By Rod Hadland
Woodstock 50 died a slow death in the months leading up to August 2019. Maybe it was doomed from the start? Maybe it was just bad luck, but what worked in 1969 doesn’t work today. I was always set on attending the Bluestem 50th Anniversary tribute show in Moorhead when I first heard about it. I first went to Bluestem back in 2011, and have been to a dozen or so great performances there since. This was written in the aftermath of the past weekend. During the full two days I was there, with the exception of a few wheaty beverages, your author was sober thank you very much! No brown acid here.
I read the lineup of acts and the sets they were covering, of course it included the music of Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Santana, and The Who. I was very glad they included Alvin Lee, Arlo Guthrie, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Tim Hardin, and despite her not playing the original Woodstock, they also threw in Joni Mitchell.
The first night I drove straight from my job to the show, to not to miss anything. I walked into the venue while Richie Haven’s Freedom started. Besides the bands themselves, they had various food, drink, and vendor booths that many had enjoyed over the two days. As well as several Volkswagen owners that were kind enough to drive their vintage Beetles and vans out for the display. A vintage Volkswagen fanatic myself, on the second day I spoke in-depth to the owners of my favorite car. (a 1966 two-tone Microbus) The lineup mentioned a Vietnam veteran tribute, which was a shout-out during the Crosby, Stills & Nash set while a handful of veterans stood up to applause from the audience for their service. Worth mentioning, and worth an applause.
The weather the first night was spectacular, the second day we got a little rain towards the end of the day, but it wouldn’t be a proper Woodstock tribute without some right? I had no problem being a little damp while waiting for one of the final acts to set up their gear.
It’s not a question of the performers being good, I know they all can play, and play well. It’s also not if they can pull off the sets/songs, its up to the listener, and I can only speak for myself and my tastes. As far as a concert, it went, for the most part, without a hitch. The second night they swapped some of the final acts for timeliness. Nothing was behind schedule, I can confirm that as a fact.
The friends I saw at the shows, the ones who played their sets and stuck around to watch the rest of the acts really showed that everyone was on board to see everyone perform.
(Not everyone stuck around, especially after the rain on Saturday) A music festival should be about good music, and good people. No one climbed the towers, no one got electrocuted, no one died, there was no mud, (that I could see) and the crowd of mostly baby boomers, and a handful of the younger generations were all there for the same reasons. The promoters, staff, security, sound people, and stagehands made everything happen. Security even told me over the two days they didn’t have to kick anyone out or break up any fights. The atmosphere, the overall experience, and the crowd response was worth it for me.
Highlights for me personally:
Being the lunatic in the breton striped shirt leaping in the air on the security fence to the end of the Santana set on the first night. (I love the first Santana album, and that set was incredible)
Compliments from concert-goers on my Fillmore East t-shirt I wore the second day (my little tribute to the late/great Bill Graham) who attended the original 1969 festival.
The fashion. Tie-dye as far as the eye could see. I’ve got striped pants, paisley shirts, headbands, and a fringe jacket in my closet, but I left them all at home. They weren’t needed! Besides, Levi’s, sneakers, and boots never go out of style.
March 11th 2020
March 11th 2020
February 19th 2020
February 12th 2020
January 29th 2020
by HPR Contributor
by Sofia Makarova and Massimo Sassi The global pandemic is an incredibly challenging time for many. Nearlyone in every three Americans’ jobs have been affected, whether a temporary layoff, a permanent job loss, or a reduction in…
by Ed Raymond
Democratic Socialism Rescues Disaster Capitalism—AgainOur elected representatives are currently appropriating trillions of taxpayer’s dollars to save our economy from the ravages of COVID-19 and disaster capitalism. Here we go…
by John Showalter
Fargo obviously loves their classical music. Audiences have still turned out during the 2019-2020 season of the Sanford Masterworks Series performed by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra despite an unrelenting winter. That…
by Greg Carlson
The most compelling and powerful idea in Kitty Green’s compelling and powerful film “The Assistant” resides in the network of complicity protecting the predator/stand-in for Harvey Weinstein and those like him. Green…
by HPR Contributor
by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…
by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…
by HPR Contributor
by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…