Best Ever Festival Sets To Stream Online: Psychedelic Rock

Best Ever Festival Sets To Stream Online: Psychedelic Rock

With seemingly the whole world in lockdown, it feels like what people are really craving is shared musical experiences, as is evidenced by the slew of live streamed concerts popping up every day. 

Of course we understand this desire. Thankfully the internet exists, so we thought while people are spending most of their time indoors it might be fun to look back and collect some of our favourite ever festival sets for your viewing pleasure.

What we need now to take our minds away from the news are the most immersive, transportive performances of all time. Built on these very principles, no other genre can do this like psychedelic rock, so really there was no where else to start this series off.

Crank the volume, and float along with some of the best to ever do it. 

Grateful Dead - Woodstock, 1969


Although the band didn't feel they performed up to standard at the most famous festival in pop music history, and their time on stage ended early due to technical difficulties, this Grateful Dead set is pretty much the definition of the 60s mantra turn on, tune in, drop out. 

The Doors - Isle of Wight, 1970


Sadly this is one of the last performance from The Doors as Jim Morrison passed away less than a year later. The set has a real spaced out, less manic feel than other Doors shows caught on tape, perhaps owing to the fact that The Lizard King himself is visibly inebriated. You can read more about the historical context of the performance here.

George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic - Montreux, 2004


Calling this one rock is of course a bit of a stretch, but absolutely no one can call into question George Clinton's right to the label of psychedelic. Single-handedly creating a new sound in the 70s which merged soul and funk with the mind-expansion principles of the late 60s, this set finds Clinton bringing his duel Parliament and Funkadelic projects and 30+ years of psych freakout experience to the most storied jazz festival in the world.

Pink Floyd - Live 8, 2005


No psychedelic rock list would be complete without an entry from Pink Floyd. Although clearly not in their prime here, the set is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it was the first time founding member Roger Waters played with the band in over 24 years. And second, in only 23 minutes they managed to squeeze in 'Breath', 'Money', 'Wish You Were Here', and 'Comfortably Numb'. Hard to argue with that setlist. 

Bonus content for your proper psych freakout needs: Pink Floyd jamming with Frank Zappa in 1969 

Animal Collective - Melt Festival, 2009


Another non-rock entry, in the late aughts and early 2010s few acts could transport audiences into another dimension better than Animal Collective. This set from Germany's Melt Festival finds the group touring behind their newly released landmark psychedelic album Merriweather Post Pavilion, and is a serious trip. 

The Flaming Lips - Hangout Music Festival, 2012


The definitive contemporary psychedelic band, The Flaming Lips have been proudly waving their freak flag high for nearly four decades. This set from Hangout finds them pulling out all the stops as only they can, performing anthemic sing-alongs like 'Do You Realize?' and 'She Don't Use Jelly' before breaking into a full album cover of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. Throw in their patented technicolour stage production and I don't think a more psychedelic musical experience exists. 

Tame Impala - Glastonbury, 2013


Kevin Parker's psych rock credentials have been called into question since he's evolved into a world-beating pop producer, but back in 2013 he was being labelled the new saviour of psych music. Guitar, bass, and live drums were still very much the core of Tame Impala's sound here, which, in the wake of knowing what was to come, makes watching their first appearance at Glastonbury all the more interesting. 

Goat - Roskilde, 2013


The mysterious outfit from Sweden, Goat are easily one of the most mystically psychedelic bands around these days. Their sets are filled with hypnotic grooves and incessant drum patterns that tap into some primordial feeling. Their ability to transcend and bring an audience together is on full display in this set from Roskilde. 

Caribou - Dimensions, 2014


It's fair to say Caribou is anchored in electronic music, but the solo project from Canada's Dan Snaith is a full band outfit for shows. Pulling from a wide range of sounds, the four piece band is a cosmic force when performing live, as is evidenced by this Dimensions opening set from 2014. 

Oh Sees - La Route du Rock, 2017


There have been some diversions on this list, so to finish up we're taking it as psych rock as you can get. Enter Oh Sees. Meandering fuzzed out guitars, rock solid bass, two drummers, and some synth lines for good measure. Any Oh Sees set is a visceral experience, and this one from La Route du Rock has so much energy it oozes through the computer screen. Just what the doctor ordered.  


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