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A Rick proto-Rustie Shearer Review
(more reviews coming)
The show details.
Hi Rusties, let's talk. You guys who have seen the show but disliked the Looking Forward disc: Are these guys over the hill? HELL NO! Could they do a better album? Time will tell. But I know one thing for sure, whatever live CD or video they put out from this tour: I’M BUYING TWO OF THEM, because I’m sure going to wear out the first one!
Am I yelling? Jeeze, they killed my frickin’ ears. Any gentle old hippies who went just to hear Guinnevere were plugging their ears with anything they had last night, ear plug, hands, tampons, whatever.
Regarding the "set list stagnation" thing: Yeah, I knew exactly what to expect. I took the Staples show setlist, and it only varied by one -- they removed No Tears Left, which is a shame because it is the more intense guitar piece on the album. But I had enough intensity I guess. I did notice that the people around me were gasping and cheering with surprise when they trotted out old favorites like Ohio. Maybe that would be fun: "surprise" -- what a concept!
Some Neil-moments (I have to paraphrase some of the quotes)...
In the first set, Carry On was mud, but Southern Man was nice and the crowd got into it. But for the most part the crowd stayed seated until the third set. In fact, Crosby had to tell us it was ok to dance. (It's safe to dance, the safety dance, oh, wrong group, but just as immortal). The Stills songs always got people moving.
I don’t think Heartland went over that well, but Slowpoke did and so did Marrakesh. Faith in Me was ok. The crowd got moving again on Almost Cut My Hair. Great work, great songs, great guitars.
Cinnamon Girl kept the crowd on its feet. Well the crowd on the floor where I was anyway -- I’m too short to see more than my immediate vicinity, except for the nosebleed seats above. BTW, those folks up there must have all been stricken with altitude sickness, because to my weak eyes the nosebleed people stayed on their butts throughout the show. Maybe they were afraid of falling...
Second set. Everything was beautiful. Unreal. Old Man got a tremendous reception as did After The Goldrush. So did Helplessly Hoping, Our House and Guinnevere. So did Seen Enough. I think Dream For Him is a great sentiment, and a good song. The Neil jazzy accompaniment is neat.
Third set, omigod. Woodstock got my section up on its feet. Long Time Gone kind of dragged, but then Ohio got them up for good. For What It's Worth was jazzed or funked up a little bit but got a big response.
Then came Down By The River. I’m so sorry I didn’t time it, but it was loooong. It included Stills and Young doing the twin guitar identical note type thing, then the two of them again doing a call and response kind of thing with riffs, and hellacious solos by the two of them. It ended with a titanic feedback Crazy Horse-style ending. Stills pounding on his Flying V reminding me of Billy pounding on his base, Neil being Neil, and The Croz, The Croz squatting down in front of his amp getting major feedback. So cool.
They gave our ears a quick break with Love The One You're With then did Rockin' In The Free World with the Crazy Horse treatment again. Finished with Long May You Run with Stills and Young on the twin white guitars.
I got my ticket the night before the show. One of the 200 dollar jobbies suddenly popped up on ticketbastard.com so I grabbed it. It was row 25. I was too short for the third set when everyone stood up. Thinking back, I'd had a chance to grab a second tier seat a week earlier. I thought it would have been slightly behind the stage, but from where I was actually sitting it looks like it might have been a superior seat. Anyone sit in section 309?
I got the program for $18. Definitely not worth the money unless you're a fanatic like we are, but some decent pictures inside. So I took it to the artists gate near the busses and hung around for a while. Saw Duck leave first. Hardly anyone recognized him. Nash came out after a while. We clammored for autographs but he turned around and waved and said “I have kids. They have to go to school tomorrow.”
Then Still came out, and by golly, he signed. I’ve got the Steve Stills autograph written on the white shirt of his picture in the center of the program. Son of a gun is as short as I am. (Does anyone else think he’s looking like Wolfman Jack?). Hopefully Steve will take these big bucks and buy some new connectors or something -- he was having his equipment problems off and on all night, just like others have mentioned.
Anyway, then Crosby came out. Didn’t sign. Stopped at the curb, turned and waved and smiled and said “thank you”. He was with his wife and Django.
I had also seen Elliot go out and Larry Cragg, but where was Neil? A few minutes after Crosby one of the Pond crew came out and started yelling to go home. We who were left asked “where’s Neil”. He said he left by another exit. There were still 4 buses there and I think the one Larry got on was one of them. We told him we didn’t believe him, but they started tearing down the barricade, so finally I left. If Neil came out, and you were there, don’t tell me...
(more reviews coming soon... --RE*AC*TOR)