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Bob SCREAMIN BLUE Johnson's Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
A pre-show article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel review.
How ya doin' Rustniks,
I had a great time at the Ale House. It was nice to see some familiar faces and meet some new people. A big "how ya doin'" to Tom Edgerton, Mike Sobota (I hope you enjoyed your first Neil show), Irwin Gaines (thanks again for the SOYH cds) Chuck King and the guys with him (Ron and Kurt?) Steve from Australia and Steve Dittman and your brother Kevin.
The only female Rustie I met was Pauline. "Good to see you" again and it was a pleasure to meet your husband. Sharon, where were you? I also didn't see Jeff Steinhardt, who had made the decision to have the RustFest at the Ale House. Were you there and we didn't see you? I did see a guy walk through wearing a MORE BARN! shirt and I yelled at him, but he didn't hear me and he went outside. Was that you, Jeff?
There were a lot of people at the pub watching the game and going to the show. There were Neil Young T-shirts everywhere. It was really great to see. I talked to quite a few of them. One guy said he was a "Neil Young purist" so he didn't go to CSNY. Another couple had drove to Milwaukee from North Dakota. The oatmeal stout got me nice and loose for the show. The only bad things about the Ale House were the TV reception and the Packer game: the Packers lost. ;-(
At 6pm we (my daughter, Corrie, was with me) drove over to the Marcus Amphitheater, bought T-shirts and waited to go in. We could not believe what good luck we had with our location. We kept walking forward closer and closer to the stage. 6th row, not bad! Best seats I've had for anything.
Tegan and Sara were OK. Corrie liked them better than I did. Just as they went on I noticed a man and a woman sit down just a couple of rows ahead of me. He seemed to be a big fan cause he kept cheering them on. Steve Dittman told me later that it was Elliot Roberts. I had also noticed someone video taping them in front of the 1st row. Irwin told me later it was Zeke.
Very quickly the Pretenders were on. Good show. They opened with The Loner and closed as their only encore with TNATDD. Chrissie did all of her stage antics as previously described. She kissed the stage, gave the crowd the finger because we weren't vegetarians like her. We enjoyed it, you have to take everything with a grain of salt.
The only bad things at the show were pretty minor. The guy sitting in front of me was a little taller than me so it was a little hard to see around him. During Razor Love there was one guy in the front row who wouldn't sit down and people started yelling at him which was very distracting. The guy behind me kept yelling for Hurricane between songs which was annoying.
Now, about Neil. The set list was basically the same as before. But he did You and Me, which was new for the tour. Motorcycle Mama was good and yes Pegi can sing. Powderfinger. Walk On got the crowd going again after an acoustic set that was maybe just a little too long. The electric Unknown Legend was a crowd favorite. Since Harley Davidsons are made in Milwaukee, that line was sung loudly by the crowd.
Words was everything that everyone has said about it and more. It was mesmerizing. I could not stop seat dancing. No one else was standing at the time but I finally had to get up and let it out because I couldn't take it anymore. It was like I was in a trance. I was dancing so hard my hat flew off and landed in the row behind me. I was embarrassed but the guy behind me thought it was cool. He gave me a high five for it.
The most "exciting" part of the show was TTN. They were having sound problems all through the show. I think mainly problems on the stage, because I couldn't hear anything wrong. Neil was pointing to the monitors behind him several times and once had to tell somebody to turn up the steel guitar and the backup vocals and Spooner's piano. Larry and another guy kept coming on stage and going back throughout. Neil made a comment about "These guys keep trying to sell me drugs but I just say no" or something like that.
Just as Neil started singing TTN his mic started to feedback. I didn't see this because my view of him was obstructed by the piano and I was just turning to look at the video screen when I heard him hit the mic. I guess he was so fed up with the sound problems he just gave the mic a whack and he knocked it out of the holder. He then recovered and picked up the mic with one hand and played the piano with the other. Eventually the mic was put back and he played on. Ben added some nice guitar during the song.
The first encore was Watchtower. Simply amazing. There are no words for it. It was better than the recording from the Bob fest. The second encore was a shortened LAH. There were no extended guitar solos but it was nice to hear it, just the same. It sure pleased "Mr. Hurricane", the guy behind me. Was it the first time Neil did both as encores? Maybe he didn't want to do MMM because of the bad experience at the piano?
Only one "How ya doin'?", and he thanked the crowd for coming. He also did a nice introduction of the band members.
I had a great time at a fantastic show.
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)