(photo credit: Geoff Clein)
The third annual Woodstock Revival festival on Thursday night proved that the
good vibes and music of the previous two years were no fluke. In fact, the
caliber of the lineup may have been the best yet.
Natan Galili (full
disclosure – he works with me at The Post) provided a warm and inviting opening
slot with a set of Bob Dylan acoustic tunes from his 1960s heyday that put the
crowd into the proper retro mood.
Another young act, Pritzat Disk,
offered excellent renditions of Led Zeppelin classics from their oeuvre,
preferring to stick to the original arrangements rather than over embellish them
as most Zeppelin tribute bands attempt. Claire Dane and Graffiti kept things in
a holding pattern with a mixed set of classic rock having little to do with the
Woodstock nation, including bar band versions of Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the
Free World” and Guns & Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and a Queen medley that
was valiant in ambition but lacked a little in execution.
For many the
highlight of the evening came next with the return of local Anglo legend Libby
to the Israeli stage after many years abroad. With her band The Flash, she lit
up the stage with her ‘star’ persona and spirited versions of classics by The
Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin.
A truly emotional moment occurred
when she called up her many friends from the past – including Yael Deckelbaum,
who used to sit onstage two decades ago when Libby used to perform, Israel
Radio’s Idele Ross, and ace blues harmonica player Dave Silverman, for a group
version of “With a Little Help From my Friends.”
It helped wash away the
slightly creepy sensation of the tight-shorted grandma undulating suggestively
one moment and then introducing her grandchildren the next.
band, featuring members of Crosby, Stills and Nash tribute band Long Time Gone
performing their Creedence Clearwater Revival set, brought the energy level down
a little, but it was an impressive set – one of the only of the evening that
attempted to layer their music a little with a mix of electric/acoustic,
rock/country and other tempos besides just fast and four to the
When Deckelbaum took over, the night went into overdrive, with a
well-received acoustic set highlighted by Joni Mitchell covers. Then Deckelbaum
brought out the country’s top jam band Tree for tremendous versions of
“Woodstock” and “Piece of My Heart.”
Tree then closed the show on their
own with an incendiary set of Grateful Dead tunes, heavy on the acid rock of San
Francisco band’s early days, especially an explosive version of “The Other One”
that may have had old-timers experiencing flashbacks.
For the five
hours-plus of music provided, as well as the mellow surroundings and ambience,
the Woodstock Revival continues to be one of the year’s best musical values.