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Corel Centre, Ottawa, Nov 2, 1996

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--> John Kato Kitamura's Review
--> David Bog Turtle Ostrosser's Review
--> John Carter's Review
--> Mary Maguire's Comments
--> Dave Slug Fielder's Review
Also See:
--> The Ottawa RustFest
--> Mary Maguire's Neil-Signature Quest
--> Mark PowderFinger Klus's Neil Days in Canada.


The Set List

  1. Hey Hey My My
  2. Pocahontas
  3. Big Time
  4. Don't Cry No Tears
  5. Slip Away
  6. The Needle and the Damage Done
  7. Long May You Run
    Music Arcade
    (Aborted)
  8. Helpless
  9. When You Dance I Can Really Love
  10. Scattered
  11. Cinnamon Girl
  12. The Loner
  13. Cortez The Killer
  14. Music Arcade
  15. Like a Hurricane
    Encores:
  16. This Town
  17. Dangerbird
  18. Rockin' In The Free World
  19. Down By The River
  20. Roll Another Number For The Road


Corel Centre, Ottawa, Nov 2, 1996

review by John Kato Kitamura

You've seen the setlists, and everyone's question is how did this compare to the Hamilton show? Well, being one of the lucky people to see both, I'd say that the performances in Ottawa were much tighter. No big noticeable mistakes (that I caught), even if the set list gravitated towards the "usual" songs. Here are some of my recollections - unfortunately a lot have faded since the show. The banner-signing incident and a couple of other less fortunate incidents erased a lot of details, but here goes:

  • Don't Cry No Tears: What a great song! The harmonies from Billy and Ralph were great. Very close to the Zuma recording, even down to the solo.

  • Slip Away: The opening chords were a more distorted than at other shows, and from our great seats you could see Ralph nodding along with Neil to get the beat. I've noticed that you can tell when Neil is directing the band - when his body faces Billy so that the neck of his guitar is on Billy's side of the microphone stand and only Neil's head is turned to the mike, you can see him use his right arm to signal a chord change or a change in volume. If he's not singing, he'll use his head to do this.

  • Long May You Run: Did Neil forget the last chord in the chorus? (Hey Shakey - is it a Bb? - Neil made me forget what it was too). It looked like the lost chord threw him off a bit going into the second verse.

  • Aborted Music Arcade: Not sure what happened here - after Long May You Run, Neil walked over to Larry and spoke to him. Larry ran off (to get a guitar?) and Neil, walking back to the mike, started strumming Music Arcade, still with the harmonica rig on. He sang a line, then said something like "We'll do that one later ..." He said something else I didn't catch. When he finally did the song, he said "It's later now".

  • When You Dance...: Interesting note - in the MuchMusic broadcast you could see Neil and the Horse rehearsing this, and they fall apart in the half bar break at the end of the first chorus. You could hear Neil telling Ralph to keep Drummimg through the break because "that's where we always screw up". In the concert, they did just that - Ralph kept up the back beat through the break. Neil signalled in the D chord with his right arm, and they continued on. But in the second break (before the solo) the whole band did break, so I don't know why the first break was causing any problems. Neil was again in a good mood, and danced around after this song.

  • The Loner: A lot tighter than the Hamilton show, but he didn't do the chiming shords in the second solo. Instead a low growling riff, which moved upwards to the 12th fret chords at the end.

  • Cortez and Hurricane sounded particulary powerful. Was it because of them not being in the set at Hamilton? The band needed a break from the songs to play them this well? Or maybe I missed them in Hamilton and was eager to hear them again? Cortez actually ended - everybody stopped, but then Neil brought the song back to life again, and they sang the "Dancing Across the Water..." part again and ended the song (again).

  • This Town: Here Neil held up a Canadian then an American flag. Larry draped the Canadian flag over the audience side of his platform. After holding up the American flag (to some boos from the audience) Neil bowed to Poncho and Billy. Poncho said "Vive les Canadiens" into his mike, and then Neil (Mark Klus says it was Neil - I didn't catch who it was) said "How far south can you go?" which to me sounds like the punch line of a tasteless joke   :-)   Then Neil imitated a laid back lounge singer introducing the song in a low voice - "I hope you enjoy this next number....". I didn't catch all of what he said.

  • Dangerbird: Not as long as Hamilton, but a lot tighter. Neil broke a string (the D string I think) in the second solo, and this pulled the guitar slightly out of tune (especially the G string). He couldn't play the opening riff without the D, so he played something completely different, ending way up the fretboard in high A territory.

  • Rockin in the Free World: This was extra long - I can't say for sure why, but this is my theory. At the start of the song there was a crowd rush to the stage (everyone waking up after Dangerbird :-) ). A girl must have been crushed up front because Larry ran out to centre front and helped pull a girl up onstage. She must have been hurt as she was holding her arm in an awkward position. Someone from stage right helped her off and Larry went back to his post. This may have distracted Neil because he kept playing the opening riff over and over, maybe to get back into the mood of the song, before starting to sing. Again, before launching into the solo, he again repeated the opening riff many times (it seemed like many times).

