Jimi Hendrix Performs Electronic Thanksgiving On This Day in 1968

Thanksgiving was a lot groovier in 1968 when my man Jimi Hendrix was melting minds and changing the course of rock 'n' roll. He celebrated the secular holiday with none other than an electronic concert as part of his Fall U.S. Tour. He actually did two concerts this day, but the one we'll be talking about on this edition of Setlist History is the first show that took place in New York City's Philharmonic Hall.
It was dubbed "Electronic" Thanksgiving due to the sole fact that on November 28th, 1968, the Philharmonic was home to "academic" forms of music. That meant conservative performances, operatic, and strict. Enter, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Drummer Mitch Mitchell gives a little backstory":
"We'd always wanted to play Carnegie Hall, but they wouldn't have us. In lieu of that we were offered the Philharmonic, which was great. Lovely hall, very prestigious, no rock band had ever played there. Only one problem, a member of the band had to play in a symphonic context. Jimi and Noel flatly refused, so I thought OK, what the hell, I'll do it. Would I mind having tea with Leonard Bernstein? Which I did; charming chap. He suggested that I might like to play percussion with The New York Brass Ensemble. It was fine, I went on with them, with a collar and tie on and did some Bach and a little Mozart after which The Experience played. It was a great gig."
The band brought in giant speakers turned all the way up, and after a performance by classical pianist Fernando Valenti, Hendrix and his band took the stage, and started playing after Jimi stated: “we haven’t practiced for a while, so we’re just going to jam a little and see what happens." Bassist Noel Redding was also part of the band.
At the time, critics like the New York Times compared Hendrix's performance to classical virtuosos like Paganini, and his climaxes to those of Beethoven - granting the musical prodigy a rightful place in the Philharmonic among the best of the best. They described him as a "an impeccable musician-singer, a one- man revolutionary, lover and showman."
The critics may have thought what they thought, but the crowd was there for the Hendrix Experience, as it was packed out with his most devout fans on the Thanksgiving holiday. Some critics called them "teenyboppers" while others simply addressed them as the "rock audience." Today, I might refer to them as my "cool hippy grandparents."
Needless to say, they were not there for harpsichord player Mr. Valenti, from what I've read in reviews. They were there to witness the brilliance of Mr. Hendrix and his impeccable musicianship.
As for the setlist? Between the jamming improvisation, Hendrix and his band did eight songs of his best of the best, starting off with "Fire" and going into licks like "Hear My Train a Comin'," "Foxy Lady," CREAM's "Sunshine of Your Love," and set finale, "Purple Haze."
See the full setlist right here:
Jimi Hendrix
You can hear the whole concert recording right here:

Whatever you're doing this Thanksgiving holiday, take a moment to enjoy so pure, raw Hendrix and give thanks to the god of rock 'n' roll!
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Last updated: 9 Dec 2019, 23:46 Etc/UTC