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Experiencing Led Zeppelin Memorable


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Experiencing Led Zeppelin Memorable

"Elbert Marshall's Journal"

Daily Times-News June 12, 1977 Burlington, NC

LED ZEPPELIN IS this rock group that periodically makes a long-awaited sojourn across the Atlantic Ocean to tour the United States and earn some of those American dollars. The group is so well established among the circles of devoted rock fans that all of their concerts are sellouts and

their albums are immediate gold records upon release.

Led Zeppelin's music is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill brand of music. As a matter of fact, it's probably the heaviest metal sounds in the music industry today — which draws thousands of avid fans to their concerts.

On May 31, Led Zeppelin made its first Greensboro appearance in over three years and, as I had before when Led Zeppelin appeared in Charlotte and Greensboro, a try for a ticket was a must.

Unlike before when I struck out, this time I didn't have to lift a finger to get tickets. As a matter of fact, upon returning from a weekend fishing trip to Boque Inlet Pier, my sister-in-law, a younger, avid fan herself, surprised me with four tickets she purchased after standing in line and waiting for

the Greensboro Coliseum ticket office to open.

The tickets were bought a month in advance, locked away in a fire-proof box and the countdown began: LZ minus 30... LZ minus 29 ... LZ minus 28 ... et cetera.

Finally, May 31 rolled around. A babysitter was found to stay with the younger ones and off we (the wife, aforementioned sister-in-law, friend Beth and myself) went to the Gate City.

Figuring on beating the majority of the crowd, we arrived at the coliseum complex at 6:45. Already the parking area was almost filled to capacity and a large crowd of eager fans was milling about waiting for the coliseum doors to open (I later learned that an early crunch caved the outer gate in and fans spilled into the lobby to wait further).

We blended into the crowd, working our way inside where we were hit by a bank of stale air. I wondered how those who had been up front for hours were still standing. We found a side entrance that opened and closed with regularity, offering a refreshing breeze, and waited for the main gates to

open.

SUDDENLY, WE WERE caught up in the surge toward the opened doors. The mad rush caused problems for the harried ticket takers as fans pushed and shoved, bumped and groaned until they had made their way through the turnstiles and into the jammed corridor.

We were caught up in the tide of eager fans and found ourselves pushing and shoving, and being pushed and shoved, until we burst through the nearest aisle tunnel and found ourselves surrounded by the expanse of the coliseum arena Seats were too few and far away. The top level was practically empty but I didn't want us to fight our way to the exit and back to the escalators for the ride to the third level. Instead, we weaved through the flow of people and worked our way to the very top of the coliseum's second level. There were no seats available, so we rested - sitting on the dirty

concrete walkway steps or standing up against the wall. Furitive glances about the coliseum gave little hope of finding four seats together (the concert was listed as festival seating thus it was a first-come, first-serve situation). Patience paid off, however. After an hour of milling about watching others search frantically for the fabled best seat in the house, four seats were emptied on the top row to our right. We gobbled them up immediately, thankful that perseverance was one of our attributes that evening

Seated, we began a nervous anticipation of the appearance of Led Zeppelin, but were told via the supersonic loudspeakers that Led Zeppelin had been delayed. I had expected that, really. I've never been to a concert that started on time, and my string wouldn't be broken in Greensboro.

We were there, and weren't about to surrender the four hardwood seats we not protected, so out came the binoculars. The wait continued, dragging on while everyone sweltered in the heat of the coliseum and wondered if the air conditioning had been cut off.

The 17,000-plus crowd became impatient. Some were soothed by recorded music blaring from the loudspeakers; others wandered around trying to find decent seating; sought out friends for shout conversations; smoked; drank; and tossed Frisbees across the floor. And, some overly enthusiastic fans shot firecrackers periodically, the shots reverberating throughout the coliseum and sounding like an afternoon on the firing range.

Those fans on the floor pushed toward the stage in surges, crushing those on the front row to the point that security people, dressed in black T-shirts with Led Zeppelin printed in white across the chest, lifted those who were overcome by the crunch over the unsturdy fence. A concerned announcer kept asking those on the floor to move back and finally wound up playing a game of Simon Says, getting most everyone to take two giant steps backwards to relieve the pressure on the

front stage area.

Finally, at 8:17.30, the house lights dimmed and the roar of the crowd was almost deafening. And when the multi-colored spotlight beams fell upon the stage, there stood John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with John Bonham sitting behind his drums.

Above the din of cheers, screams, whistles and applause, Led Zeppelin opened with "The Song Remains The Same" and the animosity harbored because of the long wait was flushed and the concert spirit returned.

