After living on and off in and around the town of Woodstock for more than 25 years, I finally made the pilgrimage to the actual Woodstock Festival site, which is in the town of Bethel Woods, more than an hour drive from Woodstock.
I’m glad that I finally went to see a new wave icon like Blondie rather than a classic hippie snoozefest like Santana who played the following weekend and was infinitely more popular. Blondie is more than an icon, and Debbie Harry is the mother or grandmother you wish you had. At 72 she had the moves, the looks and the voice that you would expect of a person half her age, and she fucking kicked ass and had an attitude and stage presence all her own. She started off wearing a cape with the words “Stop Fucking The Planet”.
Sure, it was at Bethel Woods, which is a big outdoor pavilion, but they put on a good stage performance with tactful use of both live and B-roll video and a competent light show. Naturally she played the hits, like Heart of Glass (sorry for the crappy iPhone audio/video from the cheap seats):
She also played some of her new stuff from her recent release “Pollinator” which is all about saving the bees, and a few lesser known hits, but the best songs were naturally saved for the encore like the dreamy “Dreaming”:
…and one of my personal faves – her reggae hit “The Tide is High” released way back in 1980:
The “Tide is High” was originally written and performed by John Holt and the Paragons; one of the greatest reggae rocksteady acts from Jamaica in the late 60’s: