Aug 22, 2023 - Music

Greatest concerts: No. 7 — Led Zeppelin's Destroyer

Robert Plant and Jimmy Page on stage in 1977.

Plant and Page. Photo: Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images

Led Zeppelin coming to town in 1977 was big enough. The fact it produced one of the most famous recordings in rock history is the icing on the cake.

Why it matters: The band's April 27 performance was recorded from the soundboard at Richfield Coliseum, a rarity in those days.

  • It would make the rounds as "Destroyer," one of the most popular bootlegs in Zeppelin's canon.

Flashback: By 1977, Richfield Coliseum was the epicenter of the Ohio concert industry, hosting a who's who of acts, from Queen to Fleetwood Mac.

  • However, Zeppelin's two-night stop on April 27 and 28 was the most-anticipated event, with the band fresh off the release of its chart-topping album "Presence."

Details: The band played a killer, 19-song set at Richfield that included an acoustic portion in the middle.

  • The highlights were two incendiary guitar solos from Jimmy Page on "Achilles Last Stand" and "No Quarter."

Yes, but: Someone recorded the entire set from the soundboard, creating a rare, pristine documentation of Led Zeppelin's live show.

  • It's never been confirmed who recorded the show. It's rumored that Page, who hated the idea of concert bootlegs, and drummer John Bonham got into a fight, prompting Bonham to leak the recording to spite his guitarist.

What they wrote: "Zeppelin's three-hour set passed with flying colors," Cleveland Scene's Cliff Michalski wrote in his review.

  • "The amount of material played, the musicianship involved, and the internal and external (special effects) manifestations of their music merged into an impressive, at times, awe-inspiring, whole."

Go deeper: 15 greatest concerts in Cleveland history


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