[Photo by John Ruscher]
In the spring of 1968, when Bill Graham’s Fillmore East opened its doors in the East Village of Manhattan, a man named Joshua White was chosen as one of the resident visual artists to conduct liquid light shows behind the venue’s musical acts. White and his team became known as the Joshua Light Show, going on to collaborate with artists such as Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane and Jimi Hendrix. Since then, they have continued to operate, only after the closing of the Fillmore and a shift from the ’60s counterculture, their focus turned more toward television, museum and classical exhibits.
But in recent years, psychedelic visual effects have seemingly found their way back to the musical stage. Video projection artists are now commonplace at DIY venues, and, for many bands, light shows and visual effects are an integral part of their performance.
So it’s not surprising that Mr. White and his team have also found their way back into certain corners of the musical world, even if these are extremely seldom occurrences. In 2009, the Joshua Light Show resurfaced for a rare collaborative performance with indie legends Yo La Tengo at New York’s Roseland Ballroom, and then in 2010 declared a four night residency at the Abrons Arts Center in the Lower East Side with different artists each night (one early and one late show. Fillmore style).
On the second of these nights, Brooklyn psych folk outfit Woods performed the late set with the Light Show’s swirling meld of color behind them. NYC taper was on hand to capture an excellent recording of the show, which has since become one of the more sought after tapes in the Woods live catalog. Fueled by the energy of the light show, the band stretched out their songs even further on this night, offering good reason as to why they had been chosen for this rare show by the legendary Joshua Light Show. Below, listen to two of the songs from the show or head to NYC Taper’s site to download the full performance.
Download Link: Woods 2010-05-13 Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY
[Art by Jeremy Earl]