Led Zeppelin concerts

Led Zeppelin concerts

From September 1968 through the summer of 1980, English rock group Led Zeppelin performed hundreds of concerts around the world, being one of the world's most popular live music attractions.


Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, Led Zeppelin made numerous concert tours of the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe in particular. They performed over 600 concerts, [ [http://ledzeppelin.alexreisner.com/tourdates.html Led Zeppelin > Tour Dates ] ] initially playing small clubs and ballrooms and then, as their popularity increased, larger venues and arenas as well.

By far the bulk of Led Zeppelin's live concerts were performed in the United States, which was settled on as the primary foundation for their fame and accomplishment.cite journal |last=Gilmore |first=Mikal |title=The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin |journal=Rolling Stone |issue=1006 |date=August 10, 2006 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11027261/the_long_shadow_of_led_zeppelin/print |accessdate=2007-12-09 ] In 1969, for example, all but thirty-three of the band's 139 shows were performed in the U.S., and between the years 1968 and 1971 they made no fewer than nine tours of North America. "It felt like a vacuum and we'd arrived to fill it," guitarist Jimmy Page once told journalist Cameron Crowe. "It was like a tornado, and it went rolling across the country."cite journal |last=Gilmore |first=Mikal |title=The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin |journal=Rolling Stone |issue=1006 |date=August 10, 2006 |url=http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/11027261/the_long_shadow_of_led_zeppelin/print |accessdate=2007-12-09 ]

From the early 1970s, the commercial and popular drawing power of Led Zeppelin was such that the band began to embark on major stadium tours which attracted even vaster crowds than they had previously. During their 1973 tour of the United States, they played to 56,800 fans at Tampa Stadium, Florida, breaking the record set by The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. Similar crowds were drawn on the Led Zeppelin's subsequent US tours, and they continued to break attendance records (in April 1977 they played to 76,229 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome, Michigan, a world record attendance for a solo indoor attraction).cite book | title=Tight But Loose Files:Celebration II | year=2003 | author=Dave Lewis | pages= 49] It is for these reasons that Led Zeppelin, as much as any other band or artist in this era, is widely credited for helping to establish what has come be known as stadium rock. Many critics attribute the band's rapid rise as much to their tremendous appeal as a live act as they do to the quality of their studio albums.

Led Zeppelin also performed at several Music festivals over the years, including the Atlanta International and the Texas International Pop Festivals in 1969, the Bath Festival in 1970, the "Days on the Green" in Oakland, California in 1977, and the Knebworth Music Festival in 1979.


Led Zeppelin's reputation as a compelling live act is often attributed to the tight understanding and musical chemistry achieved between all four group members, combined with a shared willingness to try new things on-stage, which resulted in dynamic, unpredictable performances. As is noted by Led Zeppelin experts Dave Lewis and Simon Pallett:

Led Zeppelin have been described as the kind of group that actually rehearsed on stage, experimenting with the reaction of the audiences to new material and letting the pieces mature through the live experience.Luis Rey (1997) "Led Zeppelin Live: An Illustrated Exploration of Underground Tapes", Ontario: The Hot Wacks Press, p. 136.] Several tracks from their albums were debuted on stage well before their official release on vinyl. Jimmy Page has himself said that most of the band's songs were designed for live performance. [http://www.iem.ac.ru/zeppelin/docs/interviews/page_93.gw Interview with Jimmy Page] , "Guitar World" magazine, 1993]

Led Zeppelin concerts could last more than four hours, with expanded, live versions of their song repertoire often incorporating elements of James Brown, Stax and Motown-influenced soul music and funk (favourites of bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham). The quartet also loved American rock and roll, being inspired by the exuberant styles of Fats Domino and Little Richard. Led Zeppelin would additionally perform rockabilly songs originally made famous by Elvis Presley and Eddie Cochran. As described by Cameron Crowe:

Recordings and live concert footage

Many of the band's shows have been preserved as Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings, which continue to be prized by collectors and fans. In addition, footage of Led Zeppelin concerts has been released officially on the band's 1976 concert film "The Song Remains the Same", and on the "Led Zeppelin DVD" (2003). However, unlike other artists of the era such as The Who and The Rolling Stones, comparatively little official concert footage exists of Led Zeppelin. This is largely because of the successful efforts of manager Peter Grant to limit the exposure of the band to television appearances, in order to encourage fans who wanted to see the band to attend Led Zeppelin concerts.

Concert tour chronology

Reunion concerts

Since Led Zeppelin disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, the surviving members of the band have reunited on-stage on just a few occasions. On July 13, 1985 the three performed at the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, for a short set featuring drummers Tony Thompson and Phil Collins. They reunited again in May 1988, for Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary concert, with Bonham's son, Jason Bonham, on drums, and then on January 12, 1995 for Led Zeppelin's induction into the United States Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For this latter event, the members played a brief set with Aerosmith's vocalist, Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry, along with Neil Young and Michael Bell.

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited for the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at The O2 in London on 10 December 2007, with Bonham again filling in on drums. While Robert Plant made his position regarding a subsequent reunion tour known to the "Sunday Times" ("The whole idea of being on a cavalcade of merciless repetition is not what it's all about"), he also mentioned that he could be in favour of more one-off shows in the near future: "It wouldn't be such a bad idea to play together from time to time."

External links

* [http://www.ledzeppelin.com/timelinebrowse Comprehensive archive of known concert appearances by Led Zeppelin (official website)]
* [http://www.ledzepconcerts.com/ LedZepConcerts.com]
* [http://www.bootledz.com/setlists.htm Led Zeppelin concert setlists]


*Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (1997) "Led Zeppelin: The Concert File", London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4.


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