  • Down By The River: After the Bigsby abuse in RITFW he launches right into DBTR without a guitar change! I was glad to hear this song. I haven't heard many recent versions of this on tapes, so I don't know if the following is rare or not, but on the second solo, he was playing these short, fast, blurted out riffs. He would hammer-on and pull-off to the open E. I thought it was rare for him to play so fast!

  • Roll Another Number: An interesting lyric variation - some forgotten lyrics caused this to emerge:
    "I'm not going back to Woodstock - anymore"
    (Billy looks up and smiles)
    "Though I long to see that hippie ... out the door"
    (Everyone cheers)

    And so ended the last show I'll be seeing for this tour. Mucho thanks to Adrien, and to all the Rusties. And thanks to that one Corel Centre guy in the red shirt that let us hang around waiting for the banner to get signed. He said his name (Jeff?) and graciously explained to us the use of burlap bags and chains in tearing down the stage.

    regards, kato


    Corel Centre, Ottawa, Nov 2, 1996

    review by David Bog Turtle Ostrosser

    Great night for RustFesting and the concert!!

    When You Dance was of course a big highlight as it really does shimmy... However, we were all predicting he would do it, after hearing about them going over it at MuchMusic. It had the same sound as 25 years ago on ATGR.

    Scattered was great to hear, and The Loner was well done with nice harmony guitars. However, some of the most sublime moments were in the mainstays. Cortez was TRANSCENDENTAL. There was a place in the solo where they all did something that just fit together so beautifully and spontaneously that I just had to hold my head. The feeling hit the whole crowd as well, who all reacted. (Good crowd, too.) LAH was also superb. Neil was grinning all night long, and I was as well.

    We Rusties had great seats front and almost centre. The sound was great where we were.

    Everybody had gotten together in the bar beforehand, and I had a great time meeting people. Can't remember all of them, but there was Zain and friends, Hugo and Marc and Patrice and their friends from Montreal, John and Kat, Jim Fielder, Powderfinger, Tom Stutzman, Mary, Kato, Electric Needle, etc.

    I think they talked to Zeke, and he was going to get his Dad to sign the MORE BARN banner after the show, but I had to go catch my bus so I don' know what happened.

    Great show, and I WANNA' BE HAVING FUN LIKE THAT WHEN I'M 51.

    Neil sure was in form! Even did a funny little dance at the end of When You Dance. And he displayed a Canadian flag someone gave him, but then made the mistake of holding up the American one after it. The crowd in Canada's capital city was feelin' kinda nationalistic and forgot for a moment that Crazy Horse was American. Neil had to smooth things over by prostrating himself before the Horse, bowing deeply before them. It was a funny moment.

    Well, gotta go.
    Bog Turtle

    By the way, it was well below 0C here tonight. Neil wasn't wearing those shorts...


    Corel, Copps, and Corel cops (part 2)
    Corel Centre, Ottawa, Nov 2, 1996

    review by John Carter

    (Continued from part 1.)

    Again, after doing some visiting it was off to the pre-show Rustfest. By the time we got to Marshey's the doorguys weren't letting any more people in because they were already at capacity. But when the stadium doors opened enough people trailed out that worthy Rusties were able to get inside. In a bar as crowded as Marshey's was the "More Barn" banner really comes in handy. And of course it was good to meet more Rusties, talk more about Hamilton and stuff, and to get Zain's take on NeilTV.

    The band came on a little after nine and things seemed special from the start. When the band launched into Hey Hey, My My the Rustrow all lit sparklers (thanks Trish) and it got a nod of acknowledgement from Neil. The band was particularly tight and there seemed to be a sort of playfulness in the way that Neil sang the verses that made it look as though he was in a really good mood. And it lasted all night.

    They went into Pocahontas and then Big Time (uh oh, the standard setlist?) but then they followed up with Don't Cry No Tears and that was all I needed to know that I made the right decision. That rehearsal during NeilTV obviously paid off, because they nailed When You Dance..., and Cortez was just spectacular. It seemed as though Neil had ended the song, and then they were back into it for another two or three minutes. Amazing.

    Dangerbird, during the encore, stood out as well with Neil breaking a couple of strings on his goldtop during the soloing. After the song ended he handed the guitar off to Larry Cragg who quickly replaced it with ANOTHER goldtop. How long has Neil been touring with THREE Les Pauls? But the highlight had to be Down By The River. Neil did some absolutely stunning staccato flourishes that were an absolute joy both to watch and to listen to.

    Of the two shows over the last couple of days, even though the Hamilton show was the more adventurous of the two, I'd have to say that the Ottawa show impressed me more simply because the band was right on the money from the word go. Mary will have some more cool things to tell about the evening (Team Rust).

    But there was also a down side to the Ottawa show as well. Unfortunately, two of our own were given game misconducts REALLY early in the set by securinazis for lighting up. And the crowd overall wasn't as enthusiastic as the Hamilton crowd were and there was some bitterness because of it. But overall I'd have to say that it was really a standout performance. Huge thanks again to Mary and Trish, and Dave and Adrian for everything for the two shows.

