In what would be her final public live performance, Janis Joplin packed Cambridge’s Harvard Stadium to the brim and beyond in 1970 for a show that goes down as one of Boston’s most famous live music moments.
According to an article on Harvard.edu about one of the photographers at the show, only about 10,000 people were allowed inside the stadium but the crowd of people that gathered around the stadium to get a glimpse of the show reached as high as about 40,000. Many fans even climbed the walls of the stadium to get inside!
Janis had been touring with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, who recorded with her for her final album Pearl. Not surprisingly, the relatively brief setlist included cuts from that album like “Mercedes Benz” and “My Baby.” Joplin died less than two months after the show due to a drug overdose.
Below is rare audio of the song “Mercedes Benz” from the actual show (or so it claims). There is also a supposed bootleg recording of the entire show online.
Setlist: Janis Joplin at Harvard Stadium, 8/12/12
- Tell Mama
- Half Moon
- Mercedes Benz
- My Baby
- Full Tilt