Arvada Center Blog

The Arvada Center gets groovy for Woodstock’s 50th anniversary

Posted by Sarah Kolb on June 11th 2019 to Friends of the Center,In the News

The Arvada Center gets groovy for Woodstock’s 50th anniversary

By Leslie Simon

It was a tumultuous time for the United States in 1969, and an estimated 400,000 music fans descended upon upstate New York for a three-day celebration promoting love and peace at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm. While the official Woodstock 50th Anniversary festival is still in planning stages, the Arvada Center is excited to bring some of those legends of Woodstock to our outdoor amphitheatre on August 29.

The Legends of Rock tour consists of four memorable acts who have influenced generations of bands and created entirely new music genres. Most famous for their time with Janis Joplin on lead vocals, Big Brother and the Holding Company are one of the original San Francisco psychedelic rock bands that came from the same scene as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

At the time, Big Brother was looking for a female vocalist. Austin-based Janis Joplin was debating joining fellow Austinite Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators (the band that invented the term psychedelic rock), but after some serious cajoling she headed to San Francisco to join Big Brother- and the rest is history.


British blues rock band Ten Years After had a major hit with the song “I’d Love To Change the World,” the highlight being an electric guitar solo by Alvin Lee that shows him to be an equal to Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. With lightning fast guitar shredding and Vietnam War-inspired lyrics, Ten Years After helped create the hard rock sound that later influenced rock stars like Van Halen and Steve Vai.



Vanilla Fudge’s biggest hit comes from an unlikely place- The Supremes! Their extended cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” helped the band become the link between psychedelic and heavy metal, inspiring and influencing Led Zeppelin, Yes and Black Sabbath. Inspired themselves by The Rascals (led by Felix Cavaliere, who graces the Arvada Center stage on August 17), Vanilla Fudge created their own brand of blue-eyed soul by incorporating heavy guitars and creating the power rock sound.



Rounding out the lineup we have Corky Laing of Mountain, whose hit “Mississippi Queen” had every woman both east and west of the Mississippi River getting down as if the song was about them. Their tough but melodic sound was carried along by the ferocious drumming of multi-instrumentalist Laurence Mustard “Corky” Laing. Corky has recorded with everyone from Velvet Underground’s John Cale to Bo Diddley and shows no sign of stopping.


So get your tie-dye shirt on, grab those love beads, and join us for the Woodstock 50th anniversary with the Legends of Rock tour. Buy your tickets today, and get ready to be transported back to the psychedelic 60s this summer at the Arvada Center.

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