Woodstock Flashback: The Band Unloads “The Weight”
On Sunday, August 17, 1969, at Yasgur’s Farm, The Band performed 7 of the 11 songs from their 1968 debut album, Music From Big Pink – an LP that quickly became a cult classic due in no small part to the inclusion of “The Weight” in the 1969 biker movie Easy Rider not to mention the band’s stellar performance at Woodstock.
In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Music From Big Pink 34th on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
As for The Band’s Woodstock performance, it was omitted entirely from the festival’s official soundtrack because of licensing issues. Had there not been legal complications, it’s likely “The Weight” and/or the cover of Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” (see setlist below) would have been included on the soundtrack. (A cover version of “The Weight” by the band Smith appears on the soundtrack.)
Let’s flashback to the heady days of ’69 as The Band performed for legions on the fields of Yasgur’s Farm.
August 17, 1969
Yasgur’s Farm, Bethel, NY
Levon Helm – drums, vocals, mandolin
Robbie Robertson – guitar, vocals
Rick Danko – bass, vocals
Garth Hudson – organ, piano, clavinet, synthesizer, saxophone
Richard Manuel – piano, organ, vocals, drums
Chest Fever, Don’t Do It, Tears Of Rage, We Can Talk, Long Black Veil, Don’t You Tell Henry, Ain’t No More Cane On The Brazos, This Wheel’s On Fire, I Shall Be Released, The Weight E: Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
The Band’s laid-back style and sound – blending country, folk-rock and R&B – lock in behind the crisp, warm-whiskey vocals of the legendary Levon Helm.