Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage

Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage ★★★

Jewel says it most succintly here:

"The '99 Woodstock seemed like it was trying to relive a nostalgic moment, along with commericalism and capitalism, but not having a real soulful purpose for the show..."

The moment that got me, that turned my stomach inside out, was the collective crowd moving in optical illusion-like rhythmic waves during Limp Bizkit's performance of "Break Stuff". Maybe it's my inner introvert coming out, or maybe it's my fear of large crowds, or maybe it's my post-pandemic fear of being anywhere near a stranger's bubble, but I have never ever felt so sick watching anything like this. This was not just an audience of young people on the edge, this was a whole generation teetering toward something you cannot come back from...

There are no easy simple answers here. There won't ever be. And though Garrett Price has some fascinating talking points that do add heft to his theses as to why this all went to hell - as well as some truly grueling, claustrophic footage - the documentary ultimately goes in too many varying and segued directions and ends up loses its focus and cohesiveness the farther it goes despite some decent talking head interviews and genuinely well-put together craft of narrative and tension for how the weekend and the show itself escalated the further it went.

Is there a greater perceived violation than an older generation forcing itself, its values, its traditions, etc on the newer generation? Woodstock '99 may be the best microcosmic example of this. You can't force them to care, especially when there is nothing outside of themselves to care about.

This served no purpose but the money that was to be made from it. This audience, this generation, knew the score here. And that's why they burned it all to the ground.

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