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Finger Lakes, August 18, 1996

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--> The Dave Man of the People Hopkins Review
--> Mark Powderfinger Klus's Review
--> Barry Gillott's Review
--> Tony Country Home Wagahoff's Review

The Set List

  1. Hey, Hey, My My
  2. Sedan Delivery
  3. Big Time
  4. Slip Away
  5. The Needle and the Damage Done
  6. Long May You Run
  7. Heart of Gold
  8. Cinnamon Girl
  9. The Loner
  10. Fuckin' Up
  11. Cortez The Killer (barely started)
  12. Down By The River
  13. Music Arcade
  14. Like a Hurricane
    Encore 1:
  15. Powderfinger
  16. Prisoners of Rock'n'Roll
    Encore 2:
  17. Roll Another Number for the Road
  18. Rockin' In The Free World

Finger Lakes, August 18, 1996

review by Dave Man of the People Hopkins

Well, this was my first Neil show, so I don't have much to compare it to, but it was spectacular! The weather was great - clear and warm. Afghan Whigs opened - besides having an electric cellist, they didn't really distinguish themselves too much. Jewel was next, and her set was much more hard rocking than her album. When she played Who Will Save Your Soul? instead of singing "afraid that God will take his toll" she sang "afraid Bob Dole will take his toll"... And, as has been mentioned before, she's a great yodeler. She mentioned that it was "a great honor" to open for Neil.

Neil's stage set was basically the same as the descriptions of the other shows. There were eight lit candles around the stage, assorted model cars and potted plants, a black pirate flag above the drum set and some Indian-style feathers hanging from Ralph's drum mikes. Piano stage right, pump organ in the center against the back wall. A couple of the roadies wore white lab coats with Electro Tech printed on the back.

Neil was wearing a black T-shirt and rather silly-looking baggy shorts. Poncho had a Hendrix T-shirt. Billy had a white long-sleeve button-down shirt and jeans. He was wearing tennis shoes - one green and one red. Ralph had a black baseball cap turned backwards.

Once they got onstage and launched into Hey Hey, My My the crowd was on its feet, although most people were sitting back down by the acoustic set. HHMM went right into Sedan Delivery, and when Neil sang "everybody says he's mad", Poncho crept up behind him and made circles around Neil's head with his hand. The interplay among Poncho, Billy and Neil was great throughout the show. A roadie who I assume is Larry Cragg played piano on Big Time and beat two tamborines together on Slip Away stage right. Otherwise the piano wasn't used, and the organ never was used.

(HyperRust editor's note: That wasn't Larry. Larry hangs out on the right -- from the audience's view -- behind Neil.)
After an extended jam on Slip Away the band left and Neil reappeared with his acoustic. He played Needle and then put on the harmonica holder for Long May You Run. He sang the "It was back in Blind River..." verse first and then the others. I don't know if it was intentional or a mistake. Needless to say, Heart of Gold was warmly received and most of the audience sang along.

Crazy Horse reappeared for Cinnamon Girl, The Loner, and Fuckin' Up, during which Poncho flipped off Neil and the audience. FU ended with a long feedback-soaked jam which featured some nice drum fills by Ralph. When it ended, Neil started to go into Cortez the Killer. The audience was just starting to recognize the song and cheer when Neil stopped.

"Hold it, hold it," he said. "I don't want to do that song. It's a good song, but we play it a lot, and I want to do a song we almost never play. We can't play the song really well but we don't play anything really well."

(Or something like that.) Anyway, people around me were saying, "This better be good..." Neil handed Ol' Black to Larry Cragg to be tuned, took a couple swallows from his bottle of Bud...and started into Down by the River. I think most people were satisfied with the substitution - it was another popular singalong.

Then came the solo acoustic Music Arcade, followed by Like a Hurricane, which started with strobe lights flashing and Billy beating his bass rapidly and loudly. Poncho, who had moved to synth, was wearing wraparound shades. At the end, Neil ripped all the strings off Ol' Black, then sang another verse while he was holding the guitar in his hands. He gently handed it to Larry Cragg, who was standing stage left, came back, picked up a big candle that was sitting on the drum riser, held it up, blew it out, and walked off.