As soon as the group finished their opening number, Plant the lead singer, strutted to center stage and shouted, "Hello Greensboro," sending a ripple of cheers and applause through the coliseum that gave Led Zeppelin a hearty North Carolina welcome. Plant apologized for the lateness, explaining that they had lost some people in New York and had to wait for them before departing for Greensboro — thus the hour-plus delay. Forgiven, Led Zeppelin launched into what was to be a

three-hour and 27-minute concert — a show of sight and sound that left the Greensboro crowd dazed at their charismatic showmanship.

The special effects and lighting were unbelievable. Blue green, red, yellow and white spotlights from above the stage bathed the sweating performers in an eerie aura, blending in with the heavy metal sounds that eminated from the loudspeakers so forcefully that any position in the colisuem

was ideal to enjoy the music and bear the words sung by Plant. While John Paul Jones warmed up for "No Quarter," the fog machine covered the stage with a heavy white cloud. During his solo bit, laser beams shot upwards and bounced off the high coliseum ceiling.

Jimmy Page had his moments also, performing almost non-stop with his assortment of guitars and showing off his expertise with the electric instruments. And drummer John Bonham launched into his solo to allow the others a needed break. To add to the effect, Bonham's stage was mechanically thrust from the rear to center stage where fans were able to see him perform.

Although Jones. Page and Bonham had their moments under the main spotlight. Plant dominated the performance.

Dressed in hip-hugging blue jeans and an open shirt, Plant led the group through songs from their albums "Houses of the Holy" and "Physical Graffiti." At 12:10 a.m, Led Zeppelin closed with "A Stairway To Heaven" amidst cheers as loud as those at the outset of the concert.

Suddenly, the concert was over. But a steady chant mixed with a rhythmic hand-clapping brought the foursome from the wings for an encore. Led Zeppelin's North Carolina finale was "Whole Lotta Love."

Here it's been 12 days since seeing and hearing Led Zeppelin, and the ears still ring. But it was worth it.

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A great review which puts you right there.

The author writes "...standing in line and waiting for the Greensboro Coliseum ticket office to open..." -- ah, the good old days. Harvey Goldsmith please take note.

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Experiencing Led Zeppelin Memorable

"Elbert Marshall's Journal"

Daily Times-News June 12, 1977 Burlington, NC

LED ZEPPELIN IS this rock group that periodically makes a long-awaited sojourn across the Atlantic Ocean to tour the United States and earn some of those American dollars. The group is so well established among the circles of devoted rock fans that all of their concerts are sellouts and

their albums are immediate gold records upon release.

Led Zeppelin's music is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill brand of music. As a matter of fact, it's probably the heaviest metal sounds in the music industry today — which draws thousands of avid fans to their concerts.

On May 31, Led Zeppelin made its first Greensboro appearance in over three years and, as I had before when Led Zeppelin appeared in Charlotte and Greensboro, a try for a ticket was a must.

Unlike before when I struck out, this time I didn't have to lift a finger to get tickets. As a matter of fact, upon returning from a weekend fishing trip to Boque Inlet Pier, my sister-in-law, a younger, avid fan herself, surprised me with four tickets she purchased after standing in line and waiting for

the Greensboro Coliseum ticket office to open.

The tickets were bought a month in advance, locked away in a fire-proof box and the countdown began: LZ minus 30... LZ minus 29 ... LZ minus 28 ... et cetera.

Finally, May 31 rolled around. A babysitter was found to stay with the younger ones and off we (the wife, aforementioned sister-in-law, friend Beth and myself) went to the Gate City.

Figuring on beating the majority of the crowd, we arrived at the coliseum complex at 6:45. Already the parking area was almost filled to capacity and a large crowd of eager fans was milling about waiting for the coliseum doors to open (I later learned that an early crunch caved the outer gate in and fans spilled into the lobby to wait further).

We blended into the crowd, working our way inside where we were hit by a bank of stale air. I wondered how those who had been up front for hours were still standing. We found a side entrance that opened and closed with regularity, offering a refreshing breeze, and waited for the main gates to

open.

SUDDENLY, WE WERE caught up in the surge toward the opened doors. The mad rush caused problems for the harried ticket takers as fans pushed and shoved, bumped and groaned until they had made their way through the turnstiles and into the jammed corridor.

We were caught up in the tide of eager fans and found ourselves pushing and shoving, and being pushed and shoved, until we burst through the nearest aisle tunnel and found ourselves surrounded by the expanse of the coliseum arena Seats were too few and far away. The top level was practically empty but I didn't want us to fight our way to the exit and back to the escalators for the ride to the third level. Instead, we weaved through the flow of people and worked our way to the very top of the coliseum's second level. There were no seats available, so we rested - sitting on the dirty

concrete walkway steps or standing up against the wall. Furitive glances about the coliseum gave little hope of finding four seats together (the concert was listed as festival seating thus it was a first-come, first-serve situation). Patience paid off, however. After an hour of milling about watching others search frantically for the fabled best seat in the house, four seats were emptied on the top row to our right. We gobbled them up immediately, thankful that perseverance was one of our attributes that evening

Seated, we began a nervous anticipation of the appearance of Led Zeppelin, but were told via the supersonic loudspeakers that Led Zeppelin had been delayed. I had expected that, really. I've never been to a concert that started on time, and my string wouldn't be broken in Greensboro.

