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Edmonton Coliseum, Oct 24, 1996

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--> John Elliott's Review
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The Set List

  1. Hey Hey My My
  2. Down By The River
  3. Slip Away
  4. Music Arcade
  5. Heart Of Gold
  6. Cinnamon Girl
  7. Scattered
  8. Fuckin' Up
  9. Cortez The Killer
  10. The Needle and the Damage Done
  11. Helpless
  12. Big Time
  13. Rockin' In The Free World
  14. Campaigner
  15. Sedan Delivery
  16. Like a Hurricane

Drag me over the rainbow,
And send me away

Edmonton Coliseum, Oct 24, 1996

review by John Elliott

After a subpar outing in Vancouver, Neil and the Horse came out of the barn for this one kicking like Canadian broncos daring anyone to ride them. This sucker was bareback and Crazy from the get-go. They took full command early giving this show a distinct edge, and an enthusiasm rare for this type of venue. This was a fun, upbeat show and a great overall performance.

Hey Hey My My is always a welcomed opener in my opinion and on this night featured extraordinarily bright sounding solo work. This song is great cause it gets things off to a good start. With HHMM Neil goes right into his reptilian lurchings, so you don't have to wait to get fired up. He cranked out some prime solos here, in true arachnid fashion and the show was off to a sensational start.

Down by the River was a very welcomed tune to say the least. It's only been played a couple of times on the North America leg and was a real treat, and a crowd pleaser. The gritty rhythm sections are classic Crazy Horse with vintage Em7 darts popping out and smooth A's wanked in between. Neil vocals sounded great and his face was beaming on the passage "Shot her dead." Very Hey Joe like. I was particularly fond of the solos and the great ElectroTech sound on this one.

You will be hard pressed to find a song written with so much of, "You get some" (rhythm), "I'll get some" (Lead) back and forth interplay. Even the lyrics are setup this way. "You take my hand", "I'll take your hand; baby". Folks, this is pure genius. Thing is I think Neil is so talented that this sort of songwriting just came to him without any trouble, ala Mozart. 1969 and always a masterpiece. And still influencing young bands ala Smile. Wow.

Ok, I'm sorry --- enough worship... Slip Away was next....

Slip Away never fails to please. What else can you say but it's a keeper. Scattered was also outstanding. Helpless was the Canadian bonus, and I was real happy to hear it. RITFW, clearly was on fire. As per usual, Fuckin Up was not only kicked-up and fun for the fan, but was also a good time for the band.

Campaigner? Somebody wake me up. Oh baby, was that nice. All in all, this show was a total keeper, a complete package, and the setlist was great in that you really didn't know what was coming next. A great show? Yes. In the same league with Irvine Meadows? Probably not, but a hell of a show and a complete show from start to finish. I especially liked the LAH ending.

From the looks of the beginning of the Canadian leg, I'd say you folks in the Eastern Provinces are in for some great shows! Enjoy. I think the Buffalo and Hartford folks are also gonna be stoked. But as always with Neil, you never quite know what you're going to get until you make it to the ballpark....

Edmonton Coliseum, Oct 24, 1996

review by jeremy keehn

hey everyone... just wanted to post a review of the concert... i'm having tons of problems with this provider so i don't know if this post will get through or if i'll get any email replies to it... if someone could, would they please forward this to the rust mailing list?

the crowd was a really good mix... all ages, no doubt about it... i went with my parents (who were mostly familiar with neil from buffalo springfield and csn&y), and i definitely wasn't the only one who did so... (in case anyone's wondering, they loved the concert- my mom particularly thought neil's guitar playing was great...)

okay... for starters, the openers were pete droge and moist... i only caught the last half of pete's set, but i really enjoyed pete (with his band the sinners - i think that's what he said)... good rock with some heartfelt guitar work... imo, he should've been the second one on- i overheard a lot of people say around the concourse that they wanted to see pete but didn't want to see moist so they skipped the openers... they were far better than moist were...

i found moist's music to be totally uncompelling going into the concert, but i tried to get into it through a few numbers and just couldn't. their guitar player is dull, and it wasn't until the last number that the keyboardist did anything of note... the last song they threw in a enter sandman/billie jean tease... they didn't really play into it, they just stopped with the bass player pounding out the familiar enter sandman bassline then kicked in with billie jean guitar and keys and david usher singing a verse or two from the song... thoroughly unimpressive...

