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Capital Centre - May 25, 1977

  • The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love ~ Rock and Roll.
srapallo's picture
on September 22, 2007 - 8:14pm
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Average: 4.8 (169 votes)
May 25, 1977
United States

The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love ~ Rock and Roll.

77 programme

Click here to view the US '77 Tour Programme (flipbook)

Press Review: Led Zeppelin unleashes sonic devastation with theatrics to match

Led Zeppelin, rock music's version of the Titan missile, is resting today. The British quartet opened a sold out, four-day stand at the Capital Centre Wednesday night with a three-hour sonic devastation of 18,000 willing victims. They played again last night and will conclude their first Baltimore-Washington appearance in two years with 8 P.M. shows Saturday and Monday. If you do not have tickets already, forget it. All four shows sold out with only word of mouth advertising last March.

Led Zeppelin is one of the top attractions in rock. Despite releasing only six albums in their nine-year existence, and without benefit of AM radio play or a hit single, they have inspired countless bands and fans with the power and glory of their music.

The bag of tricks they use at the Capital Centre features later beams, smoke pots, phosphorus explosions, double and triple-neck guitars, a stainless steel drum kit on a rolling platform and a sound system that sings by itself.  But the heart of the show is its music. And the heart of the music is guitarist Jimmy Page.

He is tall and skinny, with a thin face framed by unruly black curls. On Wednesday, he wore a white satin suit decorated with bright red poppies, brilliant green leaves and snaky-looking black monsters. On his right hip, be displayed the astrological symbol of Virgo and, below that, the numerals "69." Page is a virtuoso and he engaged his guitar in a whirling, night-long dance. At times the instrument would lead, almost flinging its player across the stage. Other times, Page would take command, slinging the guitar across his hips, knees or crotch, and bending it to his will.

The music came screaming out of Page's fingers, usually at top volume, sometimes painfully loud. But there were moments of quiet; dramatic moments when the band stopped abruptly; and sustained interludes when Page played acoustic guitar or mandolin. Jimmy Page loves the spotlight.

The drums, keyboards and amplifiers were stacked stage rear, and the speakers were hung from the rafters. In the vast remaining space, Page spun and twisted and bent his skinny body in improbable angles, seeming to defy even gravity with the strength of his music.

He smiled often, seeming relaxed and confident. He should be: His credentials are impeccable. In his pre-Zeppelin days, he played on records by Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks, among others. He later joined The Yardbirds and in 1968, formed Led Zeppelin from the remains of that early British psychedelic/ blues band.

In Robert Plant, Page found the perfect vocalist to complement his guitar style. With one of the most eerily effective voices in rock, Plant's singing permeates the music like a fog, binding the instruments together. Wednesday, Plant wore a burgundy lounge jacket over tight low-slung jeans. He kept his bands on his hips as he sang and vibrated more than be danced. He did as much as any human could to be heard above the guitar, often to no avail.

Between songs, however, Plant was the emcee, chatting pleasantly with the crowd, filling in background about the songs and the band, and setting up a pleasant vibration between the musicians and the people. He even apologized for starting the show 40 minutes late, explaining that the band had suffered car trouble.

The other two members of Led Zeppelin are bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. Each was given a solo shot, and neither was able to light any fires. Bonham distinguished himself by playing part of his drum solo with his bare hands, even smashing his fist into his huge Chinese gong. Throughout the show, the lighting sound crews provided solid support. Plant's voice was augmented with echo and tape delays, so that he could still be heard singing even after he left the microphone.

The light show was splendid, mixing green, blue, pink, red and white spots with green and red lasers. At various times, the lights shown from above, behind, beside and even below the players.

At one memorable point, Page was captured in a green laser pyramid in the center of the darkened stage, stroking his howling guitar with a violin bow and waving his arms like Mickey Mouse in Fantasia.

Then came the finale, "Stairway to Heaven." Robert Plant dedicated the song to "everything that's good and wholesome that we can ever come across in life - or that we can create."  With the sound of the opening notes, the crowd rose and screamed, just as it had three hours earlier when the show began.

Led Zeppelin had completed another show - and another circle. [By Tom Basham / May 1977]


The Song Remains The Same, (The Rover intro) Sick Again, Nobody's Fault But Mine, In My Time of Dying, Since I've Been Loving You, No Quarter, Ten Years Gone, Battle of Evermore, Going to California, Black Country Woman, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, White Summer ~ Black Mountainside, Kashmir, (Out On the Tiles intro) Moby Dick, Jimmy Page solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love ~ Rock and Roll.


