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Best Woodstock Performances

Which have stood the test of time?


Mountain - "Southbound Train"

Raven Records
Blues rockers Mountain hadn't yet released any albums and had performed a grand total of three live gigs before they took the stage at Woodstock on the evening of the second day of the festival. Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, Steve Knight and Norman Smart soldiered through a 12-song set, capped off by "Southbound Train."

Santana - "Soul Sacrifice"

Timing is everything, and having legendary promoter Bill Graham as your manager doesn't hurt. Santana was well-known on the San Francisco club circuit, but virtually unknown to most of the Woodstock audience. Nonetheless, there was an immediate connection, and Santana's entire set is cited as the meteoric launch of their long and successful career, beginning with their self-titled debut album, released just days after the festival. This performance of "Soul Sacrifice" is one of the band's most memorable. It features the youngest performer at Woodstock, 20-year-old drummer Michael Shrieve.

The Who - "My Generation"

© Photo Flashbacks - The Doug Hartley Collection
The Who were one of the best known bands at Woodstock. Like Jefferson Airplane, who they played just ahead of, they were scheduled to headline the Saturday night performances, but didn't get to perform until the pre-dawn hours Sunday. Their set consisted almost entirely of the rock opera Tommy (not counting the interlude when Pete Townshend clocked Abbie Hoffman in the head with his guitar after Hoffman stormed the stage and commandeered the microphone), but they ended the set with the title track from their 1965 debut album, My Generation.
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