It isn't hard to find a good review of a concert by a band from someone who was there. There are a few exceptions that come to mind ('95 Grateful Dead, 2011 Ween) come to mind.
But this review by Joe Maloney....................................
This show was like a Led Zeppelin version of the Rolling Stones Altamont concert. It seemed like everything about it had some kind of "negative" energy. I had been to shows before that had problems with crowd control, but this was the worst, by far and it also turned out to be the last time that the band would appear in Boston.
For the previous shows at the Garden, it was easy to get tickets. You could go to the box office, or to one of the local ticket agency outlets and, most times, there were seats available at the box office on the day of the show. Even tickets for the Rolling Stones 1972 tour were easily available, at face value, the night of the show.
But, for this one, we began to see the beginnings of the ticket "scalping" phenomenon. The price range for this show was $4.50, $5.50 and $6.50, but, due to the high demand, I ended up paying $20.00 each, for two tickets (that was a lot of money back then, when the average wage was $2.35 an hour!) and they were in a section that was halfway back and up on the side.Those seats were a blessing by showtime when I saw what was happening in the Floor seats. Boston Garden was never the "ideal" place to see a concert, especially in the middle of July, with no air conditioning in the building.
A year before, during the same week, I had endured a hot, humid night in the Garden, for the Rolling Stones show and this night was even worse! A large portion of this crowd showed that they didn't have any respect for themselves, fellow audience members, or the band. It looked like quite a few were a little too high, or drunk, to appreciate some great music and, since it was only two weeks since the Fourth of July, others thought it would be a good idea to bring their leftover firecrackers and M-80s to the show.
By showtime, the Garden was hot, humid and filled with a haze of cigarette smoke. As the lights went down and the band came on stage, it was as if a plug had been taken out of a giant sink and people from every part of the arena started to "flow" down onto the floor. All the "lucky" people who had gotten those great seats, close to the front of the stage, suddenly found themselves surrounded and having to jump up on their seats to see. After the opening "triple punch" of "Rock and Roll," "Celebration Day" and "Black Dog," it was time for some new "Houses Of The Holy" material, and they quieted things down a bit with "Over The Hills And Far Away.
Unfortunately, the crowd was still pushing towards the stage, interrupting the band's momentum and Robert Plant had to spend about two minutes pleading with people to move back, to keep from crushing the security barrier in front of the stage. Listening to him, talking to the audience was like listening to Mick Jagger pleading with the Altamont crowd to "Cool out!" and "Stop fighting!". Even the haunting "No Quarter," with excellent keyboard work by John Paul Jones, didn't calm things down and Robert, sounding more annoyed, tried, once again, to get things under control, but, once again, didn't do any good.
Nobody was sitting down, even in the seats on the side where I was, and we had to listen to shouts of "Hey! Sit down", throughout the quieter songs and even, at times, during the louder ones. One major problem seemed to be the size of the sound system. At the time, The Who and Led Zeppelin had the reputation of being two of the loudest bands in the world, but the setup that they had for this show didn't have the power to fill a 15,00 seat arena.
The speakers were elevated, on scaffolds on both sides of the stage, to give the seats on the sides and in the back an unobstructed view, but there just weren't enough speakers to provide a"full" sound for everyone. "The Song Remains The Same" livened things up again, but with "The Rain Song," the sounds of the crowd were overpowering, again. And the noise continued, even though the "high point' of the show, a half-hour version of "Dazed and Confused." By this time in the performance, Jimmy Page was bathed in sweat, police officers had taken positions at the sides of the stage, and large fans had been set up at each side of the front of the stage, to try and give the band some relief from the unrelenting heat. "Stairway To Heaven" brought the main set to a close. They only took a short time to return to the stage, and they closed the show with "Heartbreaker" and an extended "Whole Lotta Love/Boogie Mama."
The crowd wanted more, but, after what the band had to endure during the performance, that was it. The clapping and stomping continued, along with a few more firecracker and M-80 blasts, until everyone finally started to leave.
Throughout all the years that I have been going to concerts, there are only a handful of shows that I can say were annoying to be at and this one will always be at the top of the list. If the band had been able to relax and feel more comfortable, they probably would have played for another hour, but the dangerous and inconsiderate actions of this unruly crowd made it impossible. My recording of the show was a big disappointment, not only because of the crowd noise but also because of the overall "weak" sound of the inadequate speaker system. Many years after the concert, I found an alternate source recording of the show (a bootleg two-disc set, called "Zep Vs. Boston") and it sounded almost exactly like mine.
The only difference was that the first song, "Rock and Roll," was not complete, fading in about halfway through. I don't know what part of the Garden that it was recorded from, but I didn't feel as bad about my recording, after hearing that someone else got the same results. This was also the last time that Led Zeppelin appeared in Boston. When tickets were to go on sale, in January 1975, for the scheduled February show, the people at the Garden decided to let ticket buyers wait inside the building, instead of standing outside in the bitter cold. The same type of "fans"that were at this show couldn't politely wait,in the nice, warm hall, for the box office to open and found there way inside the arena, went on a rampage and caused about $20,000in damage to the hockey ice, a piano and in other areas of the building. As a result of their stupidity, the show was immediately cancelled, and the band never returned to Boston What a shame! -Original