Mike Mapes's picture

It was a glorious weekend as my brother and I had scored tickets to see Led Zeppelin again this tour. I was able to take in my camera and got some great shots of the band as well as enjoy a night of great rocknroll. All in all a great Memorial Day weekend party.

Alan Eek's picture

I was 13. I carelessly bought an 'extra' ticket from my school mate days after tickets went on sale. It was careless in that I had no way of getting to the show 30 miles away from where i lived as my schoolmates had no extra room in their car. I was very obsessed with Zep, so I was going to get to the show come hell or high water. . . . .

I first heard Zeppelin on the radio in 69 when they played Whole Lotta Love. I was 6. My mum pushed the music thing. She sang opera in her early days and dad cello. I played everything I touched. Violin, piano, silverware, spoons, I tapped, plucked and hammered out tunes that I heard on the radio. I was born with an ear you see.. Learned my first Zeppelin tune on guitar at 11 with, "Custard Pie," a title that I later learned was a synonym for pussy. Something I would find out about not 2 years later! But that's another essay altogether! Suffice to say, I was a Zeppelin fanatic at an extremely early age.

So, desperate to see the band when they rolled in on May 25 1977, I got some cardboard and feverishly wrote "LARGO, MD" on it. I stepped out my back door, walked to the nearest parkway (not 30 klics from my home) and I started thumbin' for a ride. My mum was at work, she refused to take me so I had to do something. Dad wanted no part.. So I get out there around 6:00PM, hold up the sign, and my thumb, and hope for the best.

Not 15 minutes into it, a car pulls over.. I run up, come to find it's more school mates going to the show! They collected me and off we went to my first concert by myself. I felt like Fate was bringing everything together... Now, I'd seen Glen Campbell when I was 7, and John Denver @ 11 with the family, but this was totally my initiative, my money, my choice, and my careless planning. I'd never felt so alive and yet so desperately stupid at the same moment. I was beside myself that i was actually going to do it!! I was going to see JP, RP, JPJ, and JB LIVE in person!!!

We roll up to the Capital Centre in LANDOVER, not LARGO (but the exit off the belt said LARGO...), and not a moment out of the car, some hippie is trying to sell me something he called, "syd." Damn thing looked like cold medicine. I felt unfettered and alive, so I said sure how much? so for $3.00 USD I obtained and downed this little pink pill, gave the dude at the door my ticket, and proceeded into the arena.

I get to my seat high up in the nosebleeds on Jimmy's side and plop down. My seat was up there, but kinda in line with the very front of the stage. Bonham was obscured slightly by the suspended mains, and some of the stage by some cabling, but it didn't matter how shitty the seats were, I was there, man, I was gonna see Led Zeppelin in person. The place was the biggest thing i'd ever seen, and soon it got very cloudy in there.

Apparently there were alot of people lighting up more than plain tobacco. I'm sure I obtained a contact high way before the cold medicine kicked in, and before the people next to me passed the bowl of hash and the dude to the left of me passed the joint. Suffice to say I was attempting to fly my way through the event - and somehow get back home. This was my Ferris Bueller moment!! My sinuses were tingling, probably from the cold medicine called, "syd."

Band hits the stage, no announcements, a little late getting there - something like 9:25. LOUD AS SHIT!!! The suspended mains were practially right in my face, like 75 feet away. I was blown away by the volume. So loud I could barely recieve the musical information. I felt alot of thumping. Jonesey's bass and that unmuffled Ludwig 24" kick no doubt. My ears adjusted and it was on with the show.

Jimmy wore the white dragon leg pant suit, Percy - the brown leather tie-up top with blue jeans, Bonham had on I think one of those wife beater undershirts, and Jonesy, I forget. Jimmy and Robert were struttin their stuff real well, til Jimmy almost tripped over his Wah pedal - til he corrected his footing like he'd planned it that way..

The #1 highlight for me was Ten Years Gone with Jonesy on the triple necked acoustic guitar, and Jimmy with the Telecaster with the G bender. Then the acoustic set, with Bonham singing and beating that Tambourine. A real treat.

It was so loud from my vantage that I couldn't really hear the mistakes Jimmy was apparently making, as my friends would inform me of the next day. I didn't care about mistakes. And when Bonham rolled out to the front of the stage for Moby Dick, I finally got to see him in all his glory... The tympani part of the solo - with the synthesizer hooked in - sounded really bad, I enjoy drum solos but man, what WAS that thing??? Seeing Bonzo was my #3 highlight... I was expecting to see Amber Vistalite drums, but these Chrome Ludwigs sounded just fine!!

