Watch: Led Zeppelin's superb performance of "Black Dog" at Madison Square Garden in 1973

live 20/09/2018

Led Zeppelin performed three sold-out concerts back-to-back at Madison Square Garden from 27th - 29th July 1973. The gigs were also filmed for their concert film, "The Song Remains the Same".

"Black Dog" was a fan favourite track that first played live at Belfast's Ulster Hall in 1971 and stayed on their setlist until around the end of 1973. The song was built around a call and response dynamic between the Plant and the rest of the band. Inspired by Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well", the title was named after the nameless black Labrador retriever that was often seen hanging around Headley Grange studios during their recording sessions, with no relations at all to the lyrics.

The band hired a film crew who used up to four 35mm cameras and recorded the sound with a 24-track quadraphonic for each gig. A 16mm Éclair ACL camera was also used for insert shots, offstage and crowd shots. The film crew took notes and photos throughout the three gigs to learn stage lighting, setlist and other details. The live footages alone costs the band an estimate of $120,000 NZD.

Robert Plant and John Bonham could be seen wearing the same outfit for all three gigs so the editing of the film will be seamless, but there were still continuity issues as John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page did not receive the same memo as they wore different outfits for the gigs. According to Jones, he said he asked the film crew if they were filming on those nights, which they replied no to Jones. He thought it would be smart to save the same shirt for a night when they would be filmed.

Setlist:

  • Rock and Roll
  • Celebration Day (Bring It On Home intro)
  • Black Dog
  • Over the Hills and Far Away
  • Misty Mountain Hop
  • Since I've Been Loving You
  • No Quarter
  • The Song Remains the Same
  • Rain Song
  • Dazed and Confused (including San Francisco)
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • Moby Dick
  • Heartbreaker
  • Whole Lotta Love (including Let That Boy Boogie)
  • The Ocean