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Cal Expo (Sacramento), Sept 16, 1996
The Calistar Short Review
The Calistar Revisitation
The Ten Silver Saxes Review
Hugh Barroll's Review
The Sacramento RustFest
The Set List
Cal Expo (Sacramento), Sept 16, 1996review by Calistar
I just got back from Cal-Expo. Incredible show. I met a ton of very cool Rusties...including Lost Dog who showed up with the MORE BARN banner in tow. More on them when I write a more formal review in a couple of days.
It was mostly the standard setlist tonight. A few exceptions included Comes a Time that was added to the acoustic set and a very magical Dangerbird which soared during the encores.
Some of the highlights for me included a stunning Slip Away and a totally INTENSE/PSYCHOTIC Like a Hurricane. Cortez danced across the water and we never did figure out why Neil & Co. kept F*cking Up.
All day, I kept wishing aloud that Neil would do Tonight's the Night. And as the final encore, Neil did just that... topping one awesome performance.
Well, thats all I can write for now. I gotta get a few hours of sleep so that I can go to work, so that I can get off early, so that I go to the Neil Young concert in Concord in 15 hours :-)
Hope to see you Bay Area Rusties there tonight. More Later...
Gregg, aka Calistar
Cal Expo Revisted...review by Calistar
It was a dark and stormy night...
Actually the weather for the Sept. 16th show at Cal-Expo (Sacramento) was perfect. Mrs Calistar and I drove the many miles along Interstate 5 headed towards the Amphitheater, the RustFest at Sudswerks, and of course...Neil.
We arrived at the Pub at 5:30 and walked in. We felt a little funny asking the host if anyone from "RUST" had left word at the front desk...but were relieved when she responded "Rust?...oh yeah...you see that guy over there...". "That Guy" happened to be Rustie Hugh Barroll. We went over and introduced ourselves and quickly discovered that Hugh was a nice guy and friendly. Note: Its really cool to go to a concert and have "Insta-friends" (just add ale!).
Soon, the Rusties started showing up in droves. Jon C and Friends appeared and were followed by the infamous Lost Dog (with MORE BARN banner in tow). We Sang, we drank, we talked Neil (okay, we didn't sing till later that evening :-) Everyone was very friendly and spirits were high.
It was really cool to see Devon and Fountainbleau again. The last time I had seen them was at the OPL. Its a pleasure every time our paths cross. Jim Patilla soon arrived and I got to meet him. Jim had the tough task of arranging the Rust Row and the Rusties that I met mentioned that they really appreciated his effort. As I glanced at my watch, I noticed that it was getting to be within an hour of SHOW-TIME! So we excused ourselves and told everyone that we would see them at the show. On our way out, we ran into Ken Schick (the place was running amok with Rusties!).
We went into the venue and found our seats. These seats were PRIME! As some of you may remember, I had been frantically trying to trade one of my four third row seats for a Concord seat. Well, I was very glad that one of our Rusties ended up with the seat (Jon C). Me, Mrs C, Jon, and Rustie Homegown were seated about 15 feet out from the microphone and dead center. It was gonna be a good night.
At my request a friend of mine named Mike Aiello of Santa Cruz had sculpted a beautiful Indian wood carving. My plan was to get it to Neil...somehow. Minutes before the show was to start, I saw Zeke on stage and mustered up ye ol' courage and approached him. I called out "Zeke...Zeke...." and when I caught his attention, I told him that I had this gift for his Dad from the RUST list. He was very polite but ex- plained that he couldn't take the gift at the time (and motioned that he had to finish setting up the microphones...) I fully understood and eventually found this huge roadie/security guy who promised that Neil would get the gift. He asked me who the gift was from and I said just tell him its from "The Rusties". I was encouraged when he wrote "Rusties" down on a piece of paper and wrapped it around the sculpture. (If any of you Canadian type people see an Indian sculpture on the amps during the tour, please let me know).
At around 8:30, the music started.
The sound was incredible as was the band's intensity that night. After an all-out version of HHMM, it was obvious that the boys were ON. As earlier reported, the setlist was standard. Pocahontas was okay, but not great. Big Time was excellent. I was really kind of suprised by that because I had heard BT in its infancy back in May (OPL) and felt that that it was a solid if not unspectacular live song. Well...somewhere along the way my friends, BT grew up!
