LED ZEPPELIN – ” Live In Chicago Stadium ” April 6th 1977

Posted: April 6, 2020 in ALBUMS
Tags: , , , , ,

See the source image

The first show of the band’s four night stand at Chicago Stadium begins with a series of loud firecracker blasts as the band takes the stage. Robert Plant is quick to respond, saying “listen, before we start, can I ask you one thing?… can you stop throwin’ those firecrackers, cause we wanna give you a lotta music and we’re not gonna fight with firecrackers, okay? “The Song Remains the Same” is a relentless sonic assault. Plant again asks the crowd to cool it following “Sick Again”.But I’d bet the 20,000 or so people who turned up at the Chicago Stadium Wednesday night for the first of four shows the band is doing there would find their popularity as credible as the group is incredible in its steamroller approach to rock and blues. Purchasing tickets for the shows was a story in itself. It was the 1970’s. When the tickets went on sale, it became a literal war! Broken doors, shattered glass, fighting and fainting girls! Raised seats just above the main floor. This is a band, for instance, that plays for three hours straight, with few dull moments once it gets rolling. Wednesday, it took a couple of songs; the band tends to build to a cumulative effect rather than launching all of its firepower at once. There was Jimmy’s speaker cabinet with the ZoSo symbol! Bonham had a new and beautiful gold metallic kit, waiting in ready, high atop his riser. The stage appeared sharp and clean with banks of lights and the P.A. hung aerially.

Part way into the show lead singer Robert Plant, ace guitarist Jimmy Page appears, turned toward Bonham . He’s in white satin with a dragon design on his shirt’s back. No design on his satin pants. keyboard and bass player John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham sat in a peaceful row across the front of the stage, doing a segment of quieter ballads in a folky, medieval mood. It was a striking change of pace from what had gone before and would come after, which was the sort of power-rock, extremely loud with a blues base, that Zeppelin handles so well.  Jimmy Page tears through a blistering guitar solo during “Nobody’s Fault But Mine. In My Time of Dying” is plagued by tape issues. After some scary firecracker blasts and shouts of protest from Robert, the show begins. It is quite good. Jimmy’s solo in is excellent in “Since I’ve Been Loving You” is an intense emotional journey. Page shreds wildly through the guitar solo, emphasizing each note as if it were his last. An outstanding performance.

 

John Paul Jones is introduced as “the most debonair member of the band” before “No Quarter”. He and drummer Bonzo further develop the honky tonk interlude during the piano solo.

Page delivers an excellent guitar solo. Unfortunately, a cut in the tape near the end leaves us at the return to the main theme. There is another cut during the final verse. Plant announces “at the front of the stage for the first time,Robert introduces Jonesy as ” The most debonair member of the band. He can speak two languages. John Bonham… looking very suave in a two-piece tuxedo” before Jimmy actually speaks during the acoustic section (“Better to live one day as a king, than a thousand years as a peasant.”), “The Battle of Evermore. Going to California” is introduced as “a tribute to a lady who sings and drives a Mercedes and gets uptight.” Unfortunately, the song is plagued by more tape issues. After singing a bit of Surrender as Page retunes before “Black Country Woman”, Plant jokingly refers to the Black Country as “the land where men are men and sheep are nervous,” to which Page responds “better to live one day as a king than a thousand days as a peasant.”

Page’s guitar is painfully out of tune during White Summer/Black Mountain Side. He spends most of the song trying to compensate for the problem, but to no avail. Plant delivers a powerful performance during Kashmir. His banshee howls threaten to destroy the taper’s equipment. Bonzo is introduced as “our diplomat for peace and good relations” before Over the Top. Unfortunately, the tape suffers from constant volume fluctuations throughout the drum solo. Page has trouble keeping up during Achilles Last Stand. The first few notes of Stairway to Heaven are met with a loud cheer from the crowd. Page’s fingers become entangled in the strings during the guitar solo. The band closes the show with Trampled Underfoot, with Page shredding through an aggressive guitar solo.

Setlist: The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, 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, Trampled Underfoot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.