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Robert Plant, lead singer of the high-flying Led Zeppelin, said recently in London the group wanted to tour America again because audiences here are so “ultra responsive”.
His observation was correct, but even the Led Zeppelin was obviously not prepared for the reaction they caused Saturday at the Pacific Coliseum as nearly 19,000 rock fans jammed the building for the group’s first concert in a 19-city tour.
Although it started half-an-hour late, the concert was already blessed by the fact that there were none of the often tedious and time-consuming supporting acts.
Led Zeppelin walked onstage at 8:30pm, took control and didn’t stop through two-and-a-half hours of glorious, ear-splitting rock.
They are essentially the same group they were here last year, with as many new faults as there were noticeable improvements.
Except for a few minor mechanical problems during the opening of Dazed and Confused, Led Zeppelin succeeded in their heavy brand of rock that everyone came to hear.
The only new material offered was the song Since I’ve Been Loving You, to be released soon on Led Zeppelin III. It’s raw, physical qualities make the album one worth looking forward to.
And no one really minded that they played songs from their first two albums. From the raw, gutsy sounds of How Many More Times, to the frenzy improvisation that is Heartbreaker.
Robert Plant, the physical and vocal gymnast of the group, turned the crowd on at will with his shaggy blond mane and his searing three-octave voice.
The lead guitar of Jimmy Page was a constant delight to the senses, particularly in his much-improved White Summer solo.
Drummer John Bonham demonstrated his talent in a 15-minute stick-twirling and barehanded exhibition that exhausted both himself and listener, while bass guitarist John Paul Jones more than kept the beat alive.
As the concert drew to a close during the fever pitch of Whole Lotta Love, the massive crowd surged forward and about 50 senseless fans spoiled it for the group and the audience by vaulting up onto the 15-foot high stage.
“Never before in the history of Led Zeppelin has this happened,” Plant shouted mock-serious into the microphone, not knowing whether to be offended or flattered.
When the stage was finally cleared, Led Zeppelin came back for two encores and a standing ovation that was a fitting tribute to one of the most talented rock groups in the business today. (Express, 3.24.70)