Led Zeppelin Tour of Iceland, Bath and Germany, Summer 1970
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|Concert by Led Zeppelin|
Poster for Led Zeppelin's concert at Berlin, used to help promote its Summer 1970 tour of Germany
|Associated album||Led Zeppelin II|
|Start date||22 June 1970|
|End date||19 July 1970|
|Number of shows||6|
|Led Zeppelin concert chronology|
Led Zeppelin's sole performance in England during this tour was one of the most important of the band's career. They accepted an offer from promoter Freddy Bannister to headline the Bath Festival, in Shepton Mallet, at a fee of £20,000. This was the second time Led Zeppelin performed at this festival, having also appeared at the Bath Festival of Blues during their U.K. tour in summer 1969.
The band's performance at Bath in 1970 in front of an audience of 150,000 people is widely considered by music critics, and members of Led Zeppelin itself, as representing a turning point in terms of the amount of recognition they received in Britain. Until that point their on-stage success and popularity had largely been borne out on numerous United States concert tours. This concert helped foster an improved relationship with the U.K. press, which gave them consistently good reviews for their performance at the festival. Tantalisingly, however, the only known audio documents of the festival exist in very poor quality as Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings.
This tour is also notable for the band's visit to Iceland for their opening show at Laugardalshöll. It was this visit which inspired singer Robert Plant to write the lyrics to "Immigrant Song", which was subsequently featured on their forthcoming album Led Zeppelin III. This song premiered at the Bath Festival, just six days after their show in Iceland. A short segment of footage of Jimmy Page playing bowed guitar during "Dazed and Confused" during Led Zeppelin's performance at Laugardalshöll was included on the menu clips of the Led Zeppelin DVD (2003).
The 17 July performance at the Grugahalle in Essen was cut short by rowdy fans. The performance had sold out, and a large group of disgruntled fans who had been unable to purchase tickets gathered outside, insisting to be let in. The local Polizei decided to let them in as a way of heading off any potential trouble, but that decision backfired as some started to throw beer bottles at the band.
Tour set list
The fairly typical set list for the tour was:
- "Immigrant Song" (Page, Plant) (beginning with the Bath Festival)
- "Heartbreaker" (Bonham, Page, Plant)
- "Dazed and Confused" (Page)
- "Bring It On Home" (Page, Plant, Dixon)
- "Since I've Been Loving You" (Page, Plant, Jones)
- "Organ Solo"/"Thank You" (Page, Plant)
- "That's the Way" (Page, Plant)
- "What Is and What Should Never Be" (Page, Plant)
- "Moby Dick" (Page, Jones, Bonham)
- "How Many More Times" (Plant, Jones, Bonham, Plant)
- "Whole Lotta Love" (Dixon, Page, Plant, Jones, Bonham)
- "Communication Breakdown" (Page, Jones, Bonham)
There were some set list substitutions, variations, and order switches during the tour.
|22 June 1970||Reykjavík||Iceland||Laugardalshöll|
|28 June 1970||Shepton Mallet||England||Bath Festival|
|16 July 1970||Cologne||West Germany||Sporthalle|
|17 July 1970||Essen||Grugahalle|
|18 July 1970||Frankfurt||Festhalle Frankfurt|
|19 July 1970||West Berlin||Deutschlandhalle|
- Lewis, Dave and Pallett, Simon (1997) Led Zeppelin: The Concert File, London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-5307-4.
- Grugahalle account is first hand observation by author - I was there.