We were there, and weren't about to surrender the four hardwood seats we not protected, so out came the binoculars. The wait continued, dragging on while everyone sweltered in the heat of the coliseum and wondered if the air conditioning had been cut off.

The 17,000-plus crowd became impatient. Some were soothed by recorded music blaring from the loudspeakers; others wandered around trying to find decent seating; sought out friends for shout conversations; smoked; drank; and tossed Frisbees across the floor. And, some overly enthusiastic fans shot firecrackers periodically, the shots reverberating throughout the coliseum and sounding like an afternoon on the firing range.

Those fans on the floor pushed toward the stage in surges, crushing those on the front row to the point that security people, dressed in black T-shirts with Led Zeppelin printed in white across the chest, lifted those who were overcome by the crunch over the unsturdy fence. A concerned announcer kept asking those on the floor to move back and finally wound up playing a game of Simon Says, getting most everyone to take two giant steps backwards to relieve the pressure on the

front stage area.

Finally, at 8:17.30, the house lights dimmed and the roar of the crowd was almost deafening. And when the multi-colored spotlight beams fell upon the stage, there stood John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant with John Bonham sitting behind his drums.

Above the din of cheers, screams, whistles and applause, Led Zeppelin opened with "The Song Remains The Same" and the animosity harbored because of the long wait was flushed and the concert spirit returned.

As soon as the group finished their opening number, Plant the lead singer, strutted to center stage and shouted, "Hello Greensboro," sending a ripple of cheers and applause through the coliseum that gave Led Zeppelin a hearty North Carolina welcome. Plant apologized for the lateness, explaining that they had lost some people in New York and had to wait for them before departing for Greensboro — thus the hour-plus delay. Forgiven, Led Zeppelin launched into what was to be a

three-hour and 27-minute concert — a show of sight and sound that left the Greensboro crowd dazed at their charismatic showmanship.

The special effects and lighting were unbelievable. Blue green, red, yellow and white spotlights from above the stage bathed the sweating performers in an eerie aura, blending in with the heavy metal sounds that eminated from the loudspeakers so forcefully that any position in the colisuem

was ideal to enjoy the music and bear the words sung by Plant. While John Paul Jones warmed up for "No Quarter," the fog machine covered the stage with a heavy white cloud. During his solo bit, laser beams shot upwards and bounced off the high coliseum ceiling.

Jimmy Page had his moments also, performing almost non-stop with his assortment of guitars and showing off his expertise with the electric instruments. And drummer John Bonham launched into his solo to allow the others a needed break. To add to the effect, Bonham's stage was mechanically thrust from the rear to center stage where fans were able to see him perform.

Although Jones. Page and Bonham had their moments under the main spotlight. Plant dominated the performance.

Dressed in hip-hugging blue jeans and an open shirt, Plant led the group through songs from their albums "Houses of the Holy" and "Physical Graffiti." At 12:10 a.m, Led Zeppelin closed with "A Stairway To Heaven" amidst cheers as loud as those at the outset of the concert.

Suddenly, the concert was over. But a steady chant mixed with a rhythmic hand-clapping brought the foursome from the wings for an encore. Led Zeppelin's North Carolina finale was "Whole Lotta Love."

Here it's been 12 days since seeing and hearing Led Zeppelin, and the ears still ring. But it was worth it.

Thanks, I was there for Bonham's birthday !

My ticket is here ! http://s111.photobucket.com/albums/n145/yamster05/

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That was fun to read. Firecrackers!? Festival seating!? :lol: But oh how great it must have been to be there....sigh.

Smoking in the stadium - those were the days :) However, the band was only 17 minutes & 30 seconds late, and the audience was angry?! Sheesh, tough crowd.

Hey Mr. Crowley, was Bonham's birthday acknowledged by Plant - did he have the audience sing Happy Birthday?

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Smoking in the stadium - those were the days :) However, the band was only 17 minutes & 30 seconds late, and the audience was angry?! Sheesh, tough crowd.

Hey Mr. Crowley, was Bonham's birthday acknowledged by Plant - did he have the audience sing Happy Birthday?

Yes he did acknowledge his birthday,right before Moby Dick ,if my memory serves me correctly.

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