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Led Zeppelin Concert Memories: Bloomington, Minnesota April 12th 1977


Concert Memories :: Led Zeppelin :: April 12, 1977

From: Steve Benson
That the Mighty Led Zeppelin played to a capacity crowd at The Met Sports Center here in Bloomington, Minnesota. The following night was, of course, another sell out at The St. Paul Civic Center. Zeppelin played to 32,500 in the two nights and according to most sources, couldn’t have seen the band in two very different lights.

I was in attendance with about 10 of my buddies that first night, April 12th of 1977. I had my Drivers’ License for all of a month, as did my buddy who drove. We were all 16, independent and on top of the world..attending our first big event on our own! My seat wasn’t as good as one my friends, but I couldn’t argue the fact that……..hell! I was going to be in the fricking building with the greatest band that ever assembled! I had held a grudge against my parents for 2 years because they wouldn’t allow me to attend the 1975 tour opener here at the Met. Wow, was I pissed. I was asked to go with some older friends twice and was denied.

Jumping ahead to to the present…
My buddy Greg, who drove, borrowed his Dad’s Chevy pickup with a topper on back. There were 3 guys in the front and about 6 or 7 of us in the back…partying like there was no tomorrow!

While one of my close friends was seated 2nd row, Jimmy’s side. I was in the first row of the upper deck just stage right and had a great sight line. I can confirm that JPJ used his “acoustic, three-necked instrument” that night, early in the tour.

It was one of the most brutal evenings of weather I can remember in my lifetime. The rain, in particular. It was beyond “torrential” or any other adjective or description. The band was nearlys 2 hours late and I thought there would be some very intense shit going on soon if they didn’t show. A stage announcer showed a couple of times to give us the message that because of the weather, the band was delayed departing from Chicago. No one was really buying it. Why, would they wait all day to leave..knowing the weather was so terrible? Why didn’t they cancel or postpone instead of letting everyone venture out into this awful, dangerous evening? Why would they take the chance? There were no good answers, really ever! But there were some stories currculating about Jimmy’s health and drug use. It was providing good fodder for explaining this ridiculous situation.

jimmyMetCentre1977_zpsd4d4c8e4When the band did finally show, it was the most amazing burst of energy I have ever witnessed. It was so wild for the first 10 minutes that it didn’t even sink in that they were actually there until “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”. My fondest memory of the night was at this point, when Robert & Jimmy were like bookends at opposite ends of the stage..constantly moving.

Then, they would weave doing 360’s and twirling and met at the center of the stage in time for the next verse. It rivaled those common scenes during “Achilles”. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong, to me, for awhile. There was this point during “In My Time of Dying” that I thought Jimmy might just keel over. And, he nearly did! At the end of the song, I recall him curiously going up to left edge of the stage and bending over. I thought maybe he was taking an item from a fan down in front. But, as it turns out, he was throwing up! My buddy, John, who had that 2nd row seat was there to fill in the blanks for this one. OK…was it the incredibly scary flight they went through in “Caesar’s Chariot” to get to the gig? Was it the drugs &/or alcohol?

My guess is, it probably was all three components. Who knows, really? Anyway, this situation did happen here in Minneapolis and it seems it could have been one of those rare, dark moments for the band that foul, April eve. It wasn’t until a few months later that Creem magazine, doing a date by date account of their ’77 tour, cites this very tense arrival into the Twin Cities. The Star newspaper mentioned that the band was “visibly shaken” when they arrived at the Met. Robert’s voice was sure strong that night!

You know, there couldn’t be a more perfect example of “timing is everything” as this situation. I couldn’t attend the next evening’s show, for whatever reason. It turns out that the second night, here in St. Paul, has been pointed out by Richard Cole and, I believe, Robert Plant as one of the best nights of the tour! The band had taken the day to relax in town and were ready to rock on April 13th! Thanks for indulging me, I need to hear “Ten Years Gone” from “Deep Striker” right now! If anyone, ever comes across recordings from either of the Twin Cities’ shows…’75 or ’77. Please remember this story contact me immediately! Have a…”Good Evening”.

Steve Benson

January 11, 2014 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Concert Memories: Bloomington Minnesota April 12th 1977 | , | Leave a comment