June 13, 1977
New York, NY US
Madison Square Garden
The Song Remains The Same,
(The Rover intro) Sick Again,
Nobody's Fault But Mine,
Over the Hills and Far Away,
Since I've Been Loving You,
Ten Years Gone,
Battle of Evermore,
Going to California,
Black Country Woman,
White Summer ~ Black Mountainside,
(Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick,
Jimmy Page solo,
Achilles Last Stand,
Stairway to Heaven,
Whole Lotta Love ~ Black Dog.
A very powerful and strong show all the way through. Robert even sings Over The Hills And Far Away up high, something he hadn't done for five years! No Quarter is gorgeous. Jimmy's soloing is excellent and Jones plays some great, mystical piano. The entire show is very powerful and brings to mind the spontaneity of previous tours.
A true touchstone in my life. That year my friends and I spent most weekend nights following a NY band called Rat Race Choir. Without question that band was responsible for furthering Led Zeppelin's popularity in NY. Their sets were rich in superb Zeppelin covers. Typically they would pack a large club because of their Zeppelin prowess. I went to the Monday June 13th, 1977 show. It was Zeppelin so quality was hard to criticize. Although I remember being a bit intimidated by some nuts throwing fireworks in the air. It got so bad at one point Plant stopped the show and asked the audience to please stop. I sat in the nose bleed section: Section 426, Row B, and Seat 10. I paid a whopping $8.50.
The memory isn't as clear as it was then, but that night was a watershed event for a 16-year old boy. My first (and, sadly, only) Led Zeppelin show. In a miracle of miracles, my best friend's cousin had a friend who dropped out of going to the show and I was asked to attend only hours before (sitting Orchestra, no less!).
Lots happened that night. I learned how to use a bong (grin); hanging out before the show, I heard the debut album by Crack the Sky (wow!), and then we were pushing through the tunnel on our way to the Garden.
The band gave an incredible performance, but what was most striking was the deafening roar of the crowd. I'd already been to plenty of shows, but I'd never heard anything like it. Even sitting less than 200 feet from the stage, the crowd was so loud that it was impossible to tell they were playing "The Song Remains the Same" until more than half-way through the song.
Got to hear my personal favorite, "Since I Been Loving You", the stunning acoustic set, and - for a band with such a great catalog - an excellent cross-section of all the albums that satisfied even while it left you aching for another dozen songs.
Now that I have 33 years of shows under my belt, I can still count on one hand the shows that actually came away feeling proud - and almost arrogant - that I attended. Kind of like, "I was there. You weren't and you missed out!"
I have no memory of how I got to NYC, on my father's birthday, no less, to see Zep on a Monday night from my hometown of Rosendale, NY. My friend Billy had sent his money months before and recieved four tickets by lottery, and he chose me and two other friends to be his guests. We had excellent seats in the loge area directly to stage left. You could see the pit between the stage and the first row orchestra seats. Lots of beautiful women and probably big VIP's. Robert Plant came to our corner of the stage quite often. My only Zep show! I smoked cigarettes at the time and remember never taking my eyes off the band, not even to smoke. It was all about the music. So much stuff was thrown onto the stage - I remember bags of weed, underwear, flowers....I was so overwhelmed after absorbing this event I remember wandering around the Garden afterwards looking for the friend whose house I was to stay at in Queens, in a state of complete disconnection with the world. I had seen Led Zeppelin, and I would never be the same. My friend Billy died last year in a freak accident at his home. I have saved my ticket stub all these years, and have it proudly framed in my living room. I just purchased the DVD original version of "The Song Remains The Same" and enjoyed it with my husband last evening, the first and only DVD movie we have ever purchased. I am planning a "Led Zeppelin Night" at the youth center I have worked at for the last seventeen years, so that our local teens can watch the movie, some perhaps for the first time. By 1977, the band had already meant so much to me, and defined a good portion of my good times and bad times by age 19. I want them to experience the magic and power of this very special band that is, in my opinion, the greatest rock and roll band ever.
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