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Pink Floyd - Jeppessen Stadium, Houston, TX, April 30th 1977 Print E-mail

Jeppesson Stadium
Jeppessen Stadium
In The Flesh Animals Tour 1977

Jeppessen Stadium is on the University of Houston Campus which is located in one of the worst sections of Houston. The stadium was built in 1941 and was called Houston Public School Stadium with a capacity of 20500, the stadium has been renovated and is now called Robertson Stadium and is used by the Houston Cougars college football team.

In 1977 it was in disrepair and was used mainly for high school football and track meets as the Cougars played their games at the Astrodome. Very few concerts were played there and it was the only show I attended there.

A great venue for the Floyd to play their Animals tour in 1977, the grimy old stadium (at the time) features four edifices, two on each side of the stadium, that the light towers are mounted in so it kind of resembles Battersea Power Stations four smokestacks. The stadium is five minutes from downtown Houston. I estimate the crowd for the show at 25000.

The concert was originally going to be played at the new Summit basketball arena but the venue was changed before tickets went on sale because of the demand for tickets and the size of the Summit.


April 30th 1977 was a grey rainy day in Houston; the Floyd had to deploy the umbrellas for this show and it was fortunate they had them made for the tour. The show would have been unplayable without them, especially the second half. There were tents pitched on the field, some included handmade signs advertising illicit wares, people also managed to sneak in bottles of liquor as well.

I don't know how they got away with the tents and adverts but the authorities probably had no intention of going on the field and getting in the middle of the zoo. Houston concert crowds were extremely wild and rowdy in the seventies and in retrospect the authorities were surprisingly relaxed at concerts in Houston, unlike today where they want to throw you in jail for smoking a cigarette inside a venue.

The show started at sunset during a light drizzle that increased to a steady rain as the show progressed. The basic set structure for 1977 was played, Animals in the first half, Wish You Were Here in the second half with Money and Us and Them played for the encores. This had to be the pinnacle of David Gilmour's career, he had more room to improvise with this set list and used it to great advantage: what great solos he unleashed that night.

The fireworks were deployed at the end of Sheep and the main pig was brought out over the audience during Pigs Three Different Ones but the exploding pig was not deployed during this show probably because of the rain. The nuclear family were suspended behind the stage but they didn't bring much excitement to the show since they were just hanging around.

Gilmour really extrapolated on Pigs Three Different Ones adding solos that were not on the record. Wind noises were circulated throughout the stadium by the surround sound speakers between songs. The videos shown during the WYWH portion of the show were great. The Welcome To The Machine video was incredible with the steel dinosaur looking out at the audience and the outro of SOYCD with Pink tumbling through space turning into a leaf was a magical moment during a steady rain. Gilmour and Snowy White interacting during SOYCD 6-9 was great.

Money was incredibly long and Gilmours guitar was thrown around the surround system to great effect. Us and Them was not a popular choice to end the concert with as people were grumbling a bit and wanted to rock, I think most of the fans were expecting them to play all of DSOTM. The band were in good spirits considering the circumstances and the rain had a calming effect on the crowd, at least during the show.

After the encores a really bad scene erupted on the field, even though the Floyd played their entire set for the tour the unhappy crowd demanded more and started to rain down empty liquor bottles on the stage destroying the drum kit. There was a lot of broken glass and bottles littering the stage. I stuck around to watch the mayhem from the field, the roadies retreated until the bedlam subsided and eventually we shuffled out of Jeppessen as a torrential rain cloud unloaded. I was totally stunned that the crowd reacted so violently after the Floyd had played the whole show in the rain, risking electrocution.

Overview: It was quite a spectacle and the hardest rocking tour of Pink Floyd's career, Gilmour was unleashing the hounds of hell in 77. The surround sound system was unique and sounded great.

The tickets were pink and embossed with the pig and smokestack and had Pink Floyd written on them with the block lettering like the Animals album. Unfortunately our tickets were confiscated upon admission and they wouldn't give us a stub. I did run across a tour flyer identical to the ticket for the show and have that framed. When I bought the flyer it included a ticket stub for the Baton Rouge show instead of the Houston show and it isn't embossed with the animals motif and isn't nearly as nice.

I was very fortunate to have witnessed Pink Floyd on the last true tour they played together. Three weeks later I saw Zeppelin play at the Summit, incredible times...

 
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