Quantcast
metroactive logo

PHOTOS: Monterey Pop Festival’s 50th

In Culture, Music
PAPA JOHN: Pure Comedy at Monterey Pop. Photo by Cristal Romero.

PAPA JOHN: Pure Comedy at Monterey Pop. Photo by Cristal Romero.

There’s nothing new under the sun. That’s what the preacher man said. What has been will be again. So it was at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Monterey International Pop Festival.

Marking the semi-centennial of the event that kicked off 1967’s seminal Summer of Love, folks from all over the state, and even the country, gathered for three days of peace, love and music at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.

SOAK UP THE SUN: At the main stage at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Photo by Cristal Romero.

SOAK UP THE SUN: At the main stage at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Photo by Cristal Romero.

The three-day festival was quite intimate by today’s mega-fest standards. That was a relief. Attempting to traverse the entirety of Golden Gate Park or the Empire Polo Fields in Indio can be a daunting task. By comparison with its bigger cousins, Outside Lands and Coachella, Monterey Pop 2017 was a breeze. Also, street parking was available just a short walk from the fairgrounds, which is always nice (shout out to BottleRock).

TIP YOUR BARTENDER: With just a few concession stands at fairgrounds, it was easy to get to know the service staff. Photo by Cristal Romero.

TIP YOUR BARTENDER: With just a few concession stands at fairgrounds, it was easy to get to know the service staff. Photo by Cristal Romero.

Getting away from San Jose’s crushing heat was also nice. Monterey—a town known for dreary fog and chilly coastal breezes was downright pleasant for most of the festival.

DSC_7782

PURE COMEDY: Enjoying Father John Misty’s set at Monterey Pop. Photo by Cristal Romero.

Though there were no truly “international” acts, the lineup was quite eclectic—mirroring the first Monterey Pop, which in hindsight seems quite prophetic in the way it demonstrated how such a diverse range of sounds from around the globe and across cultural lines would ultimately come together to form the fabric of our modern musical landscape.

Where would we be today without the exotic yet accessible melodies of Ravi Shankar, the singer-songwriter tradition, blues, R&B and psychedelic rock?

The sounds of 1967 could be heard in most of the acts at the 50th anniversary fest—from the rambling, socially conscious folk-rock of Father John Misty to the soulful and energetic explosions of Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. The rollicking indie rock of Dr. Dog feels at once clearly connected to “Like A Rolling Stone” while also standing apart as something decidedly modern.

FTJ FTW: Father John Misty's new material translated better on stage than on his latest effort. Photo by Cristal Romero.

FTJ FTW: Father John Misty’s new material translated better on stage than on his latest effort. Photo by Cristal Romero.

Mostly, for this humble music critic, Monterey Pop simply served as a reminder that festival season has returned. It’s time to get out into the sun and enjoy some music. Check out the full gallery of photos here.

Back to top