It was a dream come true getting to see the band play. They had another 3 nights at the Capital Centre (yes, well documented), but those nights I missed were the longest nights of my life - not getting to go... Luckily there are some wonderful Bootlegs of those.

After the event, I wondered how in the world i'd meet back up with my ride, as we were sitting in very different places in the arena. But not 5 minutes outside the venue after the show had let out, there they were - waiting for me. Call it fate, call it what you will, but I knew that I was meant to be there that night. 45 minutes later I found myself coming down off of, "syd", a contact high, a few hits from a joint, and a mild hashish buzz - safely at home with my ears ringing, my sinuses tingling, and my mind reeling from the entire experience.

My friends all said I tripped at the concert when I told them about the pink pill. I told them, "Nope, I didn't fall down once!"

Alan Eek

Robbie's picture

It was so tough to get tickets each time Zep came around. My best friend Bruce and I were elated to be there. The band was close to an hour late, there was no opening act. The crowd was pretty worked up by the time the band came on, with Robert apologizing for being late before the band launched into an amazing set. Most notable to me was the 45 minute Bonzo drum solo on Moby Dick. There was a great laser show. The stage they performed on was previously owned by Kiss. I couldn't hear for three days after the show. A great seventies moment that my young son and nephews envy. Thanks for the memories Mighty Zep!

Charlie's picture

Went to this show at the cap center. Did ayone get roughed up when leaving by the PG county cops?

Stuart's picture

was at all these shows FRONT ROW!!!

ok....1977 was a very different time than and concerts were so different....I'm 48 now....and have seen more than 1000 shows in my lifetime...I still have most all of my ticket stubs....I really have seen almost everyone...most of 'em 5 to 100 times.with that said....
I waited 2 1/2 weeks in line...I was the very first person in line to buy tickets in the DC/MD area. Infact tickets were scheduled to go on sale at 10:00am Sat morning....and at 4:00am Sat...the police came and escorted the first 10 of us into the cap center and sold us our were $9.50 with a .50 service the very first $10.00 concert tickets. We were allowed to buy 10 tics for each of the 3 nights....I bought 10 front row center seats 3 nights in a row.... holy shit!!!!!!!!!!! The police then escorted me and my nine other friends...who bought the whole first 7 rows center out!, out to our cars because they were afraid we would be mugged.......honest absolute true story.......then I simply traded when they added a fourth night for another front row seat...I still have 3 of my four stubs...........THE SHOWS...............first let me say...I was, am probably still am, one of the biggest Zep heads ever....they were everything to me since 1969 when ZepI came out....was never then same again.....waiting in line over night each year to buy the albums as they were released....back to the shows... Upon the first show I didn't want to be wasted or drunk because I wanted to remember everything....they were late coming out...when the house lights went have NEVER heard such a roar from a crowd...this wasn't a Beatles hysterical roar...this was pure blissful love screaming to our favorite muscians on the planet, who were literally 3 feet from my face....front row and I never got down off my chair....we stood on our chairs all 4 hours....singing every was insane...from the first notes of was a dream come true this 18 year old!!
Things were so different as I said...we didn't know what they were gonna play...there was no internet to look up fact there was no MTV and we never even got a glimpse of our heros other than Circus Mag, Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy.....we were totally enamored by their was so exciting....all 20,000 of us KNEW this was history......
4 nights...yes 4 the 4th night we were dissappointed in our heros to be honest...they played the same songs each night...and Robert even said pretty much the same thing between songs.....or so it seemed as it was happening....listening to the boots now, we all know there were a couple Dancin Days..etc.....Jimmy was wasted...I mean wasted...on the 3rd night...after STH he held his double neck above his head and 2 roadies caught it just in time.....he needed to be carried off the stage.....
Another big event was some asshole shouting a bottle rocket on stage which caught Plant's shirt on fire, or at least smoldering.....and he ripped his shirt off, basically cursed the guy out...threatened to shut down and played shirtless for a while.......also you've never seen such a cloud of pot could cut it with a knife......
All that said almost 30 years ago.....still the BEST SHOWS I HAVE EVER one has ever come close.....the Who with Kieth Moon was close....but they were NO LED ZEPPELIN....
hope you enjoyed reading...I enjoyed remembering.

Damn I'll never forget it!