Then came Slip Away. WOW! What a stunning version. I was totally carried away by the second half of the song. The droning, rumbling, psychedelic sound that came from the stage was awe-inspiring. This song has indeed grown to epic porportions (any other Rusties or Rustettes feel the same way?).
The acoustic set was very fine. Being towards the front of the arena, I could hear the entire crowd singing along.
INTENSE/PSYCHOTIC is how I described that vicious version of LAH. Neil was absolutely out-of-friggin'-control. He broke strings and tossed candles. He wrestled ol' black for every last gasp of sound. Billy slammed his bass with a guitar cord that made a thunderous sound. And Neil added his haunting words to a WALL of feedback and distortion. About 15 minutes into the song, Rustie Homegrown leaned over and shouted in my ear that after THIS version, we would need "years of serious therapy" %-)
It was THE best version of LAH I have ever heard and a memory I will never forget.
And if that wasn't enough, the assault continued with F*ckin up and Sedan Delivery. Dangerbird was indeed magical and brought back sweet memories of the Catalyst. Cortez was absolutely beautiful (This was Mrs C's favorite of the Night) and TNTN capped a perfect experience for me.
One of the best concerts that I have ever seen or could ever hope to see/hear.
After the show, we headed home. I was stunned and wondered what great adventures and experiences awaited me the next night at Concord. I wondered if it could possibly match up with what I had seen in Sacramento. For me, the dream was not over...
Cal Expo (Sacramento), Sept 16, 1996review by Jim Ten Silver Saxes Pittilla
The stage set-up was as others have described: candles, jolly-roger, feathers, Neil's Fender Deluxe, etc. I knew it was going to be a great show from the first chords/notes Neil struck on Old Black. Neil and the Horse really seemed to be in fine spirits and form right from the starting gate. The whole night they were pretty tight and ON.
Neil ripped into HHMM, and we were off. Not to get everbody going again, but everybody that I saw in the floor sections were on their feet for the entire show (or close to it). It was so easy for me to lose myself in the music for this show. I can only imagine what it is like for Neil and the band to get "into the swim". I spent a large part of the night doing the "Stoned White Man Shuffle". I'm sure most of you are familiar with the steps to this dance. ;)
Highlights musically for me were:
More from Jim in the RusFest report.
Cal Expo (Sacramento), Sept 16, 1996review by Hugh Barroll
Last night was my first Rust event. It was great. The RustFest before the show was well attended. Rusties in attendance included Ten Silver Saxes (many thanks for organizing both the row and the fest), Calistar and spouse, Ciaran, Devon and Lost Dog to name the ones who I can easily recall. The MORE BARN banner was admired by all and signed by many.
I missed the warm-ups except for a little of Sponge, which did not impress me.
Neil started on the dot at 8:30 with an explosive Hey Hey, My My. The closing jam crackled with twisted energy. I loved Pocahontas. The arrangement felt smooth and natural. I think this song works beautifully either acoustically or electrically. Big Time and Slip Away (my favorite from Broken Arrow) were both fine. It was not the greatest Slip Away jam, but it (and Pocahontas) were the songs that I kept singing on the drive home.
The five song acoustic set was a big suprise. I'm guessing Comes a Time came out as a warm up for the Bridge benefit, where it is a standard. Changing Highways was a delight, probably the biggest suprise of the night. F%&^ing Up, Cortez and Like a Hurricane were all tremendous. F&*^*ing Up, in particular, went directions I never expected and found thrilling. Almost 20 minutes of Hurricane blew us all away, and I wanted still more.
Our five song encore was a monster. Sedan Delivery rocked powerfully. Roll Another Number is Neil playing the blues. Then came the atmospheric wonder of Dangerbird. My theory is Neil found his way back to Dangerbird by way of the Dead Man Soundtrack. I hear strong connections between the two both in the guitar tone, and the almost ambient approach to the guitar attack.
After Dangerbird, I would have left happy, but Neil wanted more. We got the slow, intense, and heavily jammed Rocking in the Free World, then a taught and threatening Tonight's the Night. TTN built to an incredible fever pitch.
One general observation. I am impressed and amazed at the care Neil and Crazy Horse have put into the jamming and the rearrangement of the standards (F&*^*ing Up, Hurricane and Tonight's the Night just to pick three). These tried and true favorites sound fresh and challenging regardless of how well we think we know them. The evolution is clear, even through the tour -- as Hurricane from OPL sounds radically different from Glasgow, which sounds radically different from Cal Expo.
I can't wait until Concord tonight.
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