Threadgill's World HQ, June 17
Under a menacing gray sky, Sunday's local 40th anniversary tribute to the Monterey International Pop Festival boasted numerous standout performances with nary a freak-out in sight. Sitarist Amie Maciszewski opened with a mesmerizing nod to Ravi Shankar's seminal Monterey set, followed by Skyrocket's Darin Murphy and Benjamin Hotchkiss doing their best Simon & Garfunkel. After a toe-tapping take on "The 59th St. Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)," Hotchkiss then pulled off a soaring rendition of Garfunkel's "For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her." Ted Roddy stood tall at the intersection of blues and psychedelia by blowing mad harp all over Paul Butterfield's "Born in Chicago," while the Conrads uncovered the connection between Johnny Rivers and the Grateful Dead, opening on a Rivers-style version of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" in honor of Father's Day, then lighting a fire under the Dead's "Truckin'" by reclaiming the song's R&B essence from classic-rock overkill. Memphis-groove aficionados McLemore Avenue ushered in soul time with Booker T.'s "Hip Hug-Her" and "Green Onions" before Nakia serenaded the love crowd with Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long." The Alabama-born vocalist brought everything but Redding's fly green suit to the song. Guitarists Rob Gjersoe and Mario Matteoli joined show promoter Paul Minor for a Byrds/Buffalo Springfield channeling that ended with a crowd sing-along on "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," and Nakia teamed up with Sheboygan for a fully fleshed version of Scott McKenzie's "San Francisco." Cat Scientist siren Rae Craig embodied Janis Joplin and Grace Slick in one ovation-worthy sloop of "Piece of My Heart" and "Somebody to Love" before the Superego All-Stars and Tia Carrera immolated the garden with a Who/Hendrix double shot. Papa John would have been proud.
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