The first encore was a *great* Powderfinger, which led into Prisoners of Rock and Roll. Neil took out a harmonica in the middle of the song and started blowing on it. It was obviously in a different key from the song but that didn't seem to matter much. The band left the stage and, after a few minutes, came back on for more, Billy with his arms in the air and a smile on his face. They did Roll Another Number and I thought that would be the end, but then they launched into Rockin' in the Free World! The crowd went nuts! During the choruses, they turned up the audience lights and we all sang (or shouted) along. Ralph threw his sticks into the seats and the band walked off for the last time.

Well, all I can say is Neil and the Horse put on a great show! I'm still waiting for my hearing to get back to normal! If you like feedback, you'll love Neil Young and Crazy Horse on this tour.

Keep hope alive!

Man of the People

Neil Magic Under The Stars
Finger Lakes, August 18, 1996

review by Mark Powderfinger Klus


It was touch and go until the end, but my better half, Tish, and I decided to bite the bullet and take the 6-hour journey to see Neil & The Horse at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua Sunday evening ... and come back the same night.   :)   We were last in that venue the summer of 1979 or thereabouts. We'd had a blast on the lawn then, at this nice, but low-tech (no video screens) venue. What better way to return to our old stomping grounds?

Tish had just seen her 1st Neil concert a few days before in Camden and was instantly won over by his energy, charisma and sense of fun. "He's like a kid up there on stage," when he was talking to his guitar during Hurricane, for instance. BTW, I don't know whether anybody else mentioned this, but in Camden Neil applauded the crowd for its enthusiasm. Nice to see Philly area folks keeping our reputation as the rockingest fans intact.   :)   And Tish has been very impressed by the Rusties she's met so far.

Anyway, since the Canandaigua show was a last minute thing, we got a couple of lawn tickets, as before, and made ourselves comfy on a blanket under a clear, starry sky with a crescent moon hanging low in the south. Our little looking glass helped give us a little better view of Neil, but that wasn't important. The vibe and energy were still there where we were and in better-blended sound to my ears.

Was Neil going to play the same list? Would there be any surprises? How well would he play? BTW, before the show I finally managed to meet up with another quality Rustie: Tony Wagahoff. Nice to meet you!

Well, the first four songs were solid, with some nice licks, and it seems Neil has dropped electric Pocahontas from the setlist in favour of Sedan Delivery. I love both songs but I'm glad I was able to see Pocahontas earlier in the tour. And to these ears the sublime Slip Away solos are Neil's guitar ecstasy.

After Needle, I heard a harmonica chord that sounded like Long May You Run, one of my top-whatever Neil songs. Could it be? Then the next chord sounded like (here we go again) Heart Of Gold, but no! He launched into Long May You Run. Yes! Yes! YES!!! (Even though it was a bit tentative and with verses sung out of order.) The harmonica work was great and my evening was already made.

More surprises were on the way, though: after sitting down for Heart Of Gold and Cinnamon Girl, and gazing up at the stars, I thought I heard a change of rhythm leading to F*!#in' Up. But it stopped and a few moments later Neil and The Horse laid The Loner on us, and both Tish & I shot up to our feet, yelling like crazy. A fine, intent version it was too. F*!#in' Up followed anyway, so Neil was throwing in a bonus for us!

Then Cortez followed, or seemed to for a few moments until Neil, bless his heart, said something like "Stop! Hold it! We've played this song a lot on this tour, but we're not gonna play it tonight. It's a great song, but were gonna play another one for ya. You're gonna like this one too. It's a very good song." Way to go Neil! Follow your heart! Whereupon he & The Horse proceeded to deliver a scorching Down By The River, another first for the North American tour! And for us!

Music Arcade was great as usual and Hurricane predictable as usual (The Camden Hurricane was far more musically imaginative IMO with not a single cliche and some rumbling low notes that I hadn't heard before.)

But the question now was: what would the encore(s) be? 'Cause nobody, not even Neil, knows which songs they'll finish with on a given night.

A big smile spread across my face when I heard the opening chords to Powderfinger. It became even broader when I was set to sing along the last verse but instead heard Neil launch into a 3rd solo, and best of the lot, something extra special before the last verse. To the best of my knowledge Neil hasn't played one of those 3-solo jobs since May 1989 in Japan. Wow, what a treat! But the best was yet to come...

