Led Zeppelin Performs At Knebworth On This Date In 1979

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Forty years ago today, on August 11, 1979 Led Zeppelin took the stage at Knebworth for their second concert at the historic 1979 festival. Zeppelin also played the event on August 4, and the two performances marked the first time the legendary rockers played their native U.K. in four years.

Robert Plant’s son Karac died from a stomach virus in 1977 while Zeppelin toured North America and the band did not tour in 1978. While they played some warmup shows in Copenhagen ahead of Knebworth, the blockbuster festival appearances signaled Zeppelin’s triumphant return.

Unfortunately, drummer John Bonham would die a year later and many of the tunes from the setlist at Knebworth were the last time they were played with Bonham or the last time ever played by Led Zeppelin. The band was also gearing up to release their seventh studio album, In Through The Out Door, before the festival but had to push the release date back. They debuted a couple of songs from ITTOD at the first Knebworth performance.

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Zeppelin kicked off the August 11 show with “The Song Remains The Same” followed by “Celebration Day,” “Black Dog” and the blues traditional “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” The band would continue on with “Over The Hills And Far Away” ahead of “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones‘ “No Quarter.” “Hot Dog” came next. The band had just debuted the ITTOD tune a week earlier at the August 4 Knebworth concert.

Led Zeppelin then played “Rain Song” followed by the Jimmy Page featuring “White Summer/Black Mountain Side.” The heavy “Kashmir” came next ahead of “Trampled Under Foot,” “Sick Again” and the massive “Achilles Last Stand.” Zeppelin returned to material from ITTOD with “In The Evening” (also debuted on August 4) before closing out the evening with a run of classics that included “Stairway To Heaven,” “Rock And Roll,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Communication Breakdown.”

Watch video of the full show below:

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Setlist

Led Zeppelin at Knebworth House

  • The Song Remains the Same
  • Celebration Day
  • Black Dog
  • Nobody's Fault but Mine  
  • Over the Hills and Far Away
  • Misty Mountain Hop
  • Since I've Been Loving You
  • No Quarter
  • Hot Dog
  • The Rain Song
  • White Summer/Black Mountain Side
  • Kashmir
  • Trampled Under Foot
  • Sick Again
  • Achilles Last Stand
  • Guitar Solo
  • In the Evening
  • Stairway to Heaven
Encore
  • Rock and Roll
Encore
  • Whole Lotta Love
  • Communication Breakdown