Sunday, October 2, 2011

Kitchener Nov 4, 1969: Part II

Led Zeppelin was “the best rock ever to be held in this arena,” says Douglas Fisher, writing for the University of Waterloo student newspaper, The Chevron, on November 7, 1969. Led Zeppelin had played the local hockey rink, The Kitchener Auditorium a few days earlier, on November 4, 1969.

Being a local event, I have written before about this show, noting the concert seems to have been put together not long before. In this case, the first ad appears in the Chevron on October 10th (shown). (And Wilfred Laurier University's The Cord, on October 17th).uofw-chevron-ad

But it is the review by Douglas Fisher, with picture by Kent Houston that is significant. The review is new as far as the Led Zeppelin record goes. It has been buried in the library of the University of Waterloo rare books division pretty much since 1969.

The headline speaks volumes of the review to come: Zeppelin: Best Rock Concert Ever.
When Led Zeppelin hit the stage of Kitchener auditorium tuesday night everyone present realized at once this was not going to be just another concert. They were right, before the evening was over they had experienced and lived the Led Zeppelin group.

Ludicrous insanity could best describe their performance. Jimmy Page running, jumping, straining getting unbelievable sounds and or noises on his guitar. From old blues riffs to distortion to feedback it all came off with finesse and wild beauty.

The lead singer Robert Plant is the ultimate extension of the school of lead singers started by Rolling Stone’s Mick Jagger, including Jim Morrison and Iggy Stooge. Plant’s incredible voice range which goes from gutsy blues to high screams puts James Brown to shame.

Most of the time all you could see was his huge fuzzy ball of blonde hair shaking wildly and emitting unreal sounds. His body wriggling with every note of the music. Backing these two up were John Paul Jones laying down a perfect blues line and John Bonham on drums completing the rhythm section.

When the Led Zeppelin group do their songs they don’t just present a copy of their album cuts. They go all out, making them even more ludicrous and insane than the originals, adding parts of the old blues or rock songs in the middle of the number.

One of the highlights of the concert was the groups rendition of Dazed and Confused. In the middle of the number, Jimy [SIC] Page played his guitar with a bow just to add to the general insanity of the number.

The rest of the review is more technical, complaining of inadequate acoustics or a shorter than normal set, “leaving out the drum solo and Page’s guitar solo Black Mountain Side.”

The review reports Zeppelin ended with an “Eddie Cochrane Song.” This is likely C’Mon Everybody, which they are reported to have played 2 nights later in San Fransisco as part of How Many More Times.

The Kent Houston picture is of Plant, with John Paul Jones in the background. Plant is wearing the fur boots that are specific to the Kitchener concert. The heading under the picture reads: Emitting unreal sounds Plant shakes and wiggles to the music.

[caption id="attachment_1494" align="alignnone" width="520" caption="click for full size"]review[/caption]

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