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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

June xx, 1969 - More recording for Led Zeppelin II at Morgan Studios
June 29, 1969 - Led Zeppelin play the prestigious Royal Albert Hall
June 28, 1970 - Zeppelin reach mass acceptance in Britain by playing Bath
June xx, 1971 - A news report claims Led Zep to play at an aid relief concert for Pakistan
June xx, 1972 - More recording sessions for Houses Of The Holy
June 21, 1972 - Eighth American tour begins in Denver, CO, almost four years since Zeppelin’s American debut
June 03, 1973 - Zeppelin play the Fabulous Forum in LA, a favorite venue to the band
June xx, 1973 - The band takes a mid-tour holiday in Hawaii
June xx, 1974 - Promoter Fred Bannister announces that Led Zeppelin will play Knebworth, the band declines
June xx, 1975 - John Bonham loses his license for six months over a drunk driving charge
June xx, 1976 - Filmmaker Kenneth Anger tells media that Jimmy Page is partly responsible for the failure of his film over the delayed soundtrack he provided
June 07, 1977 - The first of six nights at Madison Square Gardens
June xx, 1978 - Robert feels new life within Led Zeppelin again
June 26, 1979 - The entire Led Zeppelin line up appear at a Dave Edmunds show and party afterwards
June 17, 1980 - Led Zeppelin open their European (and last) tour at Westfallenhalle in Dortmund
June 27, 1980 - Zeppelin abandon their Nuremburg show after three numbers when Bonham collapses from exhaustion
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