on to neil and crazy horse, who kicked right into the set in style with hey hey my my. billy and ralph absolutely *thundered* out the rhythm... the mix was excellent, the separate instruments all clearly audible and the vocals at just about the right level... for an arena show, it was pretty good sound...

next up was down by the river, played at about 80% speed... i originally wrote this down as cowgirl in the sand on my setlist, before i realized my mistake (too bad, i would've killed to hear that tune)... the reviewer in the edmonton journal seemed to be writing his review straight out of a pre-conference press release, minus the specific details of the show... he called it gloriously sloppy, messy, etc... but actually, the band sounded really tight most of the time, on this song poncho and neil were firing out some excellent guitar work, playing off one another...

the third tune of the night was slip away -- one of the better tunes on broken arrow, imo. i'm pretty sure it was on either this tune or scattered during which frank threw in some *wicked* rhythm work during a jam while neil soloed away... he took over the spotlight briefly crashing through with some furious chord changes...

after these three songs, the concert was already over a half hour in. neil then came out and did the next two number alone on his acoustic... the first of them was music arcade which sounded really nice -- neil closed out the last couple of stanzas with short melodic riffs... next up was heart of gold... this one could've been amazing, but partway through, as neil went into his first harp solo, his brace broke... a roadie came out and quickly fixed it, but neil had to shed the backing guitar while he finished out the solo... the crowd knew the song pretty well, judging by the amount and volume of the backup singers....

this section of the concert was the highlight of the electric numbers... crazy horse came back out for cinnamon girl, which was fairly standard, holding the line at the end and segueing right into scattered, which (along with loose change which wasn't played) is my favorite tune on the new album. It was about 15 minutes long with some of the best soloing of the night, incorporating a few rhythm changes and some excellent vocals from neil... great lyrics, too...

next came fuckin' up, which i admit i'm only familiar with from hearing pearl jam cover it cuz i haven't bought ragged glory yet... pj does it a little faster in concert, but it's definitely neil's song... it was also about 15 minutes long, working down into a jam that kept the tempo up but gradually shedded melody, dropping the band into a sort of 'melodic hole' that they then proceeded to pull themselves out of... i've only ever really heard phish do that in concert before, and it definitely grabbed my attention...

neil threw in a few improved lines (he also changed one or two of the lines about johnny rotten in hey hey my my) singing "this brings to mind something my old man used to say... he used to say 'you're no good'... you're a FUCK UP, you're a FUCK UP'"...

fuckin' up segued into the best moments of the night, cortez the killer... i can't say enough about how powerful this tune was... the soloing and singing were unbelievable, really getting me into the imagery of the song... there was only one thing keeping me from total immersion in the music, which i'll get to at the end...

then it was back to the acoustic for needle and the damage done, which was beautiful, the line 'every junkie's like a setting sun' drawing huge cheers from the audience, no surprise... then another major highlight of the show, helpless, sending shivers up and down my spine and bringing tears to my eyes... totally stunning.

crazy horse came back out for big time, then they brought most of the crowd, especially a lot the younger kids (pearl jam fans on your feet!) with a wicked rockin' in the free world, which ended with a few lines of oh canada amid the feedback and thunderous applause... the lights, which were basically candles and sparse spotlighting for most of the show were changed to blue, white, and red, creating a sort of funny effect... the flag of france (blue white and red vertical stripes) up against the backdrop... i don't know if it was intentional, but i immediately thought back to the problems with french nuclear testing a few months back....

the first song of the encore i was familiar with only from hearing about the lyrics 'even richard nixon wouldn't vote for bob dole'... uh, i mean 'even richard nixon has got a soul'... this being campaigner, which i would think must have been kind of a rare treat... it was also the only song of the night neil combined harp and electric guitar....

next up was sedan delivery (damn, not ohio... gimme some irony neil...), a song i'm not a huge fan of... but they closed out the night with a thunderous like a hurricane that seemed to go on forever, closing with a pretty damn good hurricane of crashing bass and drums and wailing guitar... absolutely fantastic...

