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Madison Square Garden, August 19, 1996
The Artlv Review
Cathy Purple Words Frumerman's Review
Graham Blind River Dresden's Mini-Review
The Madison Square Garden RustFest
A New York Times Review (on another web site)
The Set List
Madison Square Garden, August 19, 1996review by Artlv
Dear fellow rusties,
Its always a treat to see Neil, and last night was no different. I was somewhat dissapointed however, which I'll get into.
First the positives. Neil was hot as was Crazy Horse. They smoked from the first note and wailed for the entire show. The band was tight (as usual), Loud (as usual) and they seemed to be having a great time. Pancho looked to be smiling the whole show.
My dissapointment was with the song selection. I've been very carful not to read the setlists from the tour, as I wanted to be surprised. I've seen this show before, several times over the years. I don't know if I'll rembember the whole set, but I'll try.
He opened with Into the Black and then a fine electric version of Pocahontas. Big Time and Slip Away followed and Slip Away was the highlight of the evening. Then came the accousic set: Needle and the Damage Done, Heart of Gold, and Sugar Mountain.
Then the band came back and they played Cinamon Girl, Cortez, F*!#in' up, Music Arcade, and then Hurricane. Hurricane was the best I've ever seen them play it, a good 15 to 20 minutes of loud roaring feedback. (I think there was another song in there).
The encores included Sedan Delivery, Prisoners of Rock and Roll, and Tonight's the Night.
With all the incredible music Neil has produced over the last decade and a half, I just don't understand why he didn't play any of it. The last 3 albums have been brilliant, but he chose to play mostly songs written before 1980. He's been playing these songs for years. The crowd at the Garden was having a great time, and one of the guys I was sitting with said that he only knows the Greatest Hits, so he thought it was a great show. But the hard core Neil fans I went with and I all felt he should have done more varied material.
I have no complaints on the playing, as I said, the band was very hot, Neil sounded great, his guitar was on fire, but Sugar Mountain? Like a Hurricane?? Why Neil? He's played these songs a million times.
I couldn't help thinking that this is the kind of a show you would expect from an aging rock star, who released a new album, played the old hits and stuck in a few new songs to get you to buy the new album (like CSN this year). But that is NOT NEIL. I've seen shows where he's played mostly new material (although sometimes the majority of the crowd isn't happy with that). Don't get me wrong, I love these songs, I play them all the time, I guess I just wasn't expecting a greatest hits tour since Broken Arrow, Mirror Ball and Sleeps with Angels were so great. Its clear that Neil loves playing these older songs with the Horse.
Anyway, I looked for everyone at Hoolihans and couldn't find you guys. I was in Penn Station. Wasn't that were we were supposed to be?
All in all I had a good time, but I'm hoping that the next time Neil takes a few out of the hat.
Madison Square Garden, August 19, 1996review by Cathy Purple Words Frumerman
Gotta tell you guys this was a really nice evening. Beautiful weather, even the crowds on the street were mellow. You'll probably be hearing many more MSG reports, so let me just give you my 2p.
The show was spectacular, the Horse was cruising: Fifteen tunes handled beautifully from the regal swing of HHMM through the dreamy Slip Away -- done so fluidly against an aquamarine backdrop you felt immersed in a huge, warm ocean of sound you could see, taste and feel -- through the stormy LAH and beyond. Only things that would have made it better, of course, would have been a more intimate setting and more songs.
Neil was in top form. His playing was a seamless, organic blend of the delicate and the kick ass. He himself danced and played the night away with an energy and grace that is rare among performers. Despite his awful choice of wardrobe -- or maybe because of it <g> -- the man looked beautiful. He gave and he gave. It was the kind of show that opens up your heart. You know the feeling.
Prior to the show a large gang of Rusties met up at Houlihan's in Penn Station. It was neat seeing old friends again and meeting new ones. There was a lot of energy going down in Houlihan's, too, I can tell you! Hello everybody: Capt'n Kennedy, Kato, Joe, Mood Code, ~The Ocean~, Steve, Ordinary Person, Marie, Schoolboy, YOUNGster, Shakey, Stupid Girl, Old King, Pete, bh (Paolo, hope your ticket turned up!) and the rest of you guys in your MORE BARN! t-shirts (and not). My special love to Mr. Purple Words.
All Rustfests should end with a Neil show!
Best wishes to everyone. Looking forward to reading more reports!
Madison Square Garden, August 19, 1996mini-review by Graham Blind River Dresden
Just wanted to drop a quick review of the show at MSG last night: Being my first show I had some high expectations -- but boy did they ROCK! I was impressed by how hard and driven these guys are - they get up there and just jam away all night. Electric Pocahontas was great, but F*@#kin Up had to be the highlight for me. Neil just felt so into the sound, and it really showed in the way it came off. He really let loose and the guitar just took on its own identity - WOW!
I'd also like to thanks all the rusties there for making it cool: everyone at the Rustfest, Section 8'ers, and Trapper for the great tickets. All you first timers are in for a treat! (I just needed Neil and the Horse to sign my MB shirt and the night would have been perfect......alas)
(would have liked LMYR, but can't complain because he did drop TTN as a ripping finale)
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