure in Whole Lotta Love and Robert screaming as the band jam on the end of The Ocean.
From The Year of Led Zeppelin:
The tape begins with a stage announcement asking the crowd to stop setting off fireworks and promising a three hour show if everyone stays cool, which receives a thunderous cheer. Page shreds wildly through the guitar solo at the end of Celebration Day. Following Black Dog, Plant greets the crowd, saying "it's more than a pleasure to be back again, really." Misty Mountain Hop is dedicated to "the guys who drove the buses" full of fans from Vancouver to the first show in Seattle the year before. Since I've Been Loving You is highly dramatic and powerful.
The instrumental section during No Quarter is an epic journey. A truly amazing performance, one of the best thus far. The Rain Song is absolutely fantastic. Bonzo hammers wildly at his drums during the initial verses of Dazed and Confused. Page shreds through the frantic lead-in to the bow solo. The San Francisco interlude is devastatingly heavy. Bonzo and Jones are locked into each other as Page's sticky fingers fly across the fretboard during the erratic guitar solo/workout section. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "that was somethin' that contains so many different constructions and time signatures and things, every night it gets really far out, I wish I could sit and listen to it like you folks" before introducing Stairway to Heaven as "something entirely different." Page delivers an excellent, dynamic guitar solo.
Moby Dick is introduced as "something with equally as much energy and power... and vibration." Page, Jones, and Bonzo are on fire during the frenzied fast guitar solo section in Heartbreaker. The theramin freakout during Whole Lotta Love is followed by an excellent funky jam. The Boogie Chillen' section features a blistering guitar solo from Page. The band returns to the stage to close the show with an explosive The Ocean. An outstanding performance. Must hear.