    Cheers! and Pardon My Heart,

    jc


    Corel Cops
    Corel Centre, Ottawa, Nov 2, 1996

    comments by Mary Maguire

    John mentioned above, "Unfortunately, two of our own were given game misconducts REALLY early in the set by securinazis for lighting up, and the crowd overall wasn't as enthusiastic as the Hamilton crowd were and there was some bitterness because of it."

    Yes. To all the Rusties who had to listen to me rant and rave for awhile after the show, I apologize. And to the people whose view was blocked by the banner when the houselights went up, I'm sorry.

    Up until Cortez, I was convinced that this was going to be my favourite show on the tour because the band was so "on" and the sound was fantastic and I was feeding off the energy of the dancing fools on either side. Unfortunately, we were ordered to sit down by the crowd behind us. And we did, because some of us thought it was RUSTIES who were telling us off. I found out later that it was in fact some SOB from further back, but the effect was the same. I was completely deflated. Most of the people on the floor (even in rows 3-11) sat down all the way through LAH!! (Admittedly, this provided great sightlines for those of us in row 12.)

    Luckily the encore brought me back up again. As far as I was concerned that encore was for us.

    Anyway, that's where I was coming from last night.

    And about this other story I'm supposed to tell, let me just say that I owe it all to Zainy -- a Rustie of no small stature.


    Corel Centre, Ottawa, Nov 2, 1996

    review by Dave Slug Fielder

    Hello my friends,

    When HH,MM started, the sparklers went up (thanks Trish!) and we immediately caught Neil's attention! My initial feeling that Neil was slipping back to the old setlist was wiped out by the surprise Don't Cry No Tears, and the four of us freaked out in unison. Powderfinger & I high-fived on this one and actually connected, unlike Hamilton where we missed all the time.

    Long May You Run featured another great moment, as Electric Needle and I did the "oh Caroline, noooo" part, in harmony, much to the delight of the non-rusties in front of us.

    It's hard for me to pick out individual parts of Neil's performance to mention, as he and the Horse were totally tight and really pumped for this one (Hamilton must've made him very happy). Awesome performance, all around.

    When You Dance kind of surprised me, as I thought he wouldn't play it after giving it away on tv on Friday, but it sounded great, as did another Scattered & The Loner.

    NOW...

    Somewhere around this part of the show, I was told by Electric Needle that we had been told to sit down. I was extremely pissed, but, thinking it was other rusties saying this, complied. I felt extremely uncomfortable sitting down for another great Cortez, but felt worse when I saw the expression on Lonesome Whistle's face. She was obviously very upset by this turn of events. I asked EN who told us to sit down, and he informed me that it was in fact some guy from about ten rows back! What he'd actually said was "sit down you fuckin' assholes!". Now I've given myself a few days to think about this, so I won't swear up a storm here, but I would still like to say a few things:

    1. I definitely don't like being called a fuckin' asshole, especially by some numbnuts from across the room.
    2. You don't say things like that to ladies, show a little respect! remember, if it wasn't for a woman you wouldn't be here, putz!,
    3. If you want to sit down, go to the movies, or a Barry Manilow concert! If everyone just sat through the show, Neil would probably cut it short like he did at Pine Knob in Sept.'83.
    4. If it takes yelling something like that at mixed company from the safety of a 50 foot distance to make you feel like a man, then you are a sad, pathetic person.
    That's all I have to say about that. Glad I got it off my chest finally.

    Anyways, back to the concert. With Hurricane, much of the crowd jumped to it's feet, and for good reason - it was another monster performance! Neil broke all the strings on Ol' Black on this one.

    Th ill vibes created by the "sit down" were starting to go away, but Lonesome Whistle was still visibly upset. Watching her stand perfectly still through Hurricane was almost chilling, considering her usual exhuberance. With Hurricane over & the boys offstage, we were talking and decided this relatively indifferent crowd didn't deserve an encore.

    However, back they came and delivered what I thought was an anti-encore! Instead of blowing everyone right away, they played a very low key This Town, followed by the even slower Dangerbird. We were all back to our joyous selves, as we knew this encore was for US! Some people were drifting out at this point, even though the best was yet to come. Neil busted a string on Dangerbird, throwing his guitar out of tune, but he soldiered on. At the end he said something like "what the hell key was that?"

    Now came RITFW, and a slow, extended version at that! We hoisted the banner at the chorus and immediately caught Neil's attention! He turned and played directly at it! Trish said he had a big grin on his face as well. This, plus the next two songs, capped off yet another awesome performance by these guys!

    The banner signing story has already been documented well, so I'll just say that Zeke seems like a great guy! And... I think he's taken a shine to a certain rustie who shall remain nameless (she knows who she is, right LW?)   ;-)

    The post concert fest included searching for the MIA rusties, and a pizza party at the hotel. Lots of reminiscing about the show, and a chance to say our final tearful goodbyes.

    All in all a great show, great fest, and what a better way to spend it but with great friends!

    Hope the rest of the shows are just as good for the rest of you.

    Slug


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