Monterey Pop Festival revisited: Images from first day

Tahoe Onstage
Regina Spektor’s performance was a highlight on Day 1 of the Monterey Pop Festival.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA — The marking of the 50th anniversary of the iconic Monterey Pop Festival kicked off Friday at high noon with a solo acoustic set from singer-songwriter Sara Watkins before a smattering of a few hundred people.

The Monterey County Fairgrounds crowd and the sounds built throughout sunny day, which was filled with terrific performances, plenty of homage to 1967, messages of love and a few carefully crafted political views. Langhorne Slim got everyone’s music mojo going, Charles Bradley belted out soul, Nathaniel Rateliff bumped up the tempo, Eric Burdon ran through hit after hit, Regina Spektor gave everyone a beautifully crafted hour before dinnertime before Father John Misty and Leon Bridges took things into the night.

Eleven hours after it had begun, Bridges waved goodbye with Father John Misty, Nathaniel Ratliff, and Danny Clinch coming out from behind his camera to play harmonica, joining the band in some unbridled dancing around the stage not caring if they looked cool or goofy.  In the spirit of this festival, and as a message to all in attendance, they were just letting it all hang out.

-Michael Smyth

Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Langhorne Slim got everyone’s music mojo going in Monterey.
Tahoe Onstage
Eric Burdon returned to the Monterey Fairgrounds 50 years later.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage
Charles Bradley belted out soul in Monterey.
Michael Smyth
Sara Watkins was the first to step onstage.

Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Michael Smyth
Through the fog, it’s Father John Misty.

Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage
Luke Mossman is the lead guitarist for Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

ABOUT Michael Smyth

Michael Smyth
Michael Smyth moved to Reno in 2007 after living more than 40 years in the Bay Area. In addition to going to live shows, he enjoys golf, skiing and fly-fishing. Check out his website https://michaelsmythmedia.com/

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