Led Zeppelin | Official Website Subiaco Oval - February 16, 1972
Click here to view the 1972 Australian tour programme(flipbook) Reviews / Press: Heavy Rock - With Discipline, by John BryantThe West Australian | February 17, 1972Perth has probably never seen a concert quite like it. Certainly, a Festival of Perth attraction has never been so "heavy". That Led Zeppelin rock group's only concert at Subiaco Oval last night at the beginning of an Australian Tour was unique. The pelting rhythm and distinctive brackets of the group - consisting of electric guitarist Jimmy Page, organist John Paul Jones, drummer John Bonham and lead vocalist Robert Plant - were different from any rock group that has appeared in Perth. And the 80000 people who went enjoyed every minute of the two and a half hour performance. Some were so keen to see the most popular English heavy rock group to ever appear live in Perth that they did not mind climbing fences to get in. Police and officials were kept busy preventing and removing people entering the stadium. Early in the programme about 30 youths could be seen running across the stand adjoining the member's pavilion at the oval. Presumably they did not pay for the seats in that stand. Soon after the concert began Robert Plant told the audience, "Anyway we took 36 hours to get here, so we are going to have a good time." That drew a wild cheer from the audience. The group performed on the shell-backed stage. The sound produced by the amplifiers placed on each side of the stage was at times painfully loud. The group wound up to its full potential during heavier numbers. Perhaps for the older eardrums, a few less decibels would have been appreciated. The Led Zeppelin represents a rock music expression whose main contribution is originality. As has been suggested, it can produce a domineering, pulsating sound in which the heavy rhythm section is the only distinguishable feature. Alternatively, Page's electric and acoustic guitar, with Jones on bass or organ and Plant's powerful voice can produce a dominant form. Finally, the group is capable of a gentle and melodic treatment to a rock ballad. The group specialises in heavy rock, to which it owes its fame. Wailing guitars, breaking away from the basic rhythm produced by the bass guitar and drums, and a staccato vocal section build up to the powerful crescendo that features frequently in their music. Regardless of the style used, their musical interpretation is disciplined. It is this control of instruments and voices that helps the group reach its full potential. Mele at Pop ShowThe West AustralianThursday, February 17, 1972About 500 youths were involved in a melee outside the Subiaco Oval last night during a concert by the pop group Led Zeppelin. About 4000 people who were unable to gain entrance to the concert milled outside the main gates of the oval. About 500 youths rammed the locked gates, threw rocks and bottles into the oval and lit fires. Police reinforcements were rushed to the oval soon after the concert began and at one stage there were more than 20 police vehicles outside the ground. Several people were arrested. The St. John Ambulance treated 15 people for minor cuts and bruises, most of them caused by broken glass and stones thrown into the crowd by the mob. Many of the people who were unable to buy tickets to the concert climbed fences, cut holes in the fence wire and pulled gates from the hinges in an attempt to join 5000 people already inside the ground. The 500 violent protesters outside the oval continued to throw rocks till the police arrived. Burning paper was thrown at the policemen near the gates. Officials used a hose to put out the fires. However, youths moved toward the gate to block the stream of water. The officials then sprayed the water at the youths to make them move. People living in areas from Leederville to Wembley telephoned the central police and Newspaper House last night to complain about the noise from the concert. Complaints were also received from Shenton Park. Mr D. Moulin, a student teacher, of Tate Street, Leederville, said he was trying to study but found it impossible to concentrate because of the noise. One angry woman in Annear Street, Shenton Park, said that she tried to ring the mayor and then the local member of parliament, but neither was home. 8 am Drug Raid on Top Pop GroupThe Daily NewsThursday, February 17, 1972Four drug special police today raided the visiting English pop group Led Zeppelin. The raid was carried out at a Scarborough hotel where the group was staying. Police woke the musicians and searched their baggage and belongings. No drugs were found. The raid followed last night's riot at Subiaco Oval. The group's lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, said he and the rest of the group were furious. They thought the raid was retribution for the concert trouble. He said the group had not seen the riot, but had only read a report in this mornings newspaper. Page criticised the police for leaving the group unprotected and allowing the stage to be mobbed at the end of the concert. "I'd like to now if today's raid was some sort of a rebuff for last night", he said. "We had nothing to do with any of what happened and then this morning, at some unearthly hour we were pulled out of bed and treated in a totally derogatory manner". He said the group had not got to bed until early this morning and then were dragged out of bed by police about 8:30 am. Abusing "They came into our rooms and started abusing us - they were very rude", he said. He said he was "sick do death of authorities asserting arbitrary power". He had experienced riots before and "it was always the police who provoked the crowd". He said: "I thought we could get away from this sort of thing out here. I'm just dumbfounded by it all. We just didn't expect anything like this to happen in Australia". A bloody riot broke out at a concert, where the group played in Milan, Italy last year, and police fired tear gas into the crowd. The other members of the group, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and John Bonham were not available for comment. The group - among the to British pop money earners - left Perth by plane at noon today and flew to Adelaide where they will continue their tour. Chief of the CIB, Superintendent W.H. Nielson, said today: "Acting on information received, members of the drug squad visited the group at their hotel today. They interviewed them but took no further action. Today's action by the CIB men was completely divorced from any incidents which occurred last night at Subiaco Oval. Today's action had no connection with the group's public show". Meanwhile, a spokesman for Channel Seven which helped organise the concert as part of the Festival of Perth said today many of the gatecrashers and rioters - at Subiaco Oval last night - had come "armed like they were ready to storm a Norman castle in the dark ages.There were about 500 people outside and many of them came prepared", he said. "They came with wire and bolt cutters and even had ladders. It was obvious that they had no intention of paying. Many were just there to cause trouble. At one stage about 50 of them came over the fence. We had 30 security men on the fenceline and 25 police inside the grounds". Police were attacked with bricks, rocks, bottles, cans and flaming projectiles, before they called for reinforcements. They called for help when fans began pelting them with cans filled with rocks. All available men were rushed to the oval from Central Police Station. Traffic police and police from nearby suburban stations also answered the call. When the trouble was at its height about 20 extra police were at the oval. While the battle raged, thousands of gatecrashers came though and over fences around the ground. Youths with wire cutters left a trail of gaping holes in the fence. Sections of barbed wire were cut away and heavy duty, tube steel gates at the Subiaco Road turnstile were twisted and the hinges torn from the wall. As police battled to control the riot the stage was left unprotected and more than 1000 fans mobbed the musicians. As the group drew towards the end of its last song, people began to dance on the stage. The group kept playing and the crowd swamped them. Lead singer Robert Plant had his shirt torn from his back as he tried to run from the stage.
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