Jimi Hendrix

The Rainbow Bridge Concert: The Late Show

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The concert held at Haleakala Crater in Hawaii in July of 1970 was supposed to be part of the film Rainbow Bridge, but very little of the concert footage was used in the film. Stranger still, none of it was used on the soundtrack album Rainbow Bridge. The set has been bootlegged in the past, but this marks the first official release of this material. For the second set, Hendrix played new material exclusively, except for "Red House." He also played a Gibson Flying-V instead of his near-trademark Fender Stratocaster, giving him a thicker guitar tone. Hendrix starts strong on "Dolly Dagger" and goes straight into "Villanova Juction" (here simply titled "Instrumental"). This is followed by one of the better live versions of "Ezy Rider," with Billy Cox lending strong support on bass. After an excellent version of "Red House," Hendrix loses his way a bit, drifting into "Straight Ahead" during "Jam Back at the House," but finished the tune strong with all his effect pedals working nicely together. The set ends with an up-tempo jam tacked onto the end of "New Rising Sun." This is quite an interesting live set, because the intimate venue and relative lack of commercial pressure allowed Hendrix to relax on-stage with a lot of his newer material. Sound quality is quite good, although the drums are a bit distant. Some critics have said that Hendrix's playing declined after the breakup of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but this set shows that Hendrix was always moving forward, incorporating new tones and effects as well as Spanish scales into his playing. There were certainly some lackluster performances during that time period, but the Rainbow Bridge concerts show that Hendrix still had some excellent playing left in him. [Both sets are also available combined onto a two-CD set.]

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