ST. PETERSBURG TIMES - by Suzanne Harris:
“Jimi Hendrix fingered the strings of his white guitar with the intrigued air of a child examining a shiny new toy. ‘I’m fascinated with it,’ he grinned. ‘I’m diggin’ it.’
His interest in the guitar was surprisingly naive for a guy who has been on the road with the present group for two straight years, playing the frenzied electronic sound that plugs people in like nothing else, ‘Y’all labeled it.. electronic,’ he said, ‘I don’t know nothin’ about it... We have amplifiers and I know how to turn a button up and down,’ he said, twiddling a knob on the guitar. ‘That’s all.’
In the moments before Hendrix strode on stage at Curtis Hixon last night, some 7,000 pairs of feet began stomping in anticipation. When he came on, a shrill whistle rose from the crowd. He has fuzzy, black hair, sprouting from his head, and was wearing a flowered shirt, black vest, beads, and has a red scarf tied around one leg of his white, bell-bottomed slacks.
‘How y’all doin’!’ he said softly into the microphone. ‘I’d like to dedicate this show to four Costa Rican girls...’ (They had made their way backstage to talk to Hendrix before the show.)
As the show began, ushers lined up in front of the stage to keep the utterly ‘freaked-out’ from joining the show.... Hendrix plays with.. Noel Redding. . and Mitch Mitchell... Together they created a sound without a beginning, without end, just middle. When he played, the roof caved in, the walls shook and the floor vibrated. When it was all over, you wondered what had happened. Hendrix squeezed his soul through the guitar and into the audience, sometime letting it emerge as a mean piece of blues, other times making it scream to every corner of the room.
When the blues were soft and gentle, the audience rested in his hand; when the sound was frenzied and angry, it was at the end of a shotgun. But Jimi Hendrix thought the audience was lagging far behind him last night. Those buzzes and whines, shrieks and whirs can really be tamed. And Jimi Hendrix is doing it.”
ST. PETERSBURG TIMES by Kay Donahue:
“Jimi Hendrix stopped singing in the middle of a phrase of ‘Purple Haze,’ turned his back on the audience and finished the song as an instrumental. Bass player Noel Redding moved to the micro phone and offered a few adlibbed words of the song in a futile attempt to dull the impact of Hendrix’s obvious anger.
Purple Haze’ was finally finished. Hendrix turned to the audience, slowly put down his guitar, replaced the usual peace sign with a gesture using his middle finger and strode off stage. Though he’d been performing almost an hour, his action was not the normal climax of a concert. The audience sat in stunned silence then there was a mixture of applause and catcalls.
What motivated Hendrjx’s unorthodox behavior? He told the policeman who escorted him to the car the audience was bad and just wouldn’t react. During the performance he complained about the number of people taking pictures saying, ‘It’s too bad you spent all that money for one picture. I thought you came for sound.’ Regardless of the cause, Hendrix’s behavior was inexcusable.
For the second time in four months he packed Curtis Hixon... And for the second time he failed to give the audience what they came to see - that Hendrix magic and excitement so evident in his spring appearance at the Miami Pop Festival.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience has been on the road for more than two years and the members are tired. This was the problem at the last concert.
Hendrix’s obvious good mood during interviews before the performance promised a better performance than the one in August. The presentation of ‘Fire’ as the show’s opener indicated a good show to come. It had the driving excitement that kept Miami listeners on their feet all through his performance last spring.
As the flashbulbs continued to light the house with psychedelic effect and the audience sat silently listening to his sound, Hendrix became angry. As his anger increased, the quality of the performance decreased. By the end of the show he was a stranger to the crowd - an experience they didn’t especially dig... Maybe Hendrix should decide two years on the road is long enough and take a rest - for his audience’s sake.”