The next song: Prisoners of Rock 'n' Roll. Neil indeed took no prisoners, playing a searing version that must have lasted a good 8-10 minutes. When he whipped out that harmonica as he had in Stone Ridge, Tish let out a shriek of delight. Folks, the Stone Ridge version was great, but believe me when I tell you: this was even better. The highlight of the show, no two ways about it. The spirit of OPL was alive and well.   :)

After this blaze of glory I figured that was it. Neil had played his heart out. But sure enough he came back and played a short but sweet Roll Another Number, followed by some beautiful improvising a la Slip Away followed by -- yes! -- a Rockin' in The Free World that brought the house down. What a way to end an outstanding show! When 2 hearts like ours beat together as one to truly great music-making courtesy of Neil & The Horse in a setting such as this, the experience is unforgettable. One to treasure the rest of our days on this earth.

Now I hear Tish asking about the Saratoga show next Sunday... :)

Thanks for reading & Long may you Rust!

Mark (Powderfinger)

A Tale of Two Shows (part 2)
Finger Lakes, August 18, 1996

review by Barry Gillott

(Continued from part 1.)

FLPAC, Sunday, 8/18/96

Going to this show was a bit of an afterthought, so we ended up on the lawn. Our "seats" were actually better than we anticipated, though (straight up the middle, 30' from the Canandaiguan ZFNs). It's clear that virtually every reserved seat at FLPAC is a decent one. Next time, no lawn. With the decline of manners and proper etiquette in this country, the lawn can be a hostile place. I think our lawn chairs survived the intrusion...

Great surprises in the setlist: Powderfinger (caught me in the men's room -- yikes!!), The Loner and Down By The River! Especially DBTR, since SK wasn't really into hearing Cortez again. Rockin' In The Free World... what an ending! This was a high-energy show and seemed even better than Stone(d) Ridge, if you can believe it. Neil seemed SO INTO IT!

Sorry I missed you, Powderfinger. Only recognized one Rustie, at the head of the beer line (not the worst place to be!) wearing the MORE BARN! shirt. "Heeeey, a Rustie!" Sorry, guess I couldn't come up with anything more original to say in my, uh, condition.

Back home, had to try F^%$in' Up on my guitar. Found it still tuned "DADBD". Had to smile -- Shakey left it that way. Thanks for the memories. If you're ever in Rochester, stop by and jam with us.

Hope you enjoyed reading all our chatter.
This has been a Filmways Presentation.

- Barry and Sandy

Finger Lakes, August 18, 1996

review by Tony Country Home Wagahoff

Last nite at Finger Lakes, compared to Camden the sound wasn't a problem. I managed to score 11th row seats, just to the left of center. We were just a few inches higher than stage level & just to Billy's right. Perfect location to watch Neil 'work'.   :-)   It also turns out that there were several Rusties all around me, but none in MORE BARN! shirts -- tsk, tsk.   ;-)   (To be fair, there was one Vapor Records shirt) Hi again to The Ocean, the giant undertow & all you lurkers. Also, a big hello to Powderfinger who had to come all the way to FLPAC to meet me after we missed each other at Camden!   :-)

As far as the show - sheeeeiitttt. I don't have the words to give an adequate description. Simply, it ROCKED! As one of my (non-Rustie) friends said in the car afterwards, "It was *loud*, but it was a soothing loud." She also allowed as she had never been "so caught up in the music at a concert before." And this is a girl who was severely disappointed when I told she would *not* be hearing any HM songs at this show!

There were a couple of real highlights for me: the extra long jam at the end of Slip Away (The more I hear this one live -- 3 times now, including my Dueren tape -- the more I love it) and DBTR. Another of my friends with me *really* wanted hear Cortez & I kept assuring him it was in. When Neil started it, I leaned over & said "I told you so." Almost immediately, Neil stopped & said (something like), "No, I don't want to play that one tonight. We've been playing it a lot and I'd rather play something different." He handed the guitar to Larry C. to be retuned & the crowd started moaning. Neil kinda holds up his hands & says "It's an old song, but it's a good one." Gets his guitar back & off they go into DBTR. Magic.

Oh yeah, they were *really* having fun last nite too. Especially during the encores, there was lots of mugging, laughing & general horse-play (pun intended) going on all over the stage. Like after the end of Powderfinger, Neil just kept kinda riffin' something over and over & looking at the Horse with this look like, 'cmon, let's go' but they didnt know what it was! Finally, Neil got this 'evil' little grin & kinda danced over closer to where Pancho & Billy were standing in front of Frank & said something to them that made 'em all laugh while he kicked of Prisoners.

All in all, a truly glorious weekend of rock n roll. Hopefully, if house closings & work cooperate, I'll get one more shot to see them in Barrie. For the rest of you waiting your turns: get your rest & be ready. You are in for a *treat*.

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