Today in 1971 Zeppelin started a 2-night gig at the Honolulu Civic Auditorium in Hawaii, in front of 4,000 fans. It wasn’t a particularly great show, and it stands as evidence that even the mighty Zep could have an “off” night. But maybe they were a bit tired; this was the end of a U.S. tour leg in which they had played 16 cities in 4 weeks. Note: Black Dog, Stairway and Going to California were relatively new for the audience, as the album containing those songs had not been released yet.
Setlist: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Since I’ve Been Loving You, Celebration Day, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That’s the Way, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley including Let That Boy Boogie, Hello Mary Lou), Communication Breakdown.
Press review: Led Zeppelin Shot Down
The real irony of Led Zeppelin’s two hour performance last night was that they played their own review in their last number, Communication Breakdown. The show itself was marred by a generally sloppy performance on the part of the group, rather noisy behavior on the part of some of the 4,000 people in attendance, and a hot and sweaty atmosphere on the part of the good old poorly-ventilated Civic Auditorium. The music was limp and uneven during all but a small part of the evening.
They started with Immigrant Song and from the first note it was obvious that these guys were not into what they were doing. Rhythms were off, Plant’s vocals were relatively impotent and the overall group cohesion and enthusiasm was missing. Throughout Since I’ve Been Loving You, Celebration Day, Dazed and Confused, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Black Dog and Stairway to Heaven, you couldn’t help but get the impression that these guys were tired of the evening.
The only bright spot came with a crisp drum solo by John Bonham and a romping version of Whole Lotta Love, which featured a number of old rock n’ roll songs including Hello Mary Lou. Aside from someone yanking down the microphone and yelling into it, another clown jumped up on stage and started yelling some four letter gems into the mic. The band should be commended for their ability to put up with such obstacles. (Honolulu Star Bulletin, 9-17-71)