Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Salt and Raine

On this day in 1970, a staff writer for a newspaper in Salt Lake City, Utah, couldn't make up his mind about Led Zeppelin's performance at the city's Salt Palace.

The band received some local publicity in the Salt Lake Tribune on March 27. In his comments, writer George Raine gave "virtuoso" Jimmy Page most of the credit for the show.

"There is seemingly nothing he cannot do in the technical realm," Raine proclaimed in his remarks about Page. "He plays one of the fastest guitar necks to be seen. His intonations, his vibratos and his sense of time and syncopation probably are matched by only a handful of contemporary guitarists."

However, Raine's thoughts on the whole band was that [it is] "not particularly hot, nor is it cold. Led Zeppelin is not good, nor is it bad." The headline read, "Group is nothing to get excited about."

Despite reviews, the attendance at Led Zeppelin's concerts was becoming quite impressive. The day after Salt Lake City, the band performed for the first time at the Forum in Los Angeles. Led Zeppelin welcomed 20,000 people and earned a $71,000 fee at that March 27 concert.

On the day before Salt Lake, a March 25 show in Denver had set a local record. The band played to a full-capacity audience at the Denver Coliseum. The 11,530 fans there made it the largest assembly gathered for a concert in Denver. It was, in fact, the first concert in Denver ever officially recognized as being sold out.

(At the Beatles' Aug. 26, 1964 show at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, the 9,000-capacity venue was filled with possibly more than 10,000 fans. However, only 7,000 tickets were sold for the show, and so there were 2,000 unsold tickets, thus making it technically not a sold-out show. The fact that there were more than 7,000 people there for the show meant that a few thousand counterfeit tickets must have been used to gain admission.)

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