so the concert as a whole was absolutely fuckin' awesome... the only problem i had was this... there's a tradition i think originated with the blues where when a soloist hit an incredibly sweet note, the crowd would respond with a short show of appreciation and let the soloist get back to business... i saw a fantastic delta blues band, the elmer lee thomas blues review, open up for robert cray in front of about 3500 fans, and that was the way it worked... it got the crowd involved and really created a bond between the band and the audience... i really dug it... at a cavernous stadium with 10000 fans, however, it seemed to translate a little differently...

during several of the songs, but most notably on the quiet acoustic numbers and during the solos on cortez the killer, many people in the crowd, but particularly one jackass who thought neil wrote cortez as a duet for 'guitar and idiot in crowd who can whistle really loud' were letting out a constant stream of hollering and whistling during some of the best moments of music of the night... fuck, i know one of the best things about rock is being able to get a little rowdy, but SAVE IT FOR BETWEEN SONGS. the best part of a rock concert is still the music, for fuck's sakes.

okay, rant off... i've come to expect this at rock concerts, but i still hate it... in my mind, the music overcame any negatives (including the way overpriced merchandise- $35 for an XXL tshirt, $80! for an XXL thermal shirt??????????)... overall a great show   :)


Edmonton Coliseum, Oct 24, 1996

review by Andrew Muskie Makay

Went to the Edmonton show last night. It was a good show (my first). I missed all the opening bands as Heidi (who I went with) had varsity field hockey practice. Caught the last song of Moist, though.

Into the Black was a good opener. Down by the River was long and slow which seems to be the most popular way for Neil to play this song and that is how it was played last night. Then he went acoustic with Music Arcade, which the crowd didn't know at all. And it didn't come across that well as it was so quiet and there were some definitely rowdy loud people near me. But Heart of Gold was very well received, and prompted a massive sing-a-long.

Back to electric with Cinnamon Girl which was relatively short. Then This Town which was most notable for the fact the seat Nazi's showed up to check my tickets and remind us to stand in front of our seats.

The next song was maybe the highlight of the night for me. It was long with lots of bonus lyrics and chanting. Instead of "keys left hangin in the cellar door," Neil sang about "(blah blah)dinosaur." I didn't catch it all. He repeated misc. dinosaur chants during the song. Frank was exceedingly rowdy during this song. He fingered the crowd during each time Neil sang "...Fuckin' Up!" He also kept pointing and shouting at Neil during his solo. He kept saying "You're a Fuck up." Then he and Billy were smashing into each other till they both almost fell down, so they cut that out. Before the end of the song Neil and Frank kept chanting "You're such a Fuck Up" for about a minute. Neil also added a story verse to the song that went something like this "I remember..." (pause) "I remember..." (pause) "I remember when my daddy said I was no good! I'm NO GOOD!"

After this was a long Cortez with and extended beginning and ending. Then two more acoustic songs. Needle and an almost necessary Helpless. I had hoped he would play this, but the sing-along was no where near that of HOG. Then came Big Time which surprisingly was recognized early by the crowd and received very well. Then came a song I couldn't remember if it actually existed at all. Then a long loud sing/scream along version of Rockin' in the Free World.

For the encore he did Campaigner which I didn't recognize right away. Then Sedan Delivery which I liked a lot. No one in my section knew the words to this but me. I however happily sang along to the whole thing. There was a slight change to this one as opposed to the version on Rust Never Sleeps. Instead of chanting "So hard to find a job" ala RNS,they chanted "No one knows". After the verse about the old man.

Then came LAH, similar to previous concerts except to completely end the night rather then the set. It clocked in at 17 minutes. Afterward all the strings were off Old Black, as usual.

Neil seemed in good spirits as did the band. He said nothing to the crowd all night except when he walked on for the encore. He said "Crazy Horse" (applause) He wore the shorts complete with black socks. Even though it had been snowing in Edmonton at 6! Frank had on a Hendrix shirt.

Looking at the stage set-up during one of the long guitar solos, I was thinking of the "Wake for Briggs" theme. If this is a wake, that would make all the songs funeral dirges. And with everyone singing along, a song lyric came to me. It's not a Neil song but I'm sure everyone on the list knows it. "And we sang dirges in the dark.... the day the music died." Yet another interpretation of that song. Of course it is wrong, but fitting.

I also thought, during the particularly loud RITFW, of another saying: "Loud enough to wake the dead." Read that in the context of a wake for Briggs. Just my odd thoughts...


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