Led Zeppelin’s Unseen 1977 Pontiac Silverdome Performance Surfaces Online
via Speedy / YouTube
In a delightful surprise for fans, over 23 minutes of previously unreleased footage capturing Led Zeppelin’s live performance at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, on April 30, 1977, has emerged on the internet.
The film, showcasing a record-breaking attendance of 76,200 people (then a world record for a single-act show), was shared on a YouTube channel dedicated to the late Jim Kelly, fondly known as ‘Speedy.’
An accomplished professional photographer and devoted music enthusiast, Kelly regularly documented his concert experiences in the 1970s, covering iconic bands such as Van Halen, Alice Cooper, Yes, Queen, Rush, and Pink Floyd.
This unique Pontiac footage is the result of a collaborative effort. The Genesis Museum, known for their work on the recent 4K remaster of Genesis’s 1973 Shepperton Studios set, played a key role in transferring the film to digital. The production work was undertaken by fellow Genesis enthusiast ikhnaton. Notably, film restoration and synchronization with bootleg audio were expertly handled by two well-known figures in the Led Zeppelin collectors’ community—Etienne and LedZepFilm.
“Usually I take the audio source as gospel and sync the film accordingly that way,” shares LedZepFilm. “Sometimes I may adjust the audio if it runs too fast or slow to my ears and then go from there. Some clips may be adjusted differently than others. But of course as you probably know, the speed can never truly be 100% correct because both sources are analog!”
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Viewers will observe film cameramen strategically positioned around the stage.
However, this doesn’t necessarily imply the existence of more official footage in the Jimmy Page archive. These cameramen were employed by the production company Worldstage, responsible for projecting live footage of the band onto the large video screen above John Bonham’s drum kit. Unfortunately, it is believed that this specific footage was not preserved.
This newfound glimpse into Led Zeppelin’s 1977 Pontiac Silverdome performance adds to the band’s rich history, offering fans a chance to witness a momentous show that was once considered lost.