My new-found old friend Robbie set us up with VIP passes to the 40th Summer of Love Reunion in Monterey. The show turned out to be one of our all-time favorite live music events, mainly due to the “unstructuredness” of it all. No one seemed to care much about where anyone sat or if a rogue photographer obstructed their view for a minute or two. This was the most laid-back concert crowd ever. Aging hippies rule!
I’m sorry to say that no guitars went up in flames while we watched, but there were a few memorable moments. The David LaFlamme Band put on a great show early in the day. It was fun to sing every word of Hot Summer Day and White Bird along with the rest of the crowd. Evidently, I’m not the only dude who still loves these tunes – even after (gulp!) almost 40 years. Anyway, the band played with a lot of skill and energy, and of course, it was great to see Robbie play again! It seems I may have inadvertently snapped more than a few pictures of Rob on and off stage. Not sure how that happened… 🙂
The RaveUps rocked hard and reminded us just how good some of the music of the 60’s is during their scorching Yardbirds tribute, but the most amazing performance came from a Beatles tribute band from Alameda, California called the Sun Kings. Now, when I hear “Beatles tributes band”, I expect them to play tunes like Twist and Shout and I Want to Hold Your Hand. This was not the case with the Sun Kings. No – they skipped the lighter fare and dove straight into the album that changed the world forever – Sgt. Peppers. Backed by the amazing Liddypudlians, they played the whole album – flawlessly. The band could not possibly have found a more perfect audience – some of whom had seen the real Beatles perform at Shea Stadium in 1965. The Sun Kings were the only band to receive a standing-ovation and perform an encore while we were at the Festival.
I was so stunned by the performance that I could barely raise my camera off my lap. I felt tears well up in my eyes. I was probably feeling nostalgic for a beautiful carefree time in my life and the amazing soundtrack that accompanied it. Or maybe it was the Jesus weed.