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One of our daily readers contacted me with his remembrance of Led Zeppelin playing Las Vegas, at the Ice Palace, in 1969:
In 1969, it was announced on KLUC that Led Zeppelin would be playing the Ice Palace. The Ice Palace was not THE major venue in town that would be the Convention Center. I was confused.
I went to Wonder World and found Led Zeppelin I. I recognized Jimmy Page from the Yardbirds, but who were Robert Plant, John Bonham and John Paul Jones? What was the big deal?
I called the Ice Palace. Maybe there was more to the story. I asked if it was true that Led Zeppelin was going to play the Ice Palace.
The guy said "Yeah." I responded, I swear: "Who else is playing with them?"
He treated me like the idiot I was and hung up on me. I bought tickets anyway. Jimmy Page was great.
There is a joke about rock singers: that they sing as though they are caught in their zipper.
It's true. The worst of them is Lou Gramm from Foreigner, but only slightly behind him was Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Plant sang as though his hair were on fire.
To front Led Zeppelin, however,that style was a necessity. He had to contend not only with Page and Jones but with drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham, who wore a dog collar for a good reason. He was an animal and had a bass drum foot that has never been equalled.
Plant sang for his life.
A moment happened during that first Led Zeppelin concert which, had I not been there, I would nothave believed.
Page was playing, as was his wont, extremely loud. Bonham could play soft, he just never did.
The band was playing "Dazed and Confused" which was, at that point, from their one and only album.
Plant's microphone failed. Nothing else, just Plant's microphone.
Plant did not miss a beat, neither did the mighty Led Zeppelin. Page sang, without the aid of amplification, over the cacophony of his band mates.
The Ice Palace was an acoustic nightmare. It was never intended to be used for a concert venue. I worked dozens of shows there as a stage hand and I could not be heard from the stage to the back of the rink, screaming with my hands cupped to my mouth.
But on that night in 1969, there was Robert Plant, without a microphone, belting out "Dazed and Confused" over the absolute onslaught of the world's loudest band.
I was standing near the back of the rink and I could hear every word, every syllable.
In my experience, no human I have seen has ever matched Plant's vocal power.
Thanks to Michael for sharing the story with us.
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