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Monday, September 28, 2015

1977.07.23 Led Zeppelin Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA

Led Zeppelin
Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, CA
The Last Performance In The U.S.A.
(Sounds Fair)

Here is the link
The second to last gig ever in the States. "Good afternoon. So this is what they call daylight!" Plant joked. This is a very strong show with some really great highlights like the numbers leading up to No Quarter. Ten Years Gone is ruined in the middle by Jimmy, but the section of the show afterwards is really quite good including a brutal Achilles Last Stand with some nice rhythmic change ups by Jones and Bonham. A very rare for 1977 Black Dog closes the show as a second encore. It was after this show that Bonham, Peter Grant, and members of the road crew were accused for beating a member of Bill Graham's staff.

What will prove to be the penultimate performance of the 1977 North American tour begins with someone near the taper shouting "this is gonna be great!" as the band takes the stage. Plant greets the crowd, saying "good afternoon... good morning!" before The Song Remains the Same launches into motion. Memories of the disaster in Tempe three nights earlier are still fresh as Page shreds erratically through the guitar solos. Plant's voice is still a bit rough, he has trouble hitting some of the higher notes near the end of Nobody's Fault But Mine. Page's fingers are a bit sticky during the guitar solo. As the song ends, Plant tells the crowd "if we seem to be just a little bit sluggish now... we're just starting to liven up, cause we've only been awake about forty-five minutes," joking "so this is what they call daylight." Since I've Been Loving You is introduced as "a blues for a summer day."

There is a cut in the tape near the beginning of Jones's piano solo during No Quarter. Page is absent for most of the honky tonk breakdown, leaving Jones to vamp alone. His fingers are like razor blades as he slashes and shreds through a disjointed guitar solo. Ten Years Gone is a mess. Page completely destroys the first guitar solo. Plant mentions the band's days at the Winterland while introducing the acoustic set. The beginning of The Battle of Evermore is met with a barrage of firecracker blasts. Going to California is mournfully beautiful. The sound of a passing helicopter introduces White Summer/Black Mountain Side. Bonzo thrashes wildly at anything within reach as the band hammers through a frantic Achilles Last Stand, a devastating performance. Page blazes through a sticky-fingered guitar solo during Stairway to Heaven. As the band returns to the stage, Plant asks the crowd where they're going after the show, joking "can we come?" Rock and Roll is quick and dirty. The band closes the show with a bone-crushing Black Dog. As the song ends, Plant announces "good afternoon, it's been great... it's worth seeing the daylight after all."

News Report: Zeppelin Soars to New Heights

“It feels great to be back”, a self-assured Robert Plant addressed the Saturday “Day On the Green” sellout crowd at the Oakland Coliseum. “I must personally apologize for the two-year delay.”

The lead singer and resident sex symbol of Led Zeppelin was alluding to a 1975 automobile accident he suffered which prevented the British hard-rock combo from fulfilling extensive tour obligations that year.

Their long absence from the Bay Area prompted a sellout within five hours after tickets went on sale earlier this month – a feat not uncommon to any affair involving Led Zeppelin.

The four man congregation which many critics fancy as the embodiment of heavy metal rock, had just finished bludgeoning the packed house of 54,000 with the thunderous power-chording of “Sick Again”, a relatively subdued piece from the 1975 double-album, “Physical Graffiti”.

Those in attendance at the Bill Graham-promoted Days on the Green last weekend were treated to vintage Led Zeppelin.

Providing a musical counterpoint to Plant’s shrieking and teasingly androgynous posturing, Jimmy Page’s sledge-hammer guitar style led Zeppelin through many of their classics, including: Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore and Trampled Underfoot.

But the musical highlight for many of the sun-drenched crowd that paid $11.50 per ticket came during the extended jams. All the Zeppelin touches were there – Page coaxing eerie sounds out of his axe using an array of electronic devices, and at one point using a violin bow on his strings; John Bonham rifling popgun drum rolls; bassist John Paul Jones looking unperturbed and confident behind the overt sexuality of Plant’s pelvic thrusts. The crowd ate it up. (G. Estrada, Oakland Tribune, July 1977)

1 comment:

  1. I was at this show and went on the name rather than the music which, other than Presence, I really didn't know. I became a fan that day. Thanks for all that you do here.