Here we have a neat archival live release from the folks at Purple Pyramid of a May 16, 1970 concert performance of US heavy blues rockers Cactus. Adding even further to the cool factor is that this particular show was Cactus' first-ever live show, and it happened to be at the Temple Stadium Outdoor Concert which also featured Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, and the Steve Miller Band. Cactus had just released their debut album, and Carmine Appice (drums, vocals), Jim McCarty (guitar), Tim Bogert (bass, vocals), and Rusty Day (lead vocals, harmonica) were supercharged and ready to go in front of a large audience. The audience must not have been disappointed based on this furious set, which features some hot tracks from the debut plus material from the yet-to-be-released second album. Blistering renditions of "Let Me Swim", "Oleo", "No Need to Worry", "Feel So Good", and of course "Parchman Farm" show the hard rock 'n' boogie fury of Cactus in their infancy, McCarty's guitar licks off the charts, and the rhythm team of the ex-Vanilla Fudge duo pounding the fans into submission. The band thought also dipped into their future with "One Way...Or Another", the title track to their soon-to-be second album, as well as "Sweet Sixteen" from their third album the following year, Restrictions. In actuality, Cactus in their heyday was only around for just over two years, so it's a good chance they were writing material like crazy right around this time.
The sound quality on this live recording is pretty good, Rusty's vocals are pretty clear in the mix and Jim's guitar is front and center. Alongside the other live albums that have surfaced in recent years from Cactus' initial run, The Birth of Cactus-1970 is another one that you will certainly want to add to your collection.
1) One Way...Or Another
2) Sweet Sixteen
3) No Need to Worry
4) Medley: Let Me Swim/Big Mama Boogie/OLEO
5) Feel so Good
6) Parchman Farm