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June 23, 2001
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Marcel Vallen's review.
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
The show was simply stunning! Of course I have no other shows to compare (except live recordings) because this was first time that that my brother and I got to see Neil.
We had a wonderful view of the whole stage, standing about 10 metres out, right in front of Neil! But yes I can definitely say it was that good. If I compare it with the live recording I have of Crazy Horse's Belgium show on July 7th 1996, I would have repeat: this show was stunning!
The Black Crowes opened at 8 p.m. for Neil and delivered a punchy 50 minute set with great guitarwork by Rich Robinson, and the swaggering swampgroove of brother Chris' vocal wailings. Too bad they didn't play more well-known songs. I only recognized Sting Me and Wiser Time, so I guess most of the rest is from the new album.
Then it was time for them to go, and the roadies began clearing up their stuff and making room for Neil's curiosa among all the amps and instruments. Several Indian statues appeared, burning candles appeared on the harmonium and the upright piano. Everything was in order by 9:15pm.
But the band didn't come out until 9:35pm, after several cheers from the enthusiastic near sell-out crowd in the great hall with wonderful acoustics. Finally Neil and Crazy Horse came on stage to a great cheering crowd. Neil looked very trim and fit with a blue-grey tie-dye t-shirt under a blue-grey lumberjack open flanel shirt, faded jeans, sneakers and a white cowboy hat.
They tore into Don't Cry No Tears, which works great as an opener. The second song, I've Been Waiting For You, works great live as well. It really benefits from the Horse treatment! During this song I could see Neil wasn't quite happy with the effects of his guitar, so Larry had to come on to clear things up...
Well the rest of the songs went by too fast -- such a delirious daze of the well-known structured setlist. The new songs were lovely, especially Going Home, a guitar epic that includes General Custer's last stand. And When I Hold You In My Arms, a mid-tempo song with Neil alternating a nice piano melody with riffs from Old Black, which he kept hanging behind his back while playing the keys.
It was a great acoustic set too, with Don't Let It Bring You Down being my favourite of that set. It would have been so great to have heard Ambulance Blues or other On The Beach songs during this segment (it's my all-time favourite album). Thrasher would also be a more than welcome addition. If you by any chance read this dear Neil, please play those songs again live!!
After the acoustic set The Horse appeared and rocked again! Of the other two new songs featured, Standing In The Light Of Love was the better one. It sounded like a cross between Drive Back and Danger Bird. Then they really brought the house down when the first notes of Hey Hey My My struck the air! What a rocker. They were all smiling to each other and clearly enjoying themselves. Then came Powderfinger. Such a classic song, it really has one of his best riffs!
Soon a sonic thunder broke out and a hurricane was a-coming, if you catch my drift!! This had to be one of the longest and weirdest Like A Hurricane performances ever: 15 minutes long at least. Neil was in a total daze at the end of the song and had managed to wreck all the strings of Old Black torturing his guitar and constantly shaking spastically like getting electro shock therapy! Which in a way it was actually, ha ha! He seemed to be worshipping his guitar, getting weird sounds out of it and staggering to the piano to play a piano riff after the wreckage among the thunder! Billy and Poncho had no idea what he was playing!
They took a bow, left the stage... ...and came back after enormous cheering and screaming from the crowd. They finally acknowledged the crowd by waving, and Neil held his arms right up in the air for about a minute as if to say "I Surrender!" And he had a huge grin on his face!
Then Fuckin' Up, seguing into Cinnamon Girl was the wonderful rocking encore to this intense 2 hour and 15 minute show. A show I will never ever forget!
The only somewhat negative note is that Neil never spoke to the crowd during the whole concert. That was kind of weird.