Today, Experience Hendrix and Sony Legacy Records have released a 2 LP / 2 CD complete recording of Jimi Hendrix's July 4, 1970 performance at the Atlanta International Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia. Joining Hendrix onstage that night was drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Billy Cox. The festival was the largest American audience Jimi had played in front of, with an estimate of over 300,000 people in attendance.
From the opening of the set, Jimi and the band get the energy going with three explosive songs: "Fire," "Lover Man," and "Spanish Castle Magic," with the latter having Jimi deliver his signature psychedelic guitar playing.
Jimi mellows down the vibe for "Red House," and he channels his inner bluesman for this spectacular version. "Room Full of Mirrors" shows the band exploring new territory, but the song never found its way onto a proper album before Hendrix's tragic passing on September 18, 1970. Jimi goes back to his blues roots and delivers a mind-bending version of "Hear My Train a Comin'" before breaking into an uplifting performance of "Message to Love."
The second disc opens up with the crowd favorite "All Along the Watchtower," originally written by Bob Dylan, before going into the holiday appropriate "Freedom." Three of Hendrix's biggest early hits, "Foxey Lady," "Purple Haze," and "Hey Joe" follow, and they display Jimi's wizardry for getting guitar sounds that seem out of this world.
Jimi unleashes his own fireworks for a dynamic version of "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)." An energized version of "Stone Free" follows, before fireworks go off in the background and the crowd cheers as Hendrix performs a confident version of the "Star Spangled Banner." Hendrix ends his historic set with "Straight Ahead," a song that appeared on the posthumous 1971 album, The Cry of Love.
To coincide with this release, the Showtime channel will air a new documentary film titled Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church on September 4, 2015. It will detail Hendrix's Atlanta Pop set and the circumstances surrounding it, including interviews with other artists and color footage of the event. The DVD/Blu-Ray will be released on October 30 with bonus footage that will not be on the broadcast version. Watch a preview of "Purple Haze" right here on zumic.
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