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Led Zeppelin Kneads Crowd to Silly Putty, Jul. 16, 1973

The Buffalo Evening News
By Dale Anderson

Led Zeppelin doesn't give concerts; they perform physical transformation. They kneaded the full-house crowd in Memorial Auditorium into silly putty Sunday night with 2 hours and 50 minutes of massive sensory massage.

The sheer enormity of the sound did it (though the full moon may have helped), an enormity that resonates into your paleolithic pith, the cry of the dinosaur summoning out that primitive quickening in the face of monstrosity.

Whatever isn't touched by the earthquake rumble of John Paul Jones' bass, John Bonham's gunshot cracks on the drums or Robert Plant's echoey heart-of darkness voice is left quivering by the swooping electronic slices of guitarist Jimmy Page, especially his solo on the theremin.

Never mind that their newest album carries a variety of dynamics, the quiet sections hardly diminish the over-all sonic assault.

Their relatively simple brooding themes are blown larger than life, like sky scraping office buildings, and they lay on thick embellishments and b r o a d dramatic resolutions that mean more en mass than as individual items.

The four of them approached it all with unexpected good humor. Jones and Bonham laid back blithely amongst the folding backdrop of mirrors the run the length of the stage.

Page in black with a rhinestone-studded rose on his open jacket, prancing like a cocky midlands soccer player in a pub, Plant in tight jeans and a shirt jacket with rhinestones and, puffed sleeves strutting and grinding and shaking back his curly blond mane.

Plant avoided some of the astringent high notes he puts on records, singing for instance a low harmony line for "Over the Hills and Far Away." And for all his gyrations, he was hardly as compelling as Mick Jagger or Rod Stewart.

Page laughed off his first-number hassles with a slipping guitar strap as a stagehand buttoned it back together. Kept playing too. Plant was almost as cordial as a music hall host and chastised the firecracker tossers, of whom there were a lot more than usual.

The band took no breaks, despite the heat. Applause followed a few Page guitar solos but the youngish crowd didn't really erupt until the start of "Stairway to Heaven" and again when the spinning mirrored ball went on as it closed.

The heavy drumbeat into "Moby Dick" brought a rush on the stage and most of the hall stayed on its feet for that last hour, including along Bonham drum solo with special synthesizer effects.

An eight-minute ovation brought them back for an encore after their boogieing final number. "Thank you, Buffalo," Plant said when they finished. "Take care until we see you again."

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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