Friday night, why not spend it at Bethel Woods listening to the band Rain– a tribute to the Beatles? I am too young to have had the opportunity to see the Beatles live, but have grown up listening to their music and understanding they were icons in the music industry. In the 1960’s, these four young men from Liverpool, Paul, George, Ringo and John influenced the youth and changed our music. The Beatles songs were about peace, love and rebellion and they lasted for generations. The tribute band members began the show by singing “She Loves You,” followed by “Last Night I Said These Words to My Girl”. As they sang all time favorites they displayed memorable times and serious events in history on the screen – even bringing us back to 1966 comparing the Beatles to Jesus Christ and how the government was promoting the “Beatles boycott”. Leaving the stage to change costumes to remind the crowd of the 60’s and 70’s when the Beatles performed and produced their many different albums. Rain sang so many old time classics like “I want to Hold Your Hand”, “Yesterday,” “Help”, “Day Tripper”, “Twist and Shout”, “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, ”Yellow Submarine”, “With a Little Help From My Friend”, “Eleanor Rigby”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Kaleidoscope”, “Let It Be”, and on and on. The crowd joined in, knowing lyrics to every song. Intermission left Beatle fans reminiscing over the old time commercials and cartoons portrayed on the screen; Country Cornflakes, Fred and Barney from the Flintstones smoking a Winston cigarette—showing us all how times have changed. Then a product all women in the 60’s were familiar with, Dippity Do Setting Gel and displaying how young women really did iron their hair to straighten it.There was three generations of fans in the audience, all being reminded of the musical mystery tour the Beatles originally took them on. With a little imagination, Rain brought us back to those special times over the past years as we enjoyed a Friday night at Bethel Woods, relaxing at the venue, remembering what was and singing some of our favorite songs of all times.
As Carlos Santana entered the stage at Bethel playing “Soul Sacrifice” you could close your eyes and only imagine being front row at Woodstock at what I hear was an amazing performance in 1969. An artist ahead of his time playing Afro Latino rock/blues, Carlos Santana for over 40 years paved the way for Spanish artists around the world. Singing all time great hits such as “No One to Depend On”, “Black Magic Women”, “Oye Como Va”, “Maria, Maria,” “Evil Way”, and many more. Carlos Santana is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, a classic performer who is known as a “rare instrumentalist who can be identified by one note.” Releasing his latest album, Corazon just a few weeks before this performance with an award winning line up of Gloria Estefan, Ziggy Marley, Miguel, and Nina Pastori just to name a few. Carlos Santana’s life has been devoted to activism and humanitarian causes. He reflected from the stage that when he arrived at Woodstock in 1969, he had one expectation, to be “elevated” and had that same expectation today. As he walked over and took a puff on what appeared to be a joint, I thought how the governor was about to announce the changes in legalizing marijuana in NYS. Woodstock was a time individuals were yearning for freedom; whether religious or political, and a willingness to express their views through music, drugs and rock and roll which ultimately has changed the world.Seeing his performance from the front row tonight, even for only a few minutes, allowed me to feel his energy and listen to his signature guitar sound and love for music. What an awesome experience!