Argenteum Astrum's picture

Although the recording is very clear, it is incredibly distant, and hard to listen to unless you turn it up a lot and don't mind some hiss. Then, it is enjoyable and discernible. The performance itself is amazing, one of the strongest and best of the 1977 tour. These four nights in Landover were a very strong segment of the tour. Jimmy is on for the whole show and the entire band is playing great and inspired music. Even Robert is in very strong voice and high spirits. No Quarter is excellent and Achilles Last Stand is blistering.

bill's picture

Wow, a website for one night that will live in my memory forever. All I can say is thanks and I am glad to see that others also remember that night so fondly. I was lucky enough to score 4 - $7.50 seats from a guy at school who charged me $15.00 a piece for the first show on the 25th. I was 15 and had a job so I could afford the double face value price. My seats were 6 rows on the right side of the stage. It was the third concert I had ever seen and it ruined me for life as every show I have attended before and since, pale in comparison to what I witnessed that spring night.

The beloved venue formally known as the Capital Centre no longer exists as that sacred piece of land should be a shrine to all of us baby boomers who came from Maryland, Virginia, DC, and other points to join in celebrations of life, culture, style, and rebellion.

As time goes on, I recall the 3 friends I attended the show with as two of them passed on, nearly eight years from the day of this event. I have not seen the other since the mid eighties. I remember playing the LZ classic "In My Time Of Dying" when I heard the news of my two friends and the words of the song really took substance. Most of us who listened to and loved the music from 60's and 70's are fortunate to be able to relate to a song or a band in order to open up a memory bank that can take you back to a certain place in time like it just happened. That era of golden sound is one unlike no other as the greatest music ever recorded is just one of the terms that could be used to define the times.

I do recall after LZ finished their final encore number "Rock and Roll", someone from the floor threw a whiskey bottle and Robert Plant had to duck his head to avoid this idiot's displeasure to the show finally ending after over 3 hours of greatness never to be experienced again in this lifetime. 'And I see them in the streets And I see them in the field And I hear them shouting under my feet And I know it's got to be real Oh Lord, deliver me All the wrong I've done You can deliver me Lord I only wanted to have some fun'

Brigette's picture

I was at this concert. Still have my ticket stub and tshirt. Best concert I have ever been to. I was 17 years old

Bruce Remer's picture

Photos I shot at the capital Centre on May 25 and May28 1977
Check it out

PRR-Fan's picture

My first concert. It was an awesome show and i do remember that jackass who threw the whiskey bottle at the end. We were in the floor seats 20 rows back. What a memorable show.

MSS's picture

My memory of the show is that the band walked off the stage after the bottle incident & the audience went wild, stomping & screaming. I was up in nose bleed country w/2 friends & actually felt happy to be so far from the main action because I was afraid. I know they came back & pounded out some tunes, but I'm asking myself, was I dreaming? Oh well, youth...

Greg's picture

Hi, hows it going? I was there the day tix went on sale and just wanted to compare notes? I only had $10.00, so could only buy one tix, but saw people I knew from the neigborhood in line who wanted to buy extra tix, so I purchased ten, mine and they gave me one of theirs,to sell? i cant remember?I was there I think the 1st night? not sure, A buddy of mine threw a empty bottle of jack daniels at the stage? it could of hit you? a couple of nights later we tried to rush, crash the gate, about 20 of us outside pulled,yanked the door open and ran inside during nobodys fault, at the begining when plants singing ahhahha ahah, , anyway we ended up getting chased away by cops on horseback etc.......................oh, I also was at about 40 other concerts, you may of seen me? I am the guy who use to jump on stage during ted nugents solo, I did it a couple times, Id go over to section 118, and climb atop the railings and right before strom'troopin kicked up into hi gear, fireworks going off, Id leap on stage and run across, grabbing frreisbees and tossing them into the crowd, a full cup of beer, did you see ac/dc at towson? we were the guys up on stage with bon scott when the security left, you can hear it happen on the bootleg ,on the net, Bon yells and cusses the security out, etc, greg

Ralph's picture

I went to this concert on Saturday May 28th. There's no way I'd have remembered when it was if not for this website.....but I do recall it was a Saturday. Hell, I can't even remember which of my buddies got the tickets, but I DO remember we went in the one friends' parents' white station wagon and this same guy had brought all the fixings for mixing Harvey Wallbangers!
So, off we went, from Fairfax to the Capital Centre.....driving around the beltway, mixing and slamming Harvey Wallbangers (and no doubt, smoking Columbian). We got so utterly wanked, we drove right by the exit for the Capital Center and didn't realize it till we hit the Woodrow Wilson bridge back into Virginia. Laughed our asses off and just kept rolling till we got there again.
Ended up hauling the driver around, as he was so messed up, he passed out after puking his guts out. Left him in his seat and enjoyed the show......hauled him to his car, poured him in and drove him and us home.
Anyway, enjoyed the show immensely; three hours was one hell of a long time for a concert. Wonderful memory for ten bucks....

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