Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour97/?R45
(updated Friday, 19-Jun-2009 07:19:13 EDT)
Its me, Calistar, and I am sending this from the MSN booth at the Shoreline HORDE show! Its now 7:20pm and I am ecstatic.
Neil openned the HORDE tour by playing acoustically for about 45 minutes earlier this afternoon. Some of the songs he played included Out on the Weekend, Long may you Run, and Homegrown. He was VERY talkative and in a great mood. In fact, I haven't seen him this talkative in a "decade" or more. Only about 150 people saw him do the solo thing.
There are TONS of Rusties here and we are all having a fantastic time. Wish you were here too!
Well, I gotta go now and catch the Primus show. More tomorrow when I get to my own computer.
Here is the run down of my Shoreline HORDE experience.
Neil's solo set: While he was making his best music, I was still on freeway searching up and down the dial for a good traffic report. What you don't know cannot hurt you, right? In this case, thanks to Tom's rumor spreading effort, what I do know does hurt. Why does the rumor have to be true? What's wrong with the time agreed on (by us)? My best plan's just not good enough. What's new? The Bay Area people have certainly seen this kind of horseshoe thrown at us enough times. : ) Caught every acts afterward, so what.
Toad the Wet Sprocket: Precision, precision. No jam. (Dried) Bubble gum.
Squirrel Nut Zippers: Good varieties of sound. Hopelessly optimistic kind.
Leftover Salmon: No leftover. Pretty alive to me -- a bit "too".
Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Can throw some slow punches with power. I have Strategem, but nothing prepared me for this kind of sweet and heavy sound they produced on stage. What a band. No obnoxious drumming (too much to ask for sometimes). Can certainly run with the Horse. How about "Neil Young and Crazy Monsters" someday?
Ben Folds Five: Can't judge due to botched sound control. I stood by the soundboard and watched as this guy tried everything he could, throughout the performance, and still couldn't get it right. He appropriately threw up his hands a couple times.
Primus: Stay away from this musical work out, I told myself at half way. The crowd love them. Nice crowd, they loved everything.
Morphine: Hot hot music just flows. For my purpose, they can rock. (Is it rock?) Deep... Deep into the night, except that the Horse was coming up from behind.
NY & CH: They only played one song -- 90 minutes long, with a few stops in between. Candles around the stage (still have D. Briggs on their minds?) The whole song was the highlight. No baggy shorts, just blue jeans. Neil was in good form with strong vocal.
Look Out For My Love was a beauty. The crowd was mesmerized. Slowpoke was a nice new number. Ten minutes into Hurricane it came to a crashing end with a sonic explosion, unlike the Broken Arrow tour. It was all steady beat before that point.
Neil has the ability of delivering the softest line while hitting the nastiest notes on guitar -- cuts me like a two edge sword. Such as Crime in the City -- it's murder. It happened later in HHMM too. The sonic fireworks seemingly went beyond my hearing range and into a vaccum of some sort. Hard to describe. Kind of like being blinded by the light, except this case: with sound.
The fastest 90 minutes I've experienced. HORDE could certainly cut some of the other acts and give the master all the time he needs. A lot of people would go home happier.
Still, it is a chance to reset the reference point by hearing different bands play on one stage. At least for me, I sometimes began to take the excellent music from Neil for granted. Most of Neil shirts have "HORDE 97" and "Year of the Horse" printed on them, definitely implying this is the year of the horse. And I thought 1996 was the year of the horse. Oh well, 1996 or 1997, what's the difference. It's all one great year. Rust on.
Hello again RUST...
Trunks of memories fill my mind as I write this HORDE '97 review. I've had about 24 hours to digest the events of Friday, and only now feel organized enough to post. Yesterday was an wonderful day filled with incredible music and equally incredible people. The RUST people that I talked to yesterday helped to complete the total Neil experience for me.
I spoke with so many very cool Rusties which included: The Hippest of Drag Queens (Jeff!) and girlfriend Kim (hi!), Homegrown (hey Pete!), Canyon Freak & Girlfriend, Fountainbleau & Devon, Bob Gunn (nice bike...), Wharfrat & Family, Jim Beller & Family, CITS, Don Leary, Lady Jane, Peace Conductor, Tom Hambleton, (2) guys wearing MORE BARN! shirts, about (3) other people who's names slip my mind at this time. AND a very pleasant surprise: Ten Silver Saxes. It was great seeing Jim Patilla again and hope he gets back to RUST soon.
One fine group of people.
There were several highlights for me. Seeing and signing the banner was great. Robin (BikerAlane) did such a good job. Its going to look even better after 500 Rusties sign it!
At exactly 3:10pm, I saw Rustie Canyon Freak in full sprint headed towards the opposite side of the Amphitheater and I thought "Hmmmm, what could be SO important that he would sprint like that? ..... Hmmm ...... 1 + 1 = 2 .... NEIL IS PLAYING!". Before I knew it I was in a full sprint. I kind of fell into a formation with three other guys who had ALL ACCESS passes. When I got to the mini-stage Neil had already done a couple of songs.
Neil looked so "up", so healthy and happy. He talked a lot. More than at any time that I had ever seen. He even said something to the effect of "If you think I'm talking a lot right now, you should hear a tape I have of me in '68. I'd talk more than play".
This time however, he managed to do an ample amount of both. I was a little surprised when he played Long May You Run because I had told Mrs C just that morning that it was the one song I really wanted to hear (I love it when that happens...next time I'll wish for On the Beach :-)
The Homegrown sing-a-long was great -- I can't wait to hear the tape (*grovel* from someone who was there...)
Out On The Weekend was a very nice surprise and I hoped that it was a sign that Neil would break out some of his older/less performed songs. For me, the highlight of the set was Someday. Every time I hear that song, it grows on me more and more.
There I was standing with good friends, in perfect weather, listening to Neil sing and tell stories. For me the office and the every day stresses were a faint memory. As Neil finished the acoustic set, I stood by the rail to get a real good look at the man. As he walked by, I stuck out my hand and he took it. I said "Thanks Neil." He smiled, shook my hand and then disappeared into the crowd.
Man, what a way to start a nine hour festival.
At 4:50, I headed out to the second stage to see Leftover Salmon. I had seen them for the first time at last year's HORDE and was very impressed. They definately outdid themselves this year. Rustie Homegrown and I were in the front row when the band began its full-out bluegrass/rock/folk assault on my body. I couldn't help but dance and groove to the music. These guys are so talented. A fellow Rustie summed it up best by saying "I'm glad I'm getting to see them now -- now before they get BIG! Because they will get big..." I definitely recommend them.
One of the other bands that I really wanted to see was Primus. I was somewhat familiar with their music and was looking forward to their performance. Well, the band came out and BLASTED their groove-oriented rock musical-exercise, and jammed for one solid hour. I was sitting in section 101, row H -- right in front of a 50 foot stack of speakers that threatened to break that little anvil thing in my ear. :-) As the performance went on, they got tighter and tighter and Les Claypool (awesome bassist, odd individual) demonstrated his level of mastery over assorted stringed basses. I remember sitting there during the performance thinking, "Half the people here are going to hate this band and half will love them." As it turned out, it seemed like the band had won over most of the audience. This is another one of the bands that I highly recommend.
In between performances, I browsed for shirts and trinkets. If I remember right, shirts were like $23 and pretty cool. They also had some nice hats (I didn't see any programs).
Neil & Crazy Horse came out at around 9:45pm and began an excellent rockin' version of Cinnamon Girl. I was pumped up for this performance and had grand hopes for an epic show. Unfortunately, it was not to be. I don't know if its because I am spoiled here in Northern California (I got to see them many times last year), or that Neil and Co. were just (ahem) "Rusty", but I just didn't feel as though the boys were "on". Not bad, but not great either...
Throughout the set I kept hearing missed intros and wrong notes (?!). At first, I thought it was Poncho, but after a while I concluded that it was mostly Billy, AND the combo was not tight (this is when I wondered if the guys were gettin' along...)
Neil did his best to raise the level and did a fair job of it. He would do the "Neil-sway" and rip into old black. Slip Away was mushy (IMHO) and Hurricane perfunctory. I was disappointed by the setlist, as I feel that LAH, Powderfinger and Slip Away are overplayed. What saved the set were the Mirror Ball representative Throw your Hatred Down, Hippie Dream, and Crime in the City -- which rocked. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the hell out of the day and the set was good, but not on par with... sayyy... the Cal-Expo show from '96.
Perhaps seeing the solo acoustic thing earlier was detrimental(?). After experiencing that, there was nowhere to go but in a downward direction. Of course, other Rusties will have different opinions from mine.
(Anyway, a "good" night from Neil is better than a "fantastic" night from most other artists...)
After the show, we did the obligatory "Dennys thing" and then went home and collapsed. It's a long, long day -- for those of you getting ready go to the HORDE, be sure to rest up before the event, take a small camera, keep your ears open! Meet and greet all the other Rusties. Have an open mind to new music.
The HORDE is one of those "you get out of it, what you put into it..." kind of events.
(lots more to be added when I can... --RE*AC*TOR)