Led Zeppelin came in like a lightning bolt and shattered records with their April 30th, 1977 performance at the Pontiac Silverdome. Massive ticket sales prompted the Silverdome to be concerned with how the concert would run. Especially in light of events just days before in Cincinnati. A fan of Led Zeppelin, had been pushed from the third level of the Cincinnati Coliseum and died when he was hit by traffic. So with the record sales, the Silverdome prepared for the show by formulating a plan. A plan which included letting the fans in early and reserving over 14,000 seats. Even with the band being late, the crowd was chill, with very few incidents.
Tickets sales broke records at the time topping $847,000 (with inflation, more than 4 million dollars) for one show. Tickets sold for $10.50 before the sellout. Some fans arrived earlier on Friday afternoon. While scalpers were out selling tickets for upwards of $70. The crowd also broke the attendance record with 76,200 there to see the show.
Led Zeppelin Never Took a Break!
Led Zeppelin played for 3 hours with no break. Jimmy Page rocked the stage with his shirt open with his bandmates, Robert Plant, John Bonham, and John Paul Jones. During that three hours, they played seventeen songs, starting with The Song Remains the Same and ending with Stairway to Heaven and wrapped with two encore songs: Rock and Roll and Trampled Under Foot! Youtube has plenty of recordings of various quality of the show and we included some below so that you can feel like you were there in 1977.
The website LedZeppelin.com has an amazing resource of old clippings, photos and articles that cover so many of the band’s journey. It’s totally worth checking out. There is something magical about seeing all of these old tickets and photos saved and uploaded by the fans over the years. In 1977, 16-year-old Elaine Alexander of Mt Clemens said “Words can’t even explain it. It was great!”
Here’s the setlist from Led Zeppelin’s April 30th, 1977 show at The Pontiac Silverdome: