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Band with Woodstock theme honors vets

1969 revisits music ’60s with show Vipers-Alley March 29 honor Viet Nam veterans.

1969 revisits the music of the ’60s with a show at Vipers-Alley on March 29 in honor of Viet Nam veterans.

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Woodstock Tribute to Vietnam Vets

♦ 9 p.m. March 29

♦ Viper Alley, 275 Parkway Drive, Lincolnshire

♦ Tickets, $10 general admission; half-price for all Vets with ID

♦ (847) 499-5000;

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The seven-piece band 1969 rocks lots of tie dye and fringe as it takes listeners back in a musical time machine to the psychedelic era.

The Woodstock-themed performance takes on a special meaning as the cover band revisits the ’60s with fellow Chicagoland group, Classical Blast, in a tribute concert on National Vietnam Veterans Day on March 29 at Viper Alley.

“The Vietnam era was fraught with complexities — the age of a horrible war, the age of Aquarius, age of the peace movement. It was also an era of fantastic — what has now become classic — rock music and huge outdoor music festivals,” said Barbara Weigand, of ArtsWarrior, an arts management company.

With much of the music from that time being a product of the war, the songs were how soldiers stayed connected to home. Bass player Jaimie Koppenhoefer recalled a previous show 1969 played in Elmhurst where a veteran requested “We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place” by The Animals.

“That was the song that got them through. People lived through their music then,” Koppenhoefer said. “We’ll always get a Vietnam vet come up at shows and tell us how much that music really means to them.”

The Viper Alley concert, set in the 40th anniversary year of the American troops return from Vietnam, aims to evoke the same feelings music gave during that decade.

“We’re going to re-create a little piece of Woodstock as perhaps it should have been done the first time, as a homecoming celebration for those vets,” Weigand said.

1969 and Classical Blast will cover musical legends Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Airplane, Sly & the Family Stone, Joe Cocker, the Beatles and many other artists from the era.

“The show is for all veterans. We’re proud of all of them. But especially the Vietnam vets who weren’t necessarily recognized like they should have been back then,” Koppenhoefer said.

Marissa Curnutte is a local free-lance writer.

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