Hot Tuna celebrates 50 years of psychedelia

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Jack Casady (middle) and Jorma Kaukonen (right) are the founding members of the band, since the late 60's. Courtesy of Laxson Auditorium.

Legendary 1960s rock group, Hot Tuna, graced the stage at Laxson Auditorium on Sunday night for their 50th anniversary tour. Their show emphasised to many of their dedicated fans that they still bring an incredible musical experience after all these years. 

The set was complete with no shortage of solos from guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady, both the original founders of the band from when it formed in the late 60’s. Songs like “San Francisco Bay Blues” and “Bowlegged Woman, Knock Kneed Man” showcased the talent of both Kaukonen and Casady with drawn-out guitar and bass solos that never stopped giving what their audience came to hear.

Some more blues-based songs like “Barbeque King” and “Hesitation Blues” had a more moody, classic blues rock sound that contained lots of bass riffs courtesy of Casady. Almost every song had a unique instrumental where each band member showed off their long practiced craft. There were moments when audience members and fans would stand up along the sides of the auditorium to dance and sing along.

The band was sure to play some favorites, like “Water Song” and “Livin Just For You” and even had an encore after an incredible 3 hour set. With no opening band, Hot Tuna was able to play hits from each different era of the band.

For many, this show celebrated the impact Hot Tuna made during the 60’s San Francisco music wave. Since 1969, Kaukonen and Casady have kept the band alive even after the group was supposed to be a spinoff of Jefferson Airplane, which both were members of as well. The band has been keeping the spirit of the Age of Aquarius alive since then, and the rest is history. 

Sunday’s performance was nothing short of a reminder of an era that will forever be known for the music and subculture that brought a generation together. Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen have more than proved themselves of their titles as some of the most influential figureheads of Psychedelic Rock.

Hot Tuna’s 50th anniversary tour is currently running and to catch up on dates or any information about the band, visit their official website.

Danielle Kessler can be reached at [email protected] or @reserv0irpups on Twitter.