Wednesday, September 7, 2005

First live concert

On this day in 1968, the newly formed band of Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham gave its first live appearance ever -- in fact, two of them on the same day.

Billed as the Yardbirds, the quartet performed first at the Gladsaxe Teen Club in Copenhagen, Denmark, with other acts appearing on the bill including the Fourways and the Bodies. It was there that a 16-year-old photographer named Jorgen Angel wisely managed to take 20 snapshots of the debut performance by the Yardbirds' new lineup. Prints of these stunning close-ups are now being sold here.

The group's second appearance was the first "pop-fest" at the Brøndby Pop Club at Nørregårds-Hallen. At this show, a group called the Day of Phønix also shared the stage. The group specialized in the music of America's West Coast. Also on the bill was Super Love, which was then celebrating its first anniversary of formation. The Eye was the house band, which mesmerized the audience with its psychedelic rock and light show. Between sets, an act called Ham entertained the audience. Ham's best moment reportedly came just before the Yardbirds' set.

Glostrup Handelsblat, a Danish newspaper, reviewed the Pop Club show four days later. The article focused on the Yardbirds' new lineup. Jimmy Page was the sole holdover from the most recent Yardbirds lineup, which had graced the stage of the Pop Club on April 15, 1967.

The review inaccurately referred to the vocalist as Robert Planto. Its author said that although "Planto" sings well, his dancing could use a little work. He "doesn't have to twist his body like he's having a ruptured appendix," the author suggested.

This first review of the lineup also noted the capable drummer that was Bonham. The reviewer wanted the drum solo to go on forever.

Page stole the show, however, and his guitar solos comprised the main attraction throughout the set list.

At both shows, the band was said to play 40-minute sets including opener "Train Kept A-Rollin'," "I Can't Quit You Baby," "Dazed and Confused," "You Shook Me" and a blues song known in its original lyric as "How Many More Years."

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