Today in 1973 Zeppelin kicked off three nights at Madison Square Garden. These shows, the final three of the 1973 U.S. tour, were recorded and filmed for The Song Remains the Same. Test footage was also taken on July 23 and 24 at the Baltimore Civic Center and at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh (the attendance of 38,000 in Pittsburgh beat the previous record there, held by Alice Cooper).
Just before the July 29 MSG show, it was discovered that $203,000 of the band’s money had been stolen from their hotel safe deposit box. The case went unsolved…
Setlist: Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, Bring It On Home (intro), Black Dog, Over the Hills and Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter, The Song Remains the Same, Rain Song, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love (incl. Let That Boy Boogie), The Ocean.
Review: Led Zeppelin Rocks to a Close at Garden
I saw the Friday opening of the Led Zeppelin concert from backstage, feeling the weight and response of the packed Madison Square Garden. It was possibly the best place to test the power of the British rock group, making the final dates of its current and very successful American tour.
And power it is – Led Zeppelin provides a kind of tent-show hard rock revivalism, healing and providing succor to the faithful, on a stage that throughout the evening became cluttered with smoke, dry-ice fumes and that most privileged of rock ‘n’ roll people, the film-maker. Led Zeppelin remains unchanged. The group may perform different pieces, but the effect is the same. Jimmy Page’s lead guitar still dominates and mixes and merges with Robert Plant’s agile voice and Nureyev pirouetting to provide the basic essence of Zeppelin.
And Page is still into musical freakiness; dramatically dragging a violin bow across his guitar, he did his familiar squealing impersonation before boogieing off. Page’s guitar more often than not sounds like thunder, but for all the power and fury at their disposal, Zeppelin manages to provide some separation of instruments in the blare. The group and the loyalty of its pilgrims out front (who remained shouting for an encore after the group had left) provide solidarity to hard rock. (NYTimes, July 1973)