LED ZEPPELIN 25 Oct, 1969
This is the first of many concert reviews from my past which I will be blog posting.
I posted this a few years ago in the fan review section of the official Led Zep website. Since then, others have chimed in with interesting added info.
I hope you enjoy these little time capsules from a lost world.
LED ZEPPELIN W/Johnny Winter & The MC5 Oct 25, 1969 Boston Garden, Boston Ma. I am thrilled to have information about this Zep show - I've been searching for years to learn the exact date, etc!! It's one of the few that no recordings appear to exist for, tho' I now have renewed hope. I was sixteen and this was my first big show. It changed my life. A few years earlier, the Beatles had opened up music in general - and drums in particular - to me, and in just a few more years The Grateful Dead would turn me on to the possibilities of long-term lifestyle and community. But, it was this show that made me want to be a professional musician, not just an enthusiast. It was also the first time I'd been in a room full of thousands of longhaired freaks just like me - it was only 1969, after all, and I was only sixteen, so this was an amazing and empowering experience. I had recently begun drumming and writing songs with a friend, and together we took the trolley in from the suburbs to Boston Garden. We had good seats, up high, stage right, with a great view of the stage. The MC5 opened the show. I only dimmly understood their politics, but admired their spunk and energy and commited stance. Johnny Winter follwed, stalking the stage like a blue velvet-clad, albino panther, and just ripped. A fight broke out briefly on the floor and I saw a pair of crutches tossed in the air, but couldn't tell much about it. During the break, we made our way thru the subway-like labyrinth of hallways to the bathrooms.Hot, sweaty, crowded, noisy.As we headed back, a huge rumble - earthquake-like - began and we realized the band was starting to play. The surge in energy was incredible as we rushed back to our seats, arriving midway thru the set opener, "Communication Breakdown" Plant was a vision in sparkling gold and green with billows of blonde hair to match - surprisingly effeminate yet ballsy. Over the course of the evening they played much of the first two albums, plus some covers. Their sound was much clearer than the opening acts ( who were comparatively garbled-sounding - coincidence??) and the whole band was a powerhouse, very dynamic and intense. There were generous solo sppots, too ( Jonesy's organ intro to "You're Times Gonna Come", Page's seated "White Summer/Black Mountainside", Bonham's "Moby Dick" ) Lot's of call and response gymnastics between Page and Plant, Page's spacey bowing of the guitar, it's all a wonderful jumble in my mind. Incredibly, the guy seated next to us seemed hugely bored (?!?!?) and left before it was over. We, meanwhile, took a chance and made it down to the floor for the encore, where we could see and hear everything up close and personal. The stage seemed about a mile high from this angle, but I could see Bonham's vista-lites had, what we'd eventually learn was, one of the Zoso symbols on the front bass drum head, and I also saw a stack of the just-released 2nd album on the edge of the stage, ready for sale. As they closed out the show with a medly of oldies including " Kansas City", I remember Plant singing, " Bye-bye, bye-bye Boston, Bye-bye" I bought a poster which I still have and love, and we went happily home I never got to see them again, but Led Zep rocked my world all that snowy winter and, very soon, my new band would start to rock our own little part of the universe, too. As Pete Townsend once said, the finest bands change peoples lives. Led Zeppelin certianly changed mine. Thank you, Led Zeppelin, thank you very much indeed.