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45 Years Ago Last Night


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31 August 1970 was a special night for fans of Zeppelin as they played a transcendent show in Milwaukee, WI. Having listened to dozens of full shows and fragments of hundreds, I consider a higher quality (or at least complete) recording of this one to be the holy grail of their entire career.

The band's summer tour of North America that year has some incredible performances, notably their breakthrough bootleg Live on Blueberry Hill and a legendary tribute to Jimi Hendrix in New York on the final night. Even so, it might have been this lowly, forgotten night in Milwaukee that was the greatest performance of their entire career. Plant in particular is in supernatural voice and improvises new lyrics left and right throughout.


The setlist is at the crossroads between their third and fourth album, meaning that they were featuring an acoustic set but shows were still staying under two hours. We probably have about half about what they actually played that night in 1970, but who knows, maybe a local FM station or new homeowner will stumble across a reel in the attic...


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