Sunday, August 9, 2009

Waiting for 2010 #87: Woodstock Was Forty Years Ago?

My internal time machine won't let me travel back to 1969, so I will have to make due with ranting about the Woodstock Anniversaries of recent history:

As I recall, Woodstock's 25th Anniversary, in 1994, was pretty okay. While I wasn't there, I remember that it was raining there at the time, and virtually everyone had fun in the mud. I remember ABC's Nightline conflated that summer's Lollapalooza tour with the Woodstock revival and showed a clip of the Smashing Pumpkins (the Lollapalooza headliner that year) playing "Soma." Even though I already owned their Gish and Siamese Dream albums, watching the band shift from mellow to heavy in a live setting turned me into a believer.

As I recall, Woodstock's 30th Anniversary, in 1999, was totally lame. This was a total low point in the world of "alternative" rock music, and possibly commercialized music in general. If the festival five years previous was marred with a bit of commercialism (incongruous with the ideals of 1969's original), then Woodstock '99 jumped the shark. In contrast to the fun mudslinging (well, relatively speaking...) of '94, this event had a lot of summer heat, angry rioting yuppies, and Limp Bizkit.

Upon Googling "Woodstock 2009," I am happy to report that it (a potential 30th Anniversary festival) has been canceled. That just goes to show how commercial these commemorations have become: If there's not enough anticipated money to be made, then there will be no show. This is in diametric opposition to the ideal of: "If you build it (pull off the show), they will come." Good riddance, Woodstock 1999 + 10.

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