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Metro Center, Halifax, Nov 5, 1996
Steven The Coroner Briggs' Review
Nelson Hansen's Review
Jaan Soosaar's Review
Trevor Hundred Foot Iron Umlah's Review
The Halifax RustFest
The Set List
Metro Center, Halifax, Nov 5, 1996review by ????
Hi to all in Rustland,
As reported, the MORE BARN Banner was in row 1, centre stage, where we enlisted the support of a couple friendly neighbours to hoist it high and visible for the Man and his Horse to see. And verily they did look upon the banner and see that it is good, and acknowledge its presence with nods. And then they blasted into HHMM, and the front row became the 4th row, for Neil's people did flood down upon the plain between the seats and the stage and cram 4 standing rows deep between us and the stage.
Unfortunately, some of Neil's fans are jerks, and they seemed to get the spots in front of Mike and me. I might post about this another time. Suffice to say that they didn't spoil my night, but the four people sitting to my left did eventually leave.
The vocals were too low at the front row. We had noticed this during Moist, and sadly it was back. Instruments were beautifully clear, although a tad loud. Two days later my ears still ringeth with the mighty sound of the mighty music. How was it from row seven, Trevor? My sister tells me vocals were great from her seat just behind and to one side of the sound booth. Let me add that some songs were better than others. Who knows why.
Not to revive this discussion, but I had always fancied myself as a sitter. I don't dance, plain and simple. But I had to stand to see, and once standing, it was impossible not to move. You know how it is. From my own perspective, and from what the lovely and talented Margo (who would not go with me to see and hear NY&CH??????) tells me, I dance the way Neil moves when he plays.
Anyhow, once the fools got in line I kept the banner tightly rolled under my arm and safe for the whole night, all the while being a dancing fool, and recording the setlist with my trusty pen and paper. If there are sweat stains on the banner, they're mine. Sorry Andy. If there is a reversed negative image of the more barn T-shirt on the holy Shroud of Tourin', that's from me, too. I don't feel the need to apologize for that one. :)
Neil and the Horse were simply amazing, totally into every song and giving each one everything they had. I have no words to praise this enough, so I'll stop here. I sang with Neil on every song. Frank took a turn on Bite the Bullet, singing, I think, the entire song again after Neil did. He also got his wish as expressed in one of the local papers, as posted by Trevor. A young woman (girl, really) flashed her boobs at them all. Later, during Sedan Delivery, I observed that Neil did verily play Old Black (or was it Old Strat) with a bra, for about a minute. Then he dropped it. Billy toed it into position and sort of danced around it as he played. Poncho checked it out, too, at this time. I have no knowledge of the contibutor of this souvenir or whether they made contact after the show.
As Mike posted, we hung around for close to an hour after, hoping to get the banner signed by Crazy Horse. We asked Zeke who while on stage ignored us, although when we deputized my sister, Lorinda, and sent her up solo, he did speak with her for about a minute, but no luck. We politely asked stage crew, sound crew, a MuchMusic camera guy wandering around, but no luck. Later Zeke came down a staircase to the arena floor right beside us. So I introduced myself, hoping the name Briggs would have some magic influence. We shook hands, and he politely said he couldn't help us. So I told him we had a great time and it was a great show. He thanked us and went back to work. Then we hung around with the folks with back stage passes, but I had to leave. Before I got out I saw Mike get turned away due to no pass. He went out the other way, so I didn't see him again.
Mike, I had a great time with you in the crowded front row. I hope we can do this again.
Whew, sorry for being so long, folks. I had to share this with people who understand.
BTW, our local entertainment reporter, who mistakenly refers to Neil as having played the "concise but charming Changing Highways," also writes "In a brief backstage chat after the show, Young said that the long- awaited next volume of his Decade Anthology series would be out next summer, consisting of four CDs." July, July, July.
Could not believe how much grass people were smoking so openly. Really enjoyed seeing one of the crew bodily remove a major asshole from in front of the stage after the show.
I have to stop now. Thanks for bearing with me. Hope all the folks in Montreal about to see and hear Neil have as good a time as I did.
Special thanks to our own Sheila, defininte Rust MVP contender, and Sonya at MCA Concerts in Toronto.
Metro Center, Halifax, Nov 5, 1996review by Nelson Hansen
It had been over a decade since Neil Young visited the maritimes. Since his last visit on the International Harvestor tour, a lot has transpired. A bad deal with Geffen Records, and the ensueing bad albums from that relationship. Forays into just about every music genre, sudden hipness and the unfortunate label Godfather of Grunge.
On a crisp November night no-one wanted to talk about the long absense from the region, the sour record deal or hipness. They just wanted the music. And music they got, with plenty of decibles... From the expected opener of Hey, Hey, My, My to the last strains of feedback, the crowd was treated to a night that ranged from full-on sonic attack to familiar faves on the acoustic.
As far as "between-song patter: is concerned, this was all of it: "How's it goin'?" and "Thanks a lot." Not really a big talker.
The band played loose and loud, sometimes dropping a beat, or flubbing a harmony. This is Neil Young and Crazy Horse as they were meant to be -- guys playing country music through big amps for free beer. The songs never seemed to end -- Neil let the feedback at the end of each song float over the crowd and into the beyond.
However the songs weren't the only thing floating in Halifax, the Metro Centre had a very strong and very familiar smell, and it wasn't from the hockey game the night before.
Some surprises, laughs and unfortunates to report:
Earlier in the week a local newspaper interviewed Crazy Horse and the band wanted to know if women would be taking off thier shirts. I'm not sure if one did but her bra ended up onstage. What would Neil Young do when a piece of womens' undergarment flies nearby while he's in the middle of a solo? He'd pick it up and use it as a guitar pick of sorts. The band seemed to sidestep neil when he offered it to them, though.
All in all a fantastic show but a word to the wise: never try to crowd surf on the floor area, those folding chairs are murder!
Metro Center, Halifax, Nov 5, 1996review by Jaan Soosaar
Well well well. My first Neil Young show. At first I didn't know what to expect, I mean I have quite a few of his albums but what is he like live? Well I don't think I've ever been to a better concert. From beginning to end the show was absolutly amazing. Keep On Rockin in the Free World was really cool, the lights went up and all in the house sang.
The one thing I couldn't get over is how good it sounded. Every note sounded perfect. It was like it flowed from his fingers (getting wierd!!). Bought a t-shirt and will wear it with pride.
Oh I took a couple of friends, one of which wasn't sure if he was going to enjoy it. Funny thing: the next day he asked if he could borrow ALL of my Neil CD's. Another fan is born.
Definitly a varied crowd at the Metro Center. Every thing from 5 year olds to 80 year olds (?) -- definetly cool. Anyway last words: No one rocks like Neil Young! He can definitly teach younger bands a thing or two about how to rock.
Metro Center, Halifax, Nov 5, 1996review by Trevor Hundred Foot Iron Umlah's
I thought Pete Droge was pretty good, really. I think I'll seach out his latest. Although I'm not a fan of Moist, they were OK. I can see their appeal. They really need another guitar, though!
Security was lax. Lots of standers and squatters. Four real assholes in front of me during Moist. They were 17/18ish and standing on their chairs. I politely put my hand on one guy's shoulder and he gets down, Nancy drills the other guy and knocks him down. Between Moist's and Neil's sets the same guy Nancy knocked down waves to his buddies in the lower bowl where they are supposed to be sitting and flicks his cigarette 20 feet into the air to land on a girl's head. I'd had enough so I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck (did I just say "SCRUFF OF THE NECK"?!) and dragged him to the security guard who was attending to the girl. Security boots the guy and I'm happy until I see the asshole again 20 minutes into Neil's set.
A few comments about Neil's set...
I think they would have stayed on longer, but Neil wasn't happy with TTN.
Overall, this was an excellent show. Best I've ever seen. Everyone was so into the music.
One observation I had was that Neil's fans are pretty young. Sure there are 40-50 year olds there, but the overwhelming majority are 18-30. In Boston this wasn't so noticeable.
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