Listen to this 1968 audio of Led Zeppelin’s first-ever recorded performance

Listen to Led Zeppelin completely tear apart a university gymnasium in rare audio of their first-ever recorded performance.

On December 30th, 1968, three weeks before the release of their self-titled debut album, Led Zeppelin would lay down a gig at the Gonzaga University Gymnasium in Spokane, Washington.

Originally mis-billed as “Led Zefflin,” the band tore through an hour-long set in support of New York band Vanilla Fudge.

Led Zeppelin
Image: NBC News

The audio was captured thanks to a young student with a good ear, who brought along his tape recorder to the show.

The quality is a bit shaky at times, but good enough to get a feel for the explosive power of the performance.

This is a number off an album that comes out in about three weeks time on the Atlantic label. It’s called Led Zeppelin, and this is a track from the album Led Zeppelin. It’s called Dazed and Confused,” says frontman Robert Plant. 

It’s a rarity and privilege to hear the raw alchemy and untapped power of such historic musicians before they took over the world. The biting grunt of the guitar and thundering hooves of the toms under the possession of John Bonham are a testament to their sheer power.

Led Zeppelin stand to this day, one of the most explosive live acts and studio artists of all time. The sheer reckoning of Robert Plant’s wails has perplexed vocalists for years to come and inspired multiple generations of listeners even 50 years on.

Check out the full tracklist below, and listen to the audio above.

  1. Train Kept A Rollin’ [0:00]
  2. I Can’t Quit You [2:32]
  3. As Long As I Have You (incl Fresh Garbage / Shake / Hush) [9:15]
  4. Dazed And Confused [17:52]
  5. White Summer [27:43]
  6. How Many More Times (incl The Hunter) [34:31]
  7. Pat’s Delight [50:07]

Head over to the video’s YouTube page for a full transcript of Plant’s between-song banter.