Direct bookmark: http://HyperRust.org/Tour99/?R11
Just got home from a wonderful evening of Neil and Rust. My wife & I arrived at the Seattle Mini-International RustFest (SMIRF) headquarters for the evening in the Cloud Room across the street from the Paramount and I finally had a chance to meet some Rusties! Dragon Mom, Computer Cowboy, Lost Dog, Speakin' Out & Honeslide. I even got in a quick hello to Re*Ac*Tor. Then it was time to head over to the show.
At 8:00 Neil came walking out, sat down in the middle of his semi-circle of 5 Martins, 2 12-strings, and guit-jo, and with jumbo Gibson 6-string in hand tore into Tell Me Why. Man, it sounded great! Then he put the Gibson in between the 12-strings and picked up the forward-most Martin, and played Looking Forward, followed by War Of Man.
Then he got up, wandered over to the upright piano at stage-right and played Out Of Control. He wasn't really saying much up to this point, and I don't recall him saying "How Ya Doin'" at all this evening.
Then back to his stool, and with another Martin in hand proceded to play an acoustic version of Albuquerque. About this time he finally started to talk to the audience, and went on with World On A String and Don't Let It Bring You Down.
Next, over to the grand piano at stage-left for Philadelphia. (About this point, I became aware of a terrible high-pitched ringing coming through the speakers.)
Next it was back to the stool for Love Is A Rose on the guit-jo! This will become a Rust favorite I'm sure. And just before the intermission, Neil grabbed a Martin and played the new one -- (could be called My Old Dad or Corduroy Pants). (HyperRust Editor's note: Neil calls it Daddy Went Walkin'.)
During the intermission I had the opportunity to get out of my LAST row seat and walk up front and get a close look at the stage. While returning to my seat I ran into Dragon Mom and got a nice hug.
When Neil came back from the break, he sat down with one of the Martins and played On The Way Home, From Hank To Hendrix, Unknown Legend, and Distant Camera before handing the Martin to Larry Cragg, who rushed it backstage. Then Neil picked up another Martin (he called it "Hank") and played Harvest Moon.
Next up was the highlight of the evening: Old King on the guit-jo. There was a nice long story to go with it, and the crowd was howling (literally)! Hope that got taped!!!!
Then he played Slowpoke on a Martin, and stood up and walked on over to the grand piano. At this point someone in the crown yelled "PLUG IT IN, NEIL!!!" Neil replied, "Plug it up, duuude." Hahahaha, good job Neil.
See The Sky About To Rain was next, then to the back of the stage on the pump organ for After The Gold Rush. And then he walked off!
After a long stretch of whistling and cheering, he returned, grabbed a Martin and played Good To See You. Afterward he started Heart Of Gold, only to stop abruptly when the harmonica part started and he had the wrong key! He stopped and said something about playing a "cross-key sub-blues version." He grabbed the correct harp, and wrapped up a wonderful show right at 10:30 with Heart of Gold.
On the way out the door, I ran into the Rustie contingent one more time, said good-bye to Honeyslide, Computer Cowboy & Cowgirl and Mike Cordova. Sadly, I did not have "Meet & Greet" tickets, so it was in the car and off for home! And here I am typing on my computer........
Guitar Fighting The TV
Before the show I met a bunch of Rusties and put names and faces to the words and ideas we see posted, then we ordered and talked, drank beer and waited for the food (an hour wait).
I was so lucky to sit with Mike Cordova (Expecting to Fly) on my left and DrConcert on my right. What a bunch of entertaining men. I saw Cors who flew in from the Netherlands and paid less than DrConcert paid to fly in from Chicago. I saw Brad (More Barn!) and his lovely lady Kumi, Computer Cowboy and Mrs Computer Cowboy, Young Neil's Dad, Re*ac*tor, and more names than I can currently recall: Joe Ray from Alaska, and Charlie (guitar fighting the TV) and Mrs GFTTV, Speakin' Out and Honeyslide, Lost Dog and Thomas Coleman and brother Tim from the Bay Area, and Scott and Wife from Tacoma -- too many names for an old mother of dragons to remember. Dinner arrived, the sun set, we ate and paid the bill ($627 for dinner for 20 -- not so bad).
Off to the theater... The Paramount Theater was built about 1934 and has been lovelingly restored to it's original splendor.
My seat was as on the outer edge (row K), right near the back stage entrance. Shortly after I sat down, a man that looked to me like Elliot entered the door. About 20 minutes later Pegi and a lovely young lady exited that same door, the girl putting her stage pass on as she walked up towards where I sat. The two of them paused and looked at the theater and commented on how beautiful it was, then continued on their way. A minute or two later Elliott also left.
All this time Larry Cragg was tuning guitars and organizing the stage which has 8 or so guitars and tack piano, the pump organ and a grand piano.
Time passed, the candles were lit, the sage was lit and began smoking. The lights dimmed, the crowd focused on the stage, the house lights went full dark.... and Neil made his appearance to a standing ovation.
He did not say anything, but sat down, picked up a guitar and began to sing and play. At this time I have sad, sad news to report -- somewhere in the forest of microphones and speakers and technical equipment (which included a computer) a feedback whine started. It grew in volume and grated and whistled and whined, it changed pitch and intensity When Neil sang it faded, but during the piano number it was unbearable.
Before the last song of the first set, Neil spoke to the audience, letting us know he was leaving and would return. He smiled as he said he wanted to let us know he was not leaving the county in a huff.
During the long intermission, several people scurried around the soundboard and the stage, Larry tuning guitars, freshening the harmonica water glass, fetching a new beer. Neil retook the stage.
Triumph: the feedback whine was gone.
Neil was awesome and cooking the entire second set, terrific singing and playing.
At some point in the evening he mentioned that one of the guitars was named Hank (this was after Larry was summoned to retune the guitar Neil had been using). One of the audience members called out Play what ever Hank Wants! (This was after several calls for Neil to play whatever HE wanted.)
Neil was only minimally annoyed by the idiots. Dragon Mom herself got beaned twice by a very enthusiastic fan standing behind her seat.
All too soon the concert ended, Neil walked to the north end of the stage and waved, then crossed over the to south end, waving to the audience as he walked and then exited.
The crowd whistled and shouted and clapped for probably 10 minutes.
Neil came back, sat down, played us a couple more songs. A highlight of the encore was the first blown harmonica I have ever heard, even Neil commented that it had never happened to him before. Someone will get the exact quote -- a real moment in poise as Neil calmly removed the mistaken harp and located another on his table. He wetted it, shook it and started over with a blistering version of one of his most popular and well known songs.
Unfortunately that ended the evening.
What a night, what a memory. Neil is very relaxed and doing what he loves. It shows.
Dragon Mom, R-FLOW
Speakin' Out Kurt, checkin' in:
Back at our place with about 20 Rusties after the last Seattle show. I'll let them Speak Out...
Expecting to Fly Mike here:
What a night; what a weekend!! I was fortunate to join many of our friends and fellow Rusties at both Seattle shows. Neil sounds fantastic and looks really good. But I must must say being able to meet and reacquaint with so many of the great people from our list really made the weekend for me. Many thanks to Kurt and Dragon Mom for helping make this such a special weekend for me.
Lost Dog at the controls:
The dog story in Old King keeps getting better every night! Neil has been saying that the lost dog incident happened in Portland in the redwood forest. He was corrected backstage at the Meet and Greet by Motor City tonight on both points. The story happened in Eureka on the first day of the 1989 Restless tour. Apparently Portland does not have redwoods, but I have to trust MC on that point.
All good things must end, and for me, the road trip ends tonight. It's been an incredible run of four shows in five nights to open the tour. I had no expectations going into it, but it just couldn't have been much better. We've been well taken care of here in Seattle by Speakin' Out and Honeyslide. Thanks again you two.
Vagabond Thomas here:
What can I say that hasn't been said. What a concert - I wish I'd been able to see it last night as well. A million thanks to Kurt and Lisa for organizing this SMIRF. So what are the rules, can they be ROTM twice in 6 months? If so, let me be the first to nominate... Their hospitality was appreciated by everyone. Great music tonight, Old King expecially got to me (my own dog was put to sleep this week). Love is a Rose was a hoot. Well, let me pass this keyboard to someone else.
Schleppy Mike, Checking in. Hey Y'all:
Just want to say that the shows were sweet and the hospitality is excellent. The Tonight's The Night tunes were the highlights for me, along with the Rust party which raged so hard you expected Mick and Keith to walk in. Several of the new songs are quality, too!
Computer Cowboy objectively states:
The show sucked.
Sell your tickets now.
I can't help all of you, but maybe a few of you gold circle ticket holders -- I'll buy your tickets.
No really -- I'll save you the pain.
Worst Neil I've ever seen.
For your ticket refund, write: Computer Cowboy.... :)
Lost Dog elbows CC into the kitchen and
From Hank to Hendrix had special meaning for me tonight after having visited the Jimi Hendrix gravesite today. According to the people there, this is the third most visited celebrity grave site after Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison. They get about 40 visitors per day and there is a path worn around from all the foot traffic. The area will be improved shortly, whatever that means. So there's your Seattle area trivia for the day.
Expecting to Fly Mike here again:
I just wanted to add that Neil's new song (Daddy Went Walkin') is really nice. I like it quite a bit. Note that the word "old" is used many times in it, and even the words "old man" a few times. Really good theme to the tune, though, including Neil's feelings for his late Mom and aging Dad. Very touching.
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)