Led Zeppelin’s best live show: Madison Square Garden 1973
As one of the best live acts in history, there are any number of great Led Zeppelin shows, but their three-day stint at Madison Square Garden in 1973 takes some beating.
By that stage, Zeppelin were at the peak of their powers. They had just released their fifth album, the chart-topping ‘Houses of the Holy’, and embarked on a tour of America where their shows were witnessed by record audiences, by more people than had gone to see contemporaries such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The highlight of that US tour was a three-day stint in the iconic Madison Square Garden in July 1973, which took place after nearly three months of live shows all across the States and earned the band a helluva lot of money in the process.
Excerpts of the Madison Square Garden performances featured alongside clips of three other shows (Royal Albert Hall 1970, Earls Court 1975 and Knebworth 1979) on an extensive two-disc commemorative DVD released in 2003, a must have for any Zeppelin fan.
Commenting on the Madison Square Garden shows, Robert Plant said: “It was such a big deal by then but the feeling of freedom it gave out was tremendous. We were buccaneer musicians, ready to try anything and, for me, Madison Square Garden was a seminal moment.
“Until then, I don’t think I could ever have imagined something like that. It was like having a dream come true that you knew you never had.”
When one of the band members themselves speaks in such glowing terms of a show, you know it had to be good and those lucky be in attendance on the night were treated to more than three hours of classic Led Zep material.
For a taste of what it was like, check out the performance of ‘Black Dog’ in the video above.
‘Celebration Day’, the film and audio recording of Led Zeppelin’s one-off O2 Arena show, which took place in December 2007, is out now.
Available on 2CD & DVD and